You don’t have to like everyone who likes you
There’s a girl who I originally tried to befriend, but the more we hung out the more I realized I didn’t want to be friends with her. I slowly stopped talking to her and repeatedly turned her down when she wanted to hang out. I found that when I hung out with this person I just didn’t want to be there, I would act fake. I was putting too much energy into trying to look like I was having fun when I just didn’t enjoy being around this person. The reason I stayed friends with this person so long was because I was flattered that they kept asking me to hang out and I really wanted to like this person, but the connection just wasn’t there.
I recently got too anxious to go out shopping by myself and sent a message in a group chat asking if anyone wanted to go last minute with me. This girl (who I am slowly unfriending) responded and joined me.
After the outing, the girl started messaging me again to hang out and I kept declining. I felt bad. I felt like I had somehow led this girl on and that I was going to hurt her feelings for declining all of her offers. I spoke to my therapist about this and what she said surprised me. She said that it was okay. She told me that if this girl was hurt it was her business and not mine.
What? Her business and not mine? I was at first taken aback. Then as I thought about it, I realized that she was right. I wasn’t doing anything mean, I was just simply distancing myself from this person. I didn’t need to make the other person feel better and I should not feel so guilty for turning down her offers to hang out. Friendships end and that’s okay. It seems obvious to me now, but I was so concerned about the other persons feelings when in this case, it really wasn’t my business.
Have you ever felt like you were prioritizing other’s feelings above your own? How did you navigate this? Have you ever experienced a friendship naturally run its course? If so, how did you process it?