I am sure that I am not the only one having have lost a couple of friends within a short period of time. On the other hand, I even hear it so much that I think that it is inevitable and bound to happen at some point in life. As for me, change was the turning point that eventually led to a farewell to my long known friends. Only.. change was just a tip of the iceberg – a mere trigger. Change only helped us to open our eyes and reveal our deep insecurities. Let just face it, our ego is bigger than our humility. It is a daily challenge we encounter and most of the time, ego wins and dress us up as their puppet and we voluntarily play along in their manipulative play. When we decide to let our ego responds to change, we tend to do the following; we project, we blame, we look away and disappear.
We do anything to avoid looking inwards.
To avoid confronting ourselves why we don’t like the change(s) that is happening in the relationship. We project and hold a mirror in front of them, then blame them to what happened with the broken reflection. We raise our voice and shove our questions in their faces and force them to give us the answers we want to hear. We disguise our ego by giving the impression that we want to talk it out, but we all know the only thing we want is to win the damn conversation/discussion. When that doesn’t happen, we snap;
“You should put yourself in my shoes.”
A classic sentence that kickoffs the guilt tripping game. In one way or another, we all have participated in this game before – whether in the role of the suspect or the accused one.
Which brings me to another game that involves mostly disappearing. When we disappear on our friend(s), it’s because change makes us uncomfortable to dig up our insecurities and expose us in the light. We rather ghost out on someone than to face the obstacles heads-on that comes with it.
Why do we play such dirty games to the people we claim to care about?
My two cents? Because if we don’t, the only thing left to do is to look at ourselves and coming to the realization that we don’t really like what we are seeing. It’s hard to come to that conclusion and even more challenging to accept it. It’s even more soul-crushing to realize that you might be partially responsible for the change(s) that occurred in the friendship. Owning up to it means to let go of your ego and to admit that you are part of the reason why this friendship risks of expiring soon.
Like a dirty little secret, your ego will whisper in your ear;
‘’You have failed this friendship. You have failed. Guess what? You are a total loser.’’
And just like that, we give the torch back to our alter ego and abandon ourselves in the shadow.
A place where we don’t allow ourselves to work out on the issues that might save the friendship. It’s a dark place to be where our desire to work it out get overshadowed by the bright light of winning.
Like a tiny devil on your shoulders, your ego will whisper in your ear;
‘’Are you rather be a winner or a loser?’’
And just like that, when we are about to take a step back and willing to go through the steps to make it work –we changed our minds on the very last minute.
We begin to overstep, aggressively pulling down boundaries and destroy the last drop of empathy without second thoughts and leave the ruins behind while making sure, loud and clear, that we have won this battle.
We tell our defeated friend, ‘’This was all your fault.’’
Then, we tell ourselves, ‘’I am the winner, I am a winner.’’
Let your ego play the lead and everything after that will for sure goes downhill.
Which brings us to the closing of the game. There are a couple of possibilities of endings, like above as an example. In that case, congratulations, you have just successfully destroyed a friendship. On the other side of this spectrum, you might feel inferior towards your friend after have talked about it. Now you feel like you have lost but especially that everything has been your fault. In a way, sure you have lost by thinking that everything has been your fault but nonetheless, you care enough to speak about it.
An alternative ending is where all parties involved leave their ego where it belongs (a.k.a the trash) and put the setbacks on the table to talk about it and succeed in doing so without feeling inferior or superior towards your friend. Win-win right?
Don’t let your ego destroy your relationships.