Tossed to the Side for a Man
We understand. Sometimes, problems with romantic relationships, friendships, career or family life get you down. And we want to help. That’s why JET is working with therapist, Jinnie Cristerna, who will take your questions and offer some sage, sanity-restoring advice every Tuesday.
You can submit your own question via our contact form and don’t fret, we’ll keep your name and identity confidential. Now we have a question from a reader we will call “Disappointed and Angry.”
QUESTION: I take friendships seriously and treat my girlfriends as though they are my sisters. My long-time friend of 10 years and I were really close and did everything together. However, when she started dating a new guy, I was completely tossed to the side. She didn’t call and was always busy, but now that they have broken up, she is calling and trying to ‘get together.’ My question is: How do you reconnect with a friend who has tossed you to the side for her man? Is it even possible to reconnect? ~Signed, Don’t Act Funny with Me
Dear Disappointed and Angry,
You have raised a very popular question regarding behavior that some folks believe is outright wrong. In fact, some friendships are destroyed because of a new beau.
What you have experienced happens in every relationship to some degree. With that said, regardless if it happens to everyone, it still stings and can feel like betrayal.
Before you can begin to think about how to reconnect, it makes sense to answer your second question, first: Is it even possible to reconnect? The answer is, “yes”, it is always possible to reconnect. You may be wondering how come you should first think about WHY you should reconnect and the answer is simple: Once you figure out the ‘WHY,’ you can more easily and calmly figure out the ‘HOW.’
START WITH “WHY?”
Begin with asking yourself, “Why would I want to reconnect?” The key here is to be honest. For example:
– If you want to give her a piece of your mind, then own that.
– If you want her to feel badly or guilty about how she treated you, then own that, too.
– If you want to hear what she has to say or see if she feels bad about what she has done, then so be it.
– This list could go on, but you get the picture.
Once you are clear with the real reason you might want to reconnect with her, it is time to talk over the phone or in person. I discourage email unless that is the only means you both have or you feel you might need time to respond in a more thoughtful way.
Keep in mind, just because you reconnect with her doesn’t mean you become “besties” and things go back to the way they were; this is simply a starting point. After you both talk, each of you can decide that the relationship has either a) served its purpose and you both move on with your life or b) you can renegotiate the type of friendship you have moving forward or; c) you can pick up where you left off. It’s up to the both of you.
MOVE ON TO THE “HOW?”
How to reconnect with a friend who has tossed you to the side for her boyfriend is a loaded question. Here’s why: the heavy, negative emotions that are usually held in can cause people to explode when they finally confront the person who hurt them. However, since you have identified the real reason why you want to reconnect with them, actually reconnecting with them becomes easier. Here are three things you can do to make sure your meeting goes as smoothly as possible:
1) Know the purpose of the meeting and what you are looking to get out of it.
2) Be gracious, honest, and open-minded.
3) Listen to them – I mean REALLY listen to them. As they are talking, try to imagine what they might have been feeling and if you might have felt the same way, given a similar circumstance.
IN THE END
People make mistakes; you do, too. If it’s their first time and they are genuinely sorry, try forgiving them and let them know how you felt when they kicked you to the curb. Then talk about how you both can handle the new men who enter your lives in the future so the chances of this happening again decrease.
Listen, many friendships weather tough storms and come out of them even stronger. Besides, if you say she is your sister, it may be helpful to know that she will probably do or say something hurtful during the course of your relationship, as will you. The secret is to charge it to their minds and not their hearts.
I hope this was helpful. Pleasant journeys …
Do you have a question for Jinnie? Submit it to us via the contact us form. You can also learn more about our “Moment of Clarity” JET therapist via:
Her site at International High Achievers.
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You can also subscribe to her High Achievers email list here!