Dear Annie: I recently ended a long-term friendship. I feel it was the right choice to make, and I don't regret the decision. However, I would like your opinion on whether my handling of the situation was appropriate.
Here's some background on this now-defunct friendship: "Tammy" and I connected on social media about three years ago. She is a phenomenal professional vocalist; I am a concert pianist, so naturally, we have music in common. We had to maintain a long-distance friendship being that we live in separate parts of the country.
Over the past few years, we spoke daily. We spent weekends together, and I thought we would be friends for life.
Now, of course, no one is perfect, and I certainly have faults. But in the past six months or so, I realized I had been ignoring negative traits of Tammy's that festered to the point where I had to finally cut ties with her.
Egos tend to run high in the music industry, especially in classical music. But I am not one of those egos. I prefer to remain humble and focus on the happiness of my audience. Yet, Tammy has a HUGE diva complex. Her constant negative remarks about other vocalists not only grew tired really fast, but her superior perspective was a major turn-off to a lot of people, including myself.
As a best friend, I suggested she humble herself and speak positively of others in her line of work so as not to gain a poor reputation among her peers. But my concern for Tammy fell on deaf ears. She started to belittle me in every way possible, which truly hurt. I couldn't believe that my supposed "best friend" would treat me so badly.
Tammy is a very headstrong individual who had to fight for her professional career. That headstrong mentality does not transfer well into relationships. I could no longer tolerate her having to have the last word, never taking responsibility for herself or admitting when she is wrong. I feel horrible focusing on someone's negatives because Tammy can be a very caring, thoughtful person. I just felt that ever since she landed a very prestigious role, she hadn't been that caring person I knew from years past. It's like this beast had taken over.
I'm sure I've made mistakes throughout our friendship, but I really tried to treat Tammy as more of a sister than just a friend. I can tell you this much is true: I NEVER spoke a bad word about her. So imagine how hurt I felt when she unleashed several insults during our last phone call. I don't consider someone to be a best friend if they could think so negatively of me. I also found myself apologizing to her for keeping a personal situation private. She wouldn't respect my space and claimed I was a bad friend for not telling her everything that was going on in my life. But wouldn't a "best" friend understand when someone needs privacy?
I refused to allow her to make me feel inferior. After she refused to hear me out, I realized she had no interest in salvaging the friendship. I flat out told her that I no longer wished to remain friends, said goodbye, and that was it. It seems we both realized we were not good company for each other after all and hadn't been for some time. It's been a few months now since we last spoke, and it's quite clear we were both satisfied with dissolving the friendship.
I would love to hear your thoughts. -- Not Friends Forever
Dear Not Friends Forever: Not all friendships are destined to last for life. The one relationship that does is the one you have with yourself. You chose to honor your integrity and character after outgrowing a dynamic that no longer served you. Sounds like a choice well made.
"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com.