Saturday, June 21, 2008

Have you been here? I have.

How to Divorce Your Friends

“Laughter is not a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is the best ending for one.”—Oscar Wilde

A friendship can be compared to a marriage in that it involves trust, understanding, communication and similar goals and interests between the participants. Two people willingly commit to being dependable and supportive, having fun, and genuinely having the other’s best interest at heart. What do you do when that initial friendship “spark” is gone or when one party betrays the other? Read on.

Friendship Fling
Shorter-term friendship “flings” are better left forgotten. Just walk away and forget they even existed. Examples of such flings are the interesting professor who takes your streetcar (and now obsesses about your whereabouts) or the sweet intoxicated girl who held the stall door shut for you at your local watering hole (and wants to know if she can “crash at your place”). These flings require emotional annulments. Erase them from your memory. Stop calling, take an earlier streetcar, or slowly distance yourself.

Long-Term Friendship
Some friendships are longer-term and have more history than others—perhaps a childhood friend, or a school chum with whom you’ve remained close. These long-term friendships have a lot invested in them. You must take careful consideration as to whether it is worth salvaging. Are you both willing to compromise on an issue? Can a broken trust be mended? If the breach has deemed your friendship unfixable, it is likely that your friend feels the same way. Exercise some maturity and suggest that the situation at hand has gotten you both so stressed that it would be best if you spent some time apart from one another in order to save your friendship. This trial separation will let you know if the friendship was meant to be. (I highly recommend this tactic. Time really does tell and you may be surprised when it does.)

Who Gets What?
Division of property can be an uncomfortable conversation with a soon-to-be-former friend. Many neighbours have good intentions when jointly purchasing a lawnmower or snow blower, but how do you divide such an indivisible object? Joint custody is not an option. The only solutions are to buy out the other friend or sell the object and split the difference. Check out and click on "How Ebay Works" for more information, or place an ad in your local Pennysaver or on the gym bulletin board.

Sharing the Details
Explaining the end of a friendship to other friends does not have to be the mountain you perceive it will. When people ask you, “How is Candace?” you simply reply, “We haven’t spoken in a while.” Soon enough people will stop asking. Prefer a more direct approach? State that you two had a falling out or that you drifted apart, but try to remain composed. If it was a serious friendship betrayal your close friends will have already heard the details and wouldn’t be asking. Drudging up past differences is not healthy (and bad Karma). You have moved on, remember? (I certainly have and am amazed at all the wonderful people who have come my way since. Sometimes you have to let go to get something new.)

Written By:Tracey Lord

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