I feel a little disheartened but I think I should not let my emotions be overrun by someone who might be impulsive and insensitive.
I’ve been on Facebook for 6 years now - never been a die-hard fan – and all these years I’ve had friends come and go. They come (added) because either they or I have approved friend(s) request, and they go (removed) because either there’s been no contact with the friend or there’s been some exchange of words that hurt one of the two.
Last year, I sent a friend request to someone I’d known from before. Though we hadn’t been close friends then, we’d exchanged text messages and she’d also invited me to her wedding. I couldn’t attend her wedding and not because of that that we hadn’t been in touch thereafter for a decade – which was understood because we weren’t close friends – until I found her on Facebook. She approved my request, was very pleased to be in touch, and we were friends.
She liked my updates and commented on them, and I liked and commented on hers; she found my infant son to be super cute, and I found her 5-year-old son to be super loving – all this on Facebook while she was in India and I was in the US.
Then a time came when she sought my views about her probable move to the US with her son (she’s a naturalized American, I believe, and her son was born here, but she has also lived in India for several years). I was glad that she was asking my opinion (which showed our friendship was maturing!) and I advised her the way I should have.
My thoughts about how she and her son could live here included some pros and cons: a pro being, this is the best country to live in, and a con being, people might feel lonelier after sometime (my wife would agree). In responding to my thoughts, though she agreed and thanked me, she said she was an American citizen and that she knew some of those things already – to which I said I’d never doubted it, and that I was merely sharing my views since she’d asked them. She sensed that she was being rude, so she made an effort to be remarkably cool in her later messages, like wondering if my zodiac sign was a certain zodiac sign – and she even liked a couple of my updates.
Hoping that our friendship wasn’t as slippery yet as piled-up sleet would be after a Nor’easter, I asked her if she was on Whatsapp – and her response came after ten days in late Feb, which was unusual, because before that, each of her reply came within a day. Something was certainly amiss, and Facebook bought Whatsapp around the time.
Day before yesterday, when I was sifting through my friends list I noticed that she wasn’t my friend anymore, and my instinct uttered a doubt that she had removed me from her list. There was a jolt, so I put two and two together, making sense of whatever I had said that made her irate enough to remove me.
Was that the word ‘lonelier’ – which I hadn’t certainly used because she’s a single mother, but because in the US, you must entertain yourself without expecting others to do that for you – whereas In India, everyone’s interested in your life to the extent that they’d give you unsolicited advice after serving tea. Here, it’s you for you, and there it’s they for you (mostly) – and both can cause pain in the arse (going British, for a change).
I have always wished her well and tried to be as genuine as possible – considered her a good person and friend – and she wouldn’t deny that.
And it’s a fact that I also remove friends from my list but I select only those who haven’t been in touch at all – and if I had received even a single ‘like’ or ‘comment’ from a friend, I’d never delete that person. And I would definitely delete those who hurt me irreparably. Did I hurt her irreparably unintentionally?
So addressing my hurt caused by my sensitivity, I wrote a message to her on Facebook saying that I also look at my list once a while and remove the ones I’ve lost connect with it – that her removing me from her list must be due to a strong reason – but that, I would never have removed her from my list [remember she called my son super cute (she probably didn't mean that) and I called hers super loving (I meant that)]. In that message, I also wished her and son good luck, and gave her this blog’s address. She may or may not read what I’ve written here, but I wanted to get this off my chest. There has been no response to my message.
I have begun to understand that though we weren’t close friends, we haven’t been friends at all. And if I look at my friends list now, I may find a lot many who aren’t friends although they liked my pictures with tattoo.
I have also begun to understand that not only is unsolicited advice unnecessary but also solicited advice. And, one-must-entertain-oneself (and-advice-oneself) indeed makes sense – at least to me!