Dear Wendy: “My BFF Dumped Me Over Facebook”

My best friend of three years recently sent me a Facebook message out of the blue telling me that she no longer wishes to be friends, or in contact, with me. Her reasoning was that being friends with me causes her “too much stress” and she has been thinking about it “for the last two months.” The two examples she gave of me causing her stress were when I got annoyed at her at a party (when she was being rude to the host) and when I got angry at her for, at the last second, choosing to go to a job over helping me move (she told me that if I wanted her help, I would have to pay her $200!). These were two small fights that we had already discussed and (I thought) had resolved. But she told me that I should no longer contact her, and even dis-invited me to a party she’s throwing. We had plans to travel abroad over winter vacation, and she was going to come to my family’s Thanksgiving this year (for the third year in a row). Why continue making plans with me if you’re thinking of dropping me as a friend? Some of our mutual friends have hypothesized that because she and her first serious boyfriend are still in the “honeymoon period” where everything is all roses and sugar, maybe she’s rejecting any relationship that isn’t “perfect” in her mind. I had a lot of problems with depression, anxiety, and suicidal tendencies when I was younger, and basically had no real friendships until around the time I met her, and her behavior is triggering some of those old feelings. I have no idea how to handle this if she refuses to even speak to me. — Confused, Hurt, and Betrayed

If your friend actually had the audacity to “dump” you over Facebook of all things, she either wasn’t ever a good friend to begin with, there’s more to the story than you’re sharing here, or her head’s so far up her ass she can’t think straight. Unless you’re leaving out important details, your friend sounds like a real piece of work. She was seriously going to charge you for helping you move? Maybe she thinks that now that she’s so in love she doesn’t need friends, but if she keeps treating people the way she’s treated you, there won’t be anyone who has her back when he relationship combusts — and let’s face it, odds are it probably will at some point.

But this isn’t really about your friend; this is about you and what you need to do to process what seems to be the end of your friendship (at least for now). If you haven’t already, do try to call her or send her an email requesting a phone or coffee date so you can talk about things. If she refuses even that minimal contact, write a letter to her (hand-write it, versus email it so she can’t copy and paste or forward it around). Tell her how she’s hurt you and how confused you are about what’s happened. Be careful about saying anything nasty or burning bridges with her. If you want to leave the door open for reconciliation, let her know how much you care about her and will always be open to hearing from her. Remind yourself that she wasn’t your only friend … and she certainly wasn’t your last friend. You have the ability to make connections with other people, so use that ability. Find people in your life who value friendship and loyalty as much as you do.

Finally, if you’ve struggled with depression, anxiety and suicidal tendencies in the past and you think those issues have been triggered again by recent events, do not waste any time finding a counselor to talk to. As important as friendships are, your mental health is worth even more. Friends are going to come and go in your life. People are going to disappoint you, let you down and hurt you. But your mental health, man, you can’t screw around with that. A professional therapist can help you find the tools within yourself to deal with interpersonal conflict and feel better when things, like friends being stupid, are out of your control. I really can’t stress that enough and I hope you find the help you need.

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