About friendships - and keeping them

It was the best of times, now it is the worst of times.
They were the best of friends; now it is the worst kind of pain. We all have felt that sharp knife that twists and turns our stomach into knots. The hurt will not go away - it is the pain of losing a friend.
While you may feel like this awful ache is overpowering you now, you have the power to find a cure!
This past year, I almost lost some of my best friends. I did not lose track of them, rather they just wandered out of my life.
I gave them rides everywhere, I went to their sports events and stayed close with their families, but most importantly, I was always there for them when they needed me.
I loved feeling as if I was a part of their lives. They knew that they could always count on me. However, while I knew I was a big part of their life, they did not attempt to be a big part of mine.
They never asked me how my day was, called me just to talk, or acted interested in what I had to say. They were hardly even grateful for anything I did for them. I started realizing this more and more, and, lo and behold, it started bothering me more and more.
So finally I snapped. When I told them I was a little upset, they retreated, too afraid of a confrontation. They did not think they had done anything wrong. They did not do anything at all - to show me they cared or to try to make things right.
I spent weeks waiting to see if they would call and try to make things right again. I am not going to call them first, I thought to myself. I was determined to make them realize that they are the ones who should be sorry.
Of course, they never did call and all the while, I felt terrible - terrible that I had no idea what was going on in their life, terrible that I was not there for them.
Finally, I realized they never asked me to do anything for them; I did it because I wanted to be a good friend. Just because they were not there for me, did not mean I could not be there for them.
It was stupid to let our friendships go down the drain because I was waiting for them to own up to mistakes they did not even know they had made.
I put my previous disappointments aside, faced the situation, and called them for the first time in a month. I apologized for not being there for them and for not doing anything to fix our feud sooner. I asked them if I could come by to catch up.
Once we talked, it was almost as if we were picking up right where we left off.
I now know that just because someone is not the best friend to me, does not mean I cannot be a great friend to them. You cannot fight fire with fire.
No matter what a friend does to hurt me I always abide by three rules:
1. Don’t give them anything bad to say about you. Be nice, kind, and considerate. You have done everything you can and it is up to them to do the rest.
2. Always make the effort to resolve things. I extend myself one more time to see if they take the bait. If they do, I make sure that I do not come off as accusatory. I make it seem like I have something to be sorry for too. Maybe then, they can see things from my perspective.
3. If they do not want to be friends with you anymore, then pick up and move on because a friend like you deserves the best!

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