Sometimes situations will hurt more than you would like to admit. That was the case for me in the beginning of my sophomore year of college. I was close with someone I lived with freshman year and then at the end of that school year, things just changed. We changed. That’s expected of you as you go through your first year in college. You are supposed to grow. But in this particular situation, we both just grew apart and grew closer to other people much similar to ourselves. And we never resolved any of the issues that was causing friction in our friendship.
I can be stubborn, I’ll admit it. If someone disrespects me or offends me, it takes me a while to get over it. And sometimes I’m so hurt, that I don’t even care to mend the friendship. I would see it as their loss, not mine.
But with this situation, it was actually my loss in a way. I didn’t gain anything by cutting her off. I didn’t learn how to communicate better and forgive. I was hurt and did not want to admit it. I just acted like I didn’t care about her or our friendship. I became petty, especially while we still lived together. I guess this can be deemed as the “typical roommate conflict” with passive-aggressive post-it notes.
Now I am not saying that if anyone disrespects you, you are obligated to remain friends with them. But getting to the root of the problem can benefit you. The loss of a friendship with someone may really be their loss, but it is also your loss too because you could have used that conflict as a learning opportunity for yourself.
It’s been two years since that friendship ended and it is still awkward seeing her around campus sometimes. We just walk by each other like strangers. Maybe it’s for the best. But moving forward, I learned what I could do differently in the future to make sure I am communicating effectively in all of my other friendships.
The loss of a friendship is something many of us have experienced and it is the easiest to talk about out of the many forms of loss in my opinion, which is why I wanted to write about my own experience with this following my introductory post.
If you are experiencing conflict in your friendship with someone, you can learn from it by opening up and addressing the situation head on. Closing up does not leave any room for growth within that friendship or within yourself. Talking to that person or even someone else you trust and want to confide in may help you mentally and emotionally. You don’t have to keep those feelings bottled up. It’s okay to admit you’re hurt. Give yourself enough space to remove yourself from the situation to gain clarity, and then come back when you are ready to talk. Self care in this situation can be something as simple as just opening up more.
I wish I had learned this right away at the first sign of conflict between my old suite-mate freshmen year, as opposed to letting things build up until I no longer wanted to deal with it and fix the situation. But hindsight is 20/20 and dwelling on the past won’t allow me to put what I have learned into practice. Only moving forward will allow me to know for next time how to better handle certain situations with friends.