There is a way of being for some, if not many, to become professional saviors/victims. I don’t know that this is what happened with your friend, but those who need their “ain’t life awful” validated will sign up with anyone who will toss back a glass and agree with them. While empathy an compassion are wonderful things, so is the courage to call someone on their need to be right about being a perpetual victim. I did this with a woman who took up most of our time together complaining, and when I did my best to point out that this was her choice she went postal on me. I was exhausted by her complaining, and I don’t miss her at all. She didn’t want life to improve. I did, and by ending the friendship it did indeed improve. It’s a sad thing to say about anyone but when someone becomes toxic, then for our own survival and thrival, it’s best to let that company go.
This begs an interesting question, doesn’t it? Who then are our true friends? For my part, and that’s all I can speak to, they are those good few who call me on my pettiness, don’t tolerate a pity party (they know me better) and who aren’t the slightest bit fearful of letting me have my own bullshit back in my face full blast. I adore them for it. For they know and trust that their truth is more valuable to me than to be mollified, and they also know that that kind of honesty is deeply rewarded with love and trust. These are the people who lift me up, and I plan to do the same for them.
We all have our “asshole moments” which can at times stretch a bit too far. At that point those who love us best hold up a mirror and point out that we are showing up as assholes, not that we ARE assholes, but right at this moment, ahem…..
I count myself fortunate that I have male pals and gal pals who are fearless friends. Fearless enough to ask my best of me, and not tolerate me at my worst, but kind enough to recognize that I have asshole days and moments like we all do. That permission to be human and flawed is part of our friendship. The regular invitation to rise above those moments is what makes them the best of friends.