An Uncomplicated Life Blog: When Your Friend Isn't Whom You Thought She Was

Thursday, June 29, 2017

When Your Friend Isn't Whom You Thought She Was

If you've had a friendship go sour unexpectedly, this post is for you.

Friendships. They're some of the most important parts of our lives. Friends are there for you when you're down, they're there to consult with when you need someone to listen to you or give you advice, and they're right beside you to celebrate your successes when times are good. Or, at least, they should be. But sometimes, for whatever reason, friendships just don't work out. The friend you thought you had turned out to not be the woman (or man) you thought they were. Maybe you have a falling out or maybe she just falls off the face of the planet and never calls or texts you back. Maybe she doesn't show up for a planned hang out. Whatever the case, this post is all about when your friend isn't whom you thought she was.

Friendships don't always work out. Here's what to do about it!

My first experience with this was in high school. I was friendly, outgoing, had my own car and in my junior year, basically had my own house as my mom started to date her now husband and was constantly at his place, which was clear on the other side of town. Suddenly, I had people calling me to hang out all. the. time. Don't have any plans on a Friday night? Hey, let's go over to Paige's house! It was a blast. Until my mom found out, made me move an hour away from my high school, and sold the house. I commuted that hour to school every day for my senior year, but it was amazing how it was like I had fallen off a cliff to people. Oh, Paige no longer has a place for us all to hang? Meh. See I thought they were my friends, and some truly were, but most were just using me for a parent-free place to hang out, and when that went away, they went to leech off the next person who could offer them something.

As an adult, things got a little deeper. It isn't just about superficial friends who want a place to sneak alcohol or make out with their boyfriend. It's personal. 

One of the most shocking soured friendships I've had was an older work colleague of mine. I looked at her as a mentor. I first met her when I was an intern at my first job out of college. We took to each other right away! We'd grab coffee and talk about life and work and education. She wrote me an amazing letter of recommendation to get into grad school. She was the reason I got a promotion just 7 months after being hired full time. We stayed in touch casually even when I moved to the east coast, and then grabbed happy hours after I moved back to Minneapolis for a different job. When I moved to Texas for my fiance's job, things got weird. 

I remember there must have been a big storm that hit Minneapolis, and everyone took to Facebook to complain about it. It made me notice, people in Minnesota complain a lot. About a lot of things. I mentioned this realization on my personal Facebook account, and of course was met with equal amounts of people being amused and defensive. My mentor friend of close to 10 years took it to the next level. She wrote me a message of how entitled I was, and only cared about material things, and was basically a huge jerk. I had no idea where this came from! I was shocked. I was hurt. I thought we would be friends for life. Instead, I got a nasty message on Facebook and was defriended. I still haven't talked to this woman since. I still have no idea what that outburst was about. I now know it was more reflective of her, though. It wasn't about me. Outbursts like that are always about the person making them, not about you or even your friendship.

One of the most surprising times a friend wasn't whom I thought she was involved one of my first few friends made through blogging. We'd text each other regularly, bounce blogging ideas off each other, talk business opportunities, talk fashion and talk baby making. She was one of the first to know I was pregnant with Otto, and I sent her "baby dust" for over a year, as she and her husband were trying to get pregnant. 

We live half way across the country from each other, but there were two times we were in the same city - even at the same hotel - and never met up. Not because I didn't want to. Because she'd flake out. The first time was happenstance. I had accompanied my husband on a work trip and she was on her bachelorette. It just so happened that both were happening at the same hotel. Every time I texted her to meet up, she'd go radio silent. I wasn't that hurt over that first time. Heck, she was on her bachelorette and I had my own agenda with my husband and some of his colleague's wives. It didn't happen and I got over it immediately.

The second time, however, was absurd. A group of bloggers decided to all get together in her hometown. Another blogger and myself had to secure childcare, which meant our husbands had to take PTO in order for us to get some time away! Flights were bought. Pitches were made to local brands to get things for free. Plans were made. And yet again, she went totally radio silent. But not just when we were in town. Well before that. She stopped commenting on all our blogs and stopped engaging with us on Instagram. It was almost as soon as we had a group plan, she wasn't interested in us anymore.

One of the other bloggers called her out. Privately, in a group DM we had on Instagram. She basically said hey, if you're not interested in hanging out with us, that's fine, but please leave the group. We all flew to your city to hang out with you, and you stood us up. It was at that point that she went through and blocked this whole blogger group from all of her social media accounts. She and I were personal friends on Facebook, and she blocked me too. I get that some people aren't good at confrontation. But it was a shock to find out (while I was on a flight home, no less!) that instead of replying back or giving a reason for going MIA on all of us, her knee jerk reaction was to just block us all. That's what hurt: I was probably the one she was closest to in the group, and she didn't even reach out to me. She just outright blocked me. Turns out, she wasn't at all whom I thought she was.

Friends are going to come and go, and people are going to disappoint you in life. Sometimes you'll be able to let them go without any hurt feelings on your end. But sometimes, it's really going to sting that a friend you thought you knew well and cared for just wasn't the person you thought. The surprise will come out of left field and slap you in the face. My best advice is to let it. Be shocked. Let it sting. Then learn from it, and move on. It doesn't mean that ALL people aren't trustworthy and it doesn't mean that you won't make new friends. It just means that one friend wasn't whom you thought she was.


  1. It totally sucks when this happens. It's happened to me a time or two also and it's always hard, it never gets easier.
    I still can't believe what happened on the trip. Kind of blows my mind.
    Glad we're friends! It's a special kind of friendship when someone you met on the internet will take off over an hour and a half just to hug you at your mom's funeral. Love you friend. FOREVER.

  2. I had a falling out with a friend recently, and it took me by surprise. All over a miscommunication of plans. It is sad because it is so hard to make friends when you are an adult.

  3. Ewww that is terrible. I'm very picky when it comes to letting people into my life. Especially in the blogging world because I'm afraid of situations like this. I'm sorry this happened to you.

  4. I had some falling outs with friends who were like my sisters growing up; even after all these years, it still can sting a bit, but ultimately I'm happy to have moved on. There's two sides to every story so I often wonder what their story is.

  5. This post is definitely for me..I can relate it

  6. Happened to me with my college roommate. One day she just stopped talking to me right after we graduated. I still to this day have no idea why.
    And really, if you don't want to get together with someone, just say so. We're all adults.

  7. Something similar happened with a blogger friend a few months back with a group of us and we just ended things with her when we all for fed up of her selfish, one-sided ways. And I tell you, it feels amazing since cutting ties with that toxic shit.

  8. There's always a season with people and while they may fit at one point it's ok that they leave your life later on. Sometimes it just doesn't work anymore. They're definitely tough experiences.

    (also sorry I don't know how to say this without sounding like a douchebag, but it should be "who" instead of "whom" - sorry!! :) )

  9. I have been on both sides of this coin. Something made me just say to one of my life long friends I have had enough! I love her and miss her every day, but I just couldn't clean up her messes anymore. I needed her to be there for me during a very scary surgery and she flaked! It really made me appreciate my immediate family so much more! Some things just aren't clear and may never be, but I remember a saying I once read-- No one leaves that was supposed to stay.
    Thank you for all of the insight and these comments. Was feeling sad today and needed to know that this is just a foggy picture-nothing black and white about why it happens!

  10. Sounds like the blogger person wasn't who she said she was. In other words "tall and thin' was really 'short and chubby'. She had an online persona only.

    I digress, tho...I 'broke up' with my high school friend shortly after HS. She turned into a party girl with seedy people. We went to a party once and somehow a rumor got out that I was fooling around with a married man at the party. I've never done such a thing, nor would I ever entertain such a thing. When I asked her how in the world that rumor started, and after all--she was there and knew that wasn't true. She responded coldly, "I don't know if it was or not". That was the end of our friendship right there. In hindsight, she was never my friend. Her parents liked me because I was a good girl and kept her inline. I liked her parents because they liked me. She could go out because her parents knew I wasn't foolish or would drink and drive. Better to learn these things while young. Oh boy, did I!!!!