Letting Go

I unfriended someone today. Not a big deal, but it’s not something I do frequently or lightly. But I just bid a quiet “goodbye” to someone I’ve known for years. And it felt good.

When someone you know routinely says or does things that offend you, there are various ways you can deal with it. You can put up with it and ignore it. You can talk to the person and try to change the behaviour. Or you can stop associating with that person. When it’s someone you deal with face-to-face regularly, it’s hard to cut the ties. Online, it’s easier.

I read recently about decluttering – not only your physical world but also your online world. There’s a maxim that if something you own doesn’t make you happy, you need to let go. That can be held true for relationships as well.

So, this person I’ve known for many years has increasingly said things that strike me as wrong, selfish, and pig-headed. I’d hidden his posts for a while, but he still occasionally intrudes. And then he posted something uncaring and mean-spirited. I queried what he said, and got more vitriol in return. I thought about our current friendship. In the past, our friendship had made me happy. Now I cringe anytime I see his statements. I figured it was time to say goodbye.

I did think about trying to change his opinion. I thought about maintaining the friendship despite it bringing me displeasure. But this was a person who I knew many years ago, who has grown and changed, as have I. Putting in such effort into a long-distance friendship with someone I may not see for many years and who isn’t the same person I once knew just didn’t seem  to be worth the cost.

Perhaps I’m being lazy. Perhaps I’m being antisocial. Perhaps the distance that being online imposes on people and connections has blinded me to human interactions. But when I clicked “unfriend,” I felt nothing but relief.


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