Q & A: How to React to Neglect
Hi, I have a friend in New York. Lately, I feel like she’s treating me as an option and like I’m not a priority of hers. I still love her as a friend and she’s still special to me even though we are thousands of miles apart. We’ve been speaking however she still seems distant. Sometimes I think I should ignore her so that she can appreciate me more, but that’s not me; that’s not how I treat a friend. I really need some advice here.
As you probably already know, all relationships have their high points and low points. That includes romantic relationships, friendships and relatives. So know that this struggle is universal and it’s going to be okay. I can see that you are grieving the loss of this friend who had once validated you more than she seems to be doing now.
My first piece of advice for you in a situation like this is to forgive your friend, whether she has been neglectful or not. Usually when someone becomes neglectful, they are dealing with their own struggle and the neglect is not intentional, nor does it have anything to do with you. In other words, they are not thinking to neglect you, but neglecting you because they are suffering. They are struggling within themselves and not thinking about you. So forgive her first because most likely, she meant no harm. Forgive her also because you may not realize it, but you may have also done something similar to someone else in your life, which makes you neither above your friend nor below your friend. You are still equal human beings, guilty of the same things. So forgive her if you also like to be forgiven. Often times when we are hurt by someone, our ego gets the best of us and tells us we are better than whoever wronged us because we are not the one who has done the wrong, but in fact, we usually are guilty of the same thing without remembering or realizing it, or are guilty of something else. Try not judge others because they sin differently than you. You will feel truly liberated from the suffering once you are able to forgive.
You must also accept the situation for what it is and what has happened. Like the Beatles song says: “There will be an answer. Let it be.” These quotes on acceptance are also very comforting: “Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.” (Tyler Perry) “Whatever happened to you couldn’t have missed you, and whatever missed you couldn’t have happened to you.” (The Prophet Muhammad)
My second piece of advice is to become aware of your emotions. Allow yourself to feel the loss of what you feel your friendship once was. Don’t try to numb it or avoid feeling it because it will bottle up and show up negatively in your behaviors. You have to feel it in order to release it.
This situation is mainly bothering you due to two natural emotions: fear and doubt. You fear the loss of this friendship. You fear that your friend no longer cares for you. You doubt that your friendship will last. So you are worried and hurt because you reacting to this fear and doubt. Recognize these emotions and replace them with love and trust. Love your friend unconditionally and trust that your friendship will be strong again. Trust that God will create a way to bring you both back together. But remember, God only makes a way when your faith is unwavering. Also, when your focus becomes thoughts and emotions of love and trust, you are putting yourself on a positive energy frequency and drawing great circumstances into your life.
My third piece of advice is to never tie your happiness and well-being to another person. We can never control other people or their actions, but we can control our thoughts, emotions and how we react to others. Focus on all the great things in your life that you still have to be grateful for and enjoy your life whether your friend is able to be a part of it or not. If your friend cannot seem to fit you into her life, you must allow her to do that. Give her the space she seems to need. If you feel an inner resistance to this drifting apart, the drifting apart will continue. So you have to allow it to be, and accept the relationship for what it is now in order for it to get better. Don’t inwardly resist or fear that reality. If you think she might be struggling in some way with something, offer her your comfort, but do not force her to give you her attention. Simply be kind and available.
Lastly, this all may simply be a fear of yours and nothing else. Perhaps your friend appreciates you very much, but is actually unavailable at the time being. Try not to assume the worst, and instead assume the best about her. Think well of your friend, even though you feel neglected. Focus on what you loved about her. Always focus on the best parts of a person, and not what they are doing wrong. The more you focus on the great things about them, the more you will see of that.
I pray that this was a comfort to you ;)