A post about a person questioning a friendship after a friend didn’t attend their birthday party has gone viral on Mumsnet, the U.K.-based online forum.
In a post shared on Mumsnet’s Am I Being Unreasonable (AIBU) subforum, user Plantmum2047 said their friend of 10 years was invited to the user’s 30th birthday party with three months’ notice.
According to the user, two days prior to the birthday bash, the friend said “she feels ill and can’t come.” On the morning of the party, she allegedly said “she feels better but timings are too tight” for her to attend the event due to it being a 3.5 hour-drive away.
“She then goes abroad (long haul, far away destination) three days later. Did she just not want to come?…would you say something? I feel a bit hurt,” the original poster said, “because she was too ill to travel 3.5 hours but well enough to travel 14 hours.”
Research has shown that intimacy and satisfaction levels of friendships in adulthood can be traced back to childhood.
A September 2020 study in the peer-reviewed journal Child Development, which looked at “the developmental roots of adult friendship intimacy and satisfaction” and “the early interplay between sociomoral sensitivity in friendship, insecurity in peer contexts, and peer rejection,” found that “sociomoral sensitivity in friendship protects adolescents from peer rejection and is reciprocally associated with insecurity.”
The study said: “Childhood and adolescent sociomoral sensitivity antecede early adult friendship intimacy, which, in turn, antecedes friendship satisfaction in mid-adulthood.”
Is the Friend Being Too Sensitive?
The sensitivity and hurt feelings expressed by the user in the latest Mumsnet post is something we tend to see play out “when we have a crush on someone,” life coach and author Marni Goldman told Newsweek. “However, it’s very pertainable with friendships as well.”
The life coach said while there is no right or wrong when it comes to feeling hurt in this situation, “what is wrong is putting a condition on a friend. If she’s close enough to be invited to your birthday, you should be close enough to believe her. Otherwise, why are you friends?”
Goldman advised the user can tell her friend how disappointed she was to not have her at the party. However, “by asking her to tell the truth, you’re not only putting her on the defensive, you’re calling her a liar indirectly. I’ve learned in life, we don’t owe people explanations. If they understand, great. If they don’t, that’s on them,” she said.
Is This a Sign of Another Issue in the Friendship?
“There must’ve been prior lies possibly being told in the past, which would explain the doubt towards her),” Goldman noted, adding “if there’s no trust in any relationship, friendship or marriage, there is nothing.”
The life coach said “the paranoia” expressed by the original poster “comes from low self-esteem and wanting to feel loved and validated.”
The author explained: “It’s human nature, nobody wants to feel rejected. Unfortunately, the red flags were there, and in this friendship, she saw ‘pink’ and overlooked the obvious signs.”
Learn How to Self-Love
Goldman said the original poster needs to “learn self-love,” noting it seems the user would “rather have ‘friends,’ not friendships” and that is the “ego and insecurity talking.”
The author said the poster needs to understand that “you should have zero expectations from people.”
She added: “If you don’t expect it, you can never be disappointed. There is a saying, ‘in life, if you’ve made one true friend, you are beyond blessed.’ Learning the difference between acquaintances and friends will save you a lot of heartache in the future.”
Feeling Better Three Days Later ‘Sounds Plausible’
Several users on Mumsnet were more understanding of the friend than the original poster.
Plumbear2 said: “Three days later she probably felt much better. Why should she miss her trip abroad as well as your birthday?”
Unexpecteddrivinginstructor pointed out that “she went on holiday [vacation] five days after first feeling ill and three days after she started to feel better? That sounds plausible to me…”
Nordix noted: “I don’t really get it? It sounds reasonable to me. She was too ill to do a long drive up North (didn’t wake up and get sorted on time as she was ill). Three days later she goes on holiday. Did you expect her to cancel her holiday?”
AbreathofFrenchair said: “She gave you a reason. You don’t have to like it or believe it and you are free to unfriend her. Would you have preferred her to have missed the holiday too?”
Newsweek was not able to verify the details of this case.
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