I recently had a falling out with my bestie and I’m confused as to what I should do. She and I use to hang out every weekend. We used to call each other “Soul Sistahs” because of how strong our bond was and how close we felt with each other. But she is recently divorced and is now going out on the town more—mostly with her single friends. Nothing wrong with that. Even though she’s invited me out with them on numerous occasions, I still just feel left behind. When I told her how I felt she said I was being silly and nothing was different between us. I became upset and cried and she seemed un-phased, continued to say nothing was different between us, gave me a hug, and then left and told me she would call me later. It’s been a few days since we last spoke. I’m going to call her if I don’t hear from her—but, since we’re clearly not seeing eye-to-eye on this, do I pursue the friendship or let bygones be bygones?
Sullen Soul Sistah
Dear Sullen Soul Sistah,
Our heart goes out to you regarding your recent “falling out” with your friend. We can imagine how deeply it hurts to feel like you’ve lost a big part of your life. It sounds like you feel unheard and that your feelings of being “left behind” are unacknowledged. However, we also hear that, although your friend has invited you out with her, there may be a meaning that is being applied to the situation that, perhaps, isn’t there. Of course, we don’t know the whole story as we understand that it is extremely difficult to condense our life in a paragraph. But could it be possible that your feelings are being unacknowledged AND that this experience with your friend is tapping into loss of not only the form of your relationship with her but also another experience in your life where you felt “left behind” or un-included or unwanted? As the adage goes, “don’t put the cart before the horse.”
When you call (or when she calls), be open to the possibility of exploring a different form of relationship with your “Soul Sistah.” Ask her what her thoughts are regarding how the relationship has changed, if any, and share with her how you have felt using “I” statements—avoiding “because you did this.” Speak to her soul. Speak to yours. Also, give yourself some time before you speak to her. If you still feel emotionally charged right now, pause! Maybe waiting until you feel more neutral is a time you can visit this conversation. Text her or call and ask if you can schedule a time to speak with her via phone or face to face so that you both are ready and prepared to discuss. Wishing you all the best with your bestie!
I am responding to the letter from "Old Dog" in the May issue of Norcross News who felt she might be too old, at 44, to pursue a career as a counselor or helper of some sort. I entered Georgia State University at age 50 to get my master's degree in counseling. I found a lot of other gray haired students there. After graduating with a degree in counseling, I established a private practice and recently retired at 83! I encourage Old Dog to remember that it's never too late to give yourself a second chance.
Never Too Late
Dear Never Too Late,
Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement for Old Dog! We are always so pleased to hear from our fellow Sages within the community—the advice and support you lend to others from your own experience is invaluable and much appreciated! As counselors ourselves, we believe that the best way to help someone find their path is to assist them in their own process of self-discovery and self-realization. In the words of Lao Tzu, mystic philosopher of ancient China, and author of the Tao Te Ching, “At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”
Never Too Late, we thank you again for your generosity in sharing your path with us! And Old Dog, we would love to hear back from you one of these days to see where your process of self-discovery is taking you! We wish both of you clarity and peace along your journeys!
Pegge Riley, LPC and Angela Wacht, LPC are Counselors and Directors of Sage Center: Counseling, Consulting, and Creative Community Wellness. They are here to provide suggestions and guidance about everyday life. To submit a question or concern to Sage Advice go to www.SageCenterAtlanta.com and click on the Sage Advice tab. The advice in this column is general and is not intended as actual counseling for specific issues or concerns. If you need to address more specific issues requiring more intensive focus, please contact Sage Center at 404-419-6221 or visit our website at www.SageCenterAtlanta.com