Friendships – Dysfunctional relationships #5 – Hurt and Nostalgia

It’s been more than a month now that I ended the last friendship I had. And I still think that it was a good decision. Probably the best decision I have made this year — unless I quit my job, but that’s another story. It’s up there with other decisions like switching from a PC to a Mac, or leaving the Catholic Church.

But at times, I miss that ‘friendship’.

Looking back, it was not much — and how it developed and ended … much of it was my fault and responsibility. But still, it was something — in the sense that a few crumbs can be a feast when you are starving.

And then I remind myself that ending the friendship was in my best (long-term) interest. That I need to build a new social life with people who are good for me. And that ending the friendship this way was the only way to get out of it. Otherwise I would have slipped back into the dysfunctional friendship and would not have looked around for new friends. Would have avoided the social interaction with all it’s little cuts and bruises, comfortable, but I would have died alone in the long run.

I think back at the friendship and still see the cheese, but now I also see clearly that it was only a few crumbs of cheese — and there is a steel trap around it.

I think that a dysfunctional friendship (or any relationship) has its attraction because when people are in a bad place — emotionally, mentally, financially, or even regarding their career — many people prefer the known bad situation to the unknown dangers and hurt that could happen to them when they leave the situation. Aptly put by the idiom ‘better the devil you know than the devil you don’t‘. However, this assumes that the alternative is always worse, and I don’t believe in that anymore.

“You know what’s sad about people like you, Lilah? It all comes down to fear.”
“Fascinating. Now that we’ve got that settled …”
“You’re too scared to believe in anything because you’re too scared to hope. You won’t even open your eyes to the possibility.”
Cordelia and Lilah in Angel: “Calvary”

There is always the hope that things can get better. Especially if you find out what brought you in that dysfunctional situation in the first place, remind yourself of it again and again, and work hard to change your cognition and your behavior.


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