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My friend won't speak to me

Selina wrote:

I've been in a very negative work environment for some time (more than two years). Some days I cope better than other days. The other day after a difficult day, I met a friend after work. When she asked me how I was, I unexpectedly broke into tears. I was very upset and talked about what a frustrating situation I was in - that no matter what I did, it didn't seem anything made it better.

My friend didn't seem to get what I was talking about and after about five minutes got up and said, "I can't deal with this right now, I'm going for a walk." She said she would come back before the program we were going to was due to start, but she didn't. She did go to the program (as I did, but I didn't seek her out).

Two days later, I sent her an e-mail message apologizing for being so upset and for possibly saying anything that might have offended her. She replied by email that I hadn't said anything that offended her, but that she thought that I might (though she wouldn't have thought that I meant it). She also wrote that she could see that I had been in a lot of pain. She didn't explain why she left (e.g., perhaps she had had a difficult day that day herself) or reflect any impression that she was other than totally confident that she did the right thing by walking away from me when I was so upset.

I don't feel good about "losing it" and realize it's hard to be around persons who are upset. But I am confounded about how she would leave me in a distressed state with no second guessing (or seemingly concern about how that would affect me).

This is someone I've been friends with for many years and considered a very good friend. What I was upset about was my job and it didn't have anything personally to do with her at all. I sent her another e-mail a couple days ago asking if she would please explain why she left, but she has not replied.

Dear Selina

Me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me

That's what it sounds like from where I'm standing.

I suspect your friend has simply had enough of someone who can say "perhaps she had had a difficult day that day herself" and then "I sent her another e-mail a couple days ago asking if she would please explain why she left".

If friendship does not work both ways, then it does not exist. From what you've said, you are just unloading and using her, you really have little interest outside yourself. Making a scene in public was probably the final straw.

She cannot help you. And I don't think she was being unfair, or you would have suggested that. She is simply protecting herself, is my guess.

Has it occurred to you that your attitude may be part of your problem?

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