Losing A Close Friend

Friendship represents one of the highest social achievements. A friend is not a family member. They are someone who has chosen to be close to you not because of some genetic connection. Your best friends reflect back to you who you are. If you have disappointed a best friend so badly that they cut you loose, it hurts. It causes one to wonder what they did wrong. Or, if you know why the other rejected you, regret follows.

On the other hand, often your friends project their own unconscious, denied ideas on to others, especially best friends and lovers. This means that when they reject you they are rejecting or denying part of themselves. Psychoanalysts say, “Projections have to have a hook”. In other words, we don’t project our unconscious ideas on just anyone. The target of projection has to have some similarity to the projector or, at least, bring up some aspect of the self they are conflicted about. Now, not everything one thinks about us is a projection. So it is more than possible they have seen something in us that is in fact true about us. But why have they decided to be our close friends for so long? Social psychologists have found that ‘similarity’ is the best predictor of who are friends are.

It is awful when friendships that have lasted for a lifetime break. You can plead with the other that you have changed, learned from your mistakes. But they have known you too long. They have seen bad behavior in the past and forgiven you. But then one more time and they have had enough of you. This can stimulate a change in you and the other person. But they will not likely believe you have changed. They block your phone number. There is no chance to plead. A helpless feeling comes over you. I want them back! But it’s not likely to happen.

So, what do you do? Unless you can blame them, you change. The sad part is that they will never know if and how you changed. In the end, that is their loss. Something of value about you, something that is also in them, will never be recognized consciously. Being able to take a very high perspective on human affairs allows people to forgive. It hurts when they don’t. But, of course, it takes two to tango.

One thought on “Losing A Close Friend

Leave a Reply