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Is it wrong to cut ties with former friends who let me down?

Tagged as: Big Questions, Friends<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (6 August 2018) 8 Answers - (Newest, 9 August 2018)
A female United Kingdom age 30-35, anonymous writes:

Two years ago I worked for a small company of approx 60 people and my colleagues were like family. We worked together, socialised together-it was very tight knit.

Then unfortunately one of our clients gave us a project that went wrong. One of my team made an absolutely mess of it and ultimately ended up quitting. The client felt I was responsible because I was his boss (I wasn’t in this case) but the company let me take the heat for a while. Eventually I left the company six months later as I felt that my colleagues had covered their own back and I hadn’t been supported.

I went on to get a new and better job only to be diagnosed with advanced cancer a couple of months later.

At the begining many of these ex colleagues came out of the woodwork with sympathy but quickly disappeared within a month and I heard very little from them over the next 18 months whilst I had treatment.

Now a year after treatment has finished they have started to pop up again wanting to share their news with me. Am I wrong to want nothing to do with it? I rebuilt my new life in a new town with a new job, new friends. I don’t have regrets and the people who are still in my life are the ones who supported me.

What would you do? I of course wish people well and I have sent them short messages in return saying things along the lines of glad you are well but not getting back into dialogue with them.

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A female reader, TrueLoveWaits2016 United States + , writes (9 August 2018):

Absolutely nothing wrong for not wanting them in your life. They seem to be only there when they need and when you need them, they fall off the face of the earth. Surround yourself w/people who will always support. I noticed it wore on my self esteem and emotions when I had crappy friends.

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A male reader, TylerSage United States + , writes (7 August 2018):

TylerSage agony auntThe truth is, no one can live up to the standards we want in our lives. No one person, will always say just the right thing, or do that thing that makes your heart melt or respond to us the way we need them too.

These are our own fantasies, our dreams, or desires we build up in our heads thinking that if someone one does it this way or if someone says it that way then life will be complete for us. At at the end of it all these very dreams we created for ourselves crush us and is no one else's fault but our own.

You must realise that people have their own lives and their own difficulties. You are not special. Instead, be grateful for the people who stop by to check on you, even if only for second. Some have no one to talk to or show interest in them. Some die alone from their ailments but you did. They would give the world to have what you have.

Focus on the good and appreciate what you do have. Try to focus on what you don't have and life and your friends will appear differently to you.

All the best.

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States + , writes (7 August 2018):

Tisha-1 agony auntAs you no doubt know by now, life is short. And it can be cut even shorter by disease or accident.

Decide for yourself if contact with the people you once worked with is something you’ve been missing in your life. Do they bring you joy or problems?

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States + , writes (7 August 2018):

Tisha-1 agony auntAs you no doubt know by now, life is short. And it can be cut even shorter by disease or accident.

Decide for yourself if contact with the people you once worked with is something you’ve been missing in your life. Do they bring you joy or problems?

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (6 August 2018):

I think this is a matter of forgiveness and forgetfulness. You had a brush with death. Life is too short to let people bring us down. I lost my beloved life-partner and companion to cancer. Not all of his friends and associates stuck-by through the process. I never held it against them.

People don't always have what it takes to deal with life-threatening illnesses or death. Family and the closest most loyal are expected to do that, and they usually do. Work colleagues are connected only because you share a job. I consider few of my colleagues that close. I have made very close-friends of my dearly-departed partner's colleagues who stood by me. Taking me out to dinner, checking on us regularly, and offering help when possible. They still had lives, spouses jobs, and their own families to attend to.

I'm a Christian; so what I do would be different from many. It's way too easy to make enemies. You distance yourself from people with the intent to do harm, who lie, use, betray, or abuse you. You sort through the rest; and just change their title from friend to colleague, or a good acquaintance. That is, once you have distinguish where they each stand with you.

It's a given you will no longer have anything to do with those who stabbed you in the back. Guilt may have kept some of them away. If given an olive branch, or offered an act of kindness as restitution; accept it with graciousness and in good-faith. Don't expect/demand kindness, wait for it; and appreciate it if and when it comes.

You don't know what future-crisis you may face; that these people may react or respond quite differently. Some may have changed. They aren't as close as you thought they should be; so if you decided to discard them. Will it be out of malice and resentment; or did they actually do you more harm?

I don't think it's necessary to display your disdain; or go out of your way to show them you can't be bothered.

If they don't show up that much anyway; they'll fade-away into history all on their own. Show your gratitude for any act of kindness, no matter how small. You may not always be on the A-list when people need you; and if you slip, you'd want forgiveness. I watch myself on these things; because I know God's forgiveness is conditioned on my capacity to forgive others.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (6 August 2018):

Honeypie agony auntNo, it's OK to pick and choose who you want in your life. I think people waste way too much energy on people who don't deserve it.

So DO YOU. But as you cut them out of your life, stop focusing on the past, live in the here and now.

I hope you keep getting better!

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (6 August 2018):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntIf you don't miss them, and/or if you feel resentment towards them for the way they treated you, then you are better to consign them to the past and move on.

Google "Friend for a reason, friend for a season, friend for life" and read that. It makes a lot of sense and may help you rationalize what happened.

Hope you are now all mended. Enjoy the future with the friends who proved themselves loyal in difficult circumstances.

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A male reader, N91 United Kingdom + , writes (6 August 2018):

N91 agony auntNot really, it’s up to you who you class as friends.

I think at some point or other, everyone has cut someone out due to the realisation that they’re not adding anything positive to their life.

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