Since the advent of social media, the notion of what constitutes a friend has changed significantly. I have almost 700 friends on Facebook as well as many in real life who aren’t users of the platform. I have met many of my friends solely thanks to the beauty and wonder of social media, and many of them have become my closest confidantes. I love the fact that geography plays no role in the making and maintaining of relationships these days. It really is a wonderful thing when you think about it.
Along with making friends, occasionally comes the decision to ‘unfriend’ someone. This can be as a result of the friendship coming to an end, and I’ve had some rather spectacular instances of this happening this year (as an aside, with the benefit of hindsight I am so grateful that these so called friendships are no longer part of my life). But this isn’t always the case.
I have unfriended when I felt that we no longer shared views that were compatible. I don’t expect to agree with everything my friends post, as sometimes that’s what makes life interesting, but if my views and beliefs are at complete conflict with those of a friend, and things they share are challenging to my moral compass, then unfriending is a necessary step for me. I feel it’s more authentic to step away, physically and virtually.
I have also unfriended people because I care deeply for them. This might sound incongruous at first, and it’s not necessary that I go into graphic detail, but I’ll give you the gist of it. On several occasions, friends I care about have been in relationships with people who had been cheating, and continued to cheat on them, and/or behaving in ways that I felt were disrespectful to the women they were and how I felt they deserved to treated.
It was just way too painful for me to stand by and watch what was happening, while knowing the truth. I felt it was out of integrity, and integrity is right up there for me in terms of what I value. Of course it’s none of my business when it comes down right down to it, but I’m a fiercely loving and loyal friend and it hurts me deeply to see friends suffering. I also find it hard to keep my mouth shut if I see injustice occurring and part of my protective nature is to speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves. Best for all concerned that I don’t see what is going on. I actually unfriended one person the day she got married, I simply could not be complicit to what was happening to her, so I quietly unfriended and walked away. I was grateful that her wedding was in a time and place where it simply wasn’t an option for me to attend, so I never had to have the awkward conversation about me going or not. Oh how I wished things were different for her and for me, and I really miss her, but ultimately it was her choice to make with her life, and I truly hope the person she chose to marry changes, but I highly doubt it, and I suspect I’ll never know.
My friends are like family to me and I place great value on all of my friendships. I love hard and fierce and I’m open, authentic and genuine to those who love me back. There is never any doubt about my feelings when you’re my friend.
My husband and I have a saying in our house that sums up our marriage pretty well and I like to apply it to all of my relationships. No bullshit – only love. Works for me!