A Year ago this month, I spent 5 days in the behavioral health unit of a local hospital. I have been thinking a lot lately of the progress I have made in the past year. One thing that I wanted to work on was some of my relationships with others. I had a friend who I had/have a stormy relationship with and I wanted to change how I interact with her. I saw a therapist right after I was released from the hospital last year who told me to “bury” the friendship. he gave me a rock to represent the relationship with this person and he wanted me to bury it and have a funeral to signify the death and ending of the friendship.
I did do this but I didn’t bury the relationship in real life. I kept coming back to this person as if she could fill needs in my life that weren’t being filled in other ways. So I decided that I would actually end the friendship. I set a goal that I would start on September 1 and totally shut out the friendship. I did fine with this until this person texted me telling me about things that were happening in her life and asking me about mine. I didn’t want to be rude so I answered her text. I decided that I need to set specific ground rules for my goal and redefine it a little.
I decided that Instead of “Killing off” the relationship altogether I would change it. I don’t have to be friends with her just acquaintances. Here are the ground rules I set for this particular person:
1- I won’t text, call or face book her but if she contacts me I will be polite and respond to her. I will keep all my responses to her calls, texts or face book messages positive and brief.
4- If I see her; I will be friendly, positive and polite but not talk much about anything personal.
5- I will not go out to lunch or any other activity with her and will not sit by her at church or other gatherings that I may occasionally see her at. (Still I will be friendly and positive with her)
6- I will not go out of my way to get into deep conversations. I won’t confide in her with my personal problems or desires anymore, I will keep my conversations with her safe and shallow