In this life of Social Media connections and busy lifestyles I will be the first to admit people should do more personal connecting in relationship. My job for the last two years has been focussed on helping people and business owners be more connected to the relationships in their lives.
So to say that I have become rather reliant on this not so new world of social media and instant messaging, likes, and comments is a rather vulnerable statement. But it is true. There it is. I am a wife, a step mom of 2, a business owner of 2 and life is full tilt at the moment. I like to to see what’s happening in others lives, see their pics, comment, like and do my best to connect in more personal ways when time permits.
About 3 years ago, I noticed that a post of mine got a lot of hits. It was pictures of my husband and I hiking a mountain together and it received a lot of likes. I’m not sure why that day I decided to look at WHO liked our post but I did. It was not typical of me to notice the likes, but that day I looked them over. For some reason I noticed that one of my best friends had not liked the post. In the moment I dismissed it. She must have just been busy, or not on facebook much these days, or maybe she just didn’t see it. Then I saw she had LIKED a few other peoples posts that day with comments.
So like any NORMAL person I looked back at the last month of posts, then 6 months, then a year of posts only to find she had not liked any. Not one. Oh my goodness I was so ridiculously hurt. (not one LIKE) I looked back another 6 months. Same thing. Nothing.
Then never saying anything I watched for A FEW MORE YEARS. RIDICULOUS RIGHT? YEARS! She would infrequently post on my husbands posts, comment on my kids walls but never on mine. With each lack of LIKE my hurt grew deeper.
When our cat died in October I was devastated. We all were. And like the modern social media family that we are, we posted pics of our beautiful 17 year old quirky cat. I saw she posted “sorry for your loss” on my daughter’s wall. But not a comment to me. Not a message, not a text, not a phone call, not an email. I realized I had to make a shift. This was impacting my life on a daily basis. Crazy right? So many loving, supportive, cheering friends and role models and yet each day I felt the hurt of a LACK OF LIKE a little more. So I did what any normal person would do. I unfriended her.
As you can imagine this has only alleviated the problem a fraction. This solution is something I would normally call a tragic strategy. Someone pushes you out and so instead of reaching out you push away too. NOT a solution to bring about healing.
Normally I am the first to reach out, say sorry, ask what’s wrong, be forgiven and forgive but something very deep has prevented me from approaching this in any of my usual ways.
For my card sending buddies, don’t worry I sent cards, but they fell flat.
I’m not proud of how I have handled this situation but also wonder if part of the resistance to handling it, is the desire to let go of the friendship. The truth of the matter, is things had fallen apart in our face to face time as well. The last three visits had left both my husband and I with an uncomfortable, unwelcome feeling like things just didn’t fit any more.
I would be lying if I said I was over it. I would love to tell you it doesn’t hurt any more. But I do accept that perhaps a healthier focus, a more effective focus would be to concentrate on the abundance of LIKES and LOVES. Not where the LIKES lack.
For anyone out there who like me, who believed that you have to hang on to every friendship because of a past you shared; what I am learning is that you don’t. Perhaps my resistance to picking up the phone, or meeting face to face is the fact that I am pitching my tent in a new time, on a new part of the mountain and I don’t want to dwell in that place again. I’m pulling up the pegs, I’ve packed my tent and I’m climbing on.
The path up the mountain always has room for other hikers and I’m open to climbing with my friend again one day should our paths converge. Until then it’s onwards and upwards there is a lot of ground to cover and posts to LIKE.
LIKE this article if you can relate. Laugh out loud, just kidding. Thanks for reading and letting me share my heart and your time.