Friday, November 29, 2013

When Your Best Friend Is Also A Bad Friend

Dear Tazi:

Every year my best friend and I make plans to get together over the holidays, and every year she breaks those plans because of some last minute event or emergency that she "just couldn't turn down". Last year her mother-in-law had a stroke and was in the hospital, so I can understand having to break our plans to go see a local production of A Christmas Carol, but the year before she broke our plans because she hadn't slept well the night before and just wasn't up to going out for "a night on the town". That year our plan was dinner and drinks at a local hot-spot!

"Felicia" and I rarely get together because of her busy schedule - she is on the local school board, she owns her own boutique, she has a husband who travels for work and has to be home with the kids; meanwhile my schedule involves commitments of my own. However, I always make time to get together, especially around the holidays - and it seems like I am always on the losing end of the bargain when she cancels. Felicia is very good about keeping appointments during the rest of the year, but around the holidays I always come last and I am starting to wonder if maybe I should stop making such an effort to make Felicia a priority when I am not one to her. We have been friends since childhood, so I don't want things to change...and I think maybe that is my problem.

Best Buds, But...

Dear Best Buds, But...

The last line of your letter says it all - you have been friends with Felicia since childhood and do not want things to change. Has it occurred to you that maybe Felicia feels the same way, which is why she makes an effort to get together with you during this very busy, quite exhausting time of year?

Since you and Felicia have been friends forever, I am going to guess that you can talk to her candidly - so give it a try. Explain to Felicia that you understand that things happen and that sometimes she needs to cancel on you, but that you feel an overwhelming sense of loss when she does - like the two of you are drifting apart and that you are losing something very special. I am sure that Felicia will understand.

Good friendships are made to withstand the hard times, and good friends can go months or even years without seeing each other without losing the connection that makes a good friend such a good friend. I suggest that in order to maintain your friendship with Felicia that you focus less on making plans during the holidays and more on making plans during a less hectic time of year. Everyone likes to see each other over the winter holidays, so I suggest that you try make tentative plans as opposed to firm plans - an early dinner or even a weekend lunch as opposed to non-refundable tickets to a show. Keep things light and you will find your stress levels lifting - and Felicia's as well. When friendship becomes a burden, it can be easier to just cancel plans than to force oneself to follow through.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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