Okay, so first off, way to be depressing, writing101. Write about a loss, they say. In what universe does loss connotate with something positive, ever? So what have I lost beside my sanity?
Well, I’m really good at losing friends.
All the high school and college kids out there, enjoy the long nights drinking, the endless phone calls and/or text sessions, the soul bearing, the pyjama parties and the general feeling of support as long as it lasts because allll of this might change in the course of a year and you won’t even know it until it’s too late.
It’s so easy when you’re just a small kid. You like this game? Cool, I like it too, let’s be friends. You don’t like this other game? Okay, you’re not my friend anymo’. In the pre puberty years making friends is basically a game of musical chairs, you just take every available other small human. And then life happens and you all go to different schools. At least I guess this is what happens for most people, I had exactly one friend in elementary school and she moved back to her own country after the war was over, so… bit out of the ordinary, I guess.
After elementary school, your circle of people to interact with is determined by the social pecking order, so it’s not like you have a lot of choice. This guide will provide you with the resources you need to get rid of friends in your post-puberty stage.
Now, friends come in different flavours. There’s the people you hang out with casually and they don’t hit you, so you just classify them as friends. Then there are the ones you’re kinda closer with, talk more, on a more regular basis and with less alcohol involved. And then there’s the Holy Grail that turns your heart to jelly beans and makes a firework of AWESOME go off in your brain every time you see them. It’s like a crush, only better because you actually talk to them. You like the same things. You say the same things at the same time and high five. You stay up all night talking. You borrow clothes. You do everything together and go everywhere together, even if whatever you’re going to sucks it’s fine because you can both just bitch about it. You joke that you should be each other’s boyfriends because you’re just so close and you just click and you just get each other. Really, the only reason you’re not a couple is because the sex thing somehow doesn’t work between you. By the way, all your other friends always say you totally act like a couple. An old married one.
And today we’re going to take a look at how to get rid of all those pesky humans, no matter how dear they are to us. Fasten your seatbelts, hold on to your clavicles, keep your hands inside the car, and let’s go!*
#1: The Graduate
This step is probably the easiest for most people. So you finally got through your last exams and you’re free – FREE! – of school forever or at least until you decide you need even more education. While humming “Schooooool’s out for ever!” you probably don’t even think about the impact this will have on your social life, which basically revolved around a classroom and allowed plenty of contact throughout the entire week. But fear not! Simply not seeing your friends every day anymore will allow both of you to forget each other more and more. After all, picking up your phone or logging onto the internet is hard. Which leads us to…
#2: The Fade Out
Picture it: So you could call your friend X. but you just called her three days ago and you don’t want to look needy, she probably has lots of stuff to do, she told your she has a new job, and then there’s the trouble with her boyfriend, and anyway she said she’d call you and it’s her turn anyway, like you always call her…
You could also message your friend Y. but every time you meet she’s kind of a bitch to you and while this was sorta funny when you met it’s getting really annoying…
Actually, you just really wanna see Z., you haven’t seen her for ages, what is she up to anyway, but you were never really that close, not as close as she was to X. and Y., so maybe you just stalk her on facebook and decide then…
But you’ll do that later because you should really get going, you can’t be late for work again, and you got all these errands to run this week, maybe you’ll just call next week, or on the weekend, but actually you could do with a quiet night in and no one’s ever up for that, so… next week, then.
But you still should tell everyone that you’re not like dead, so you get out your trusty phone and do what every human with a brain would do: poke people on facebook and like their pictures. There, they can see you still care. Wouldn’t want them to think you didn’t care anymore. But, hm, none of them liked the last picture you posted… but they’re probably just busy, like, reaaaal busy, it happens.
They’re not too busy for taking selfies, though.
And if they text you, well, it’s hardly your fault that you don’t want to leave the house, you had such a hell of a week, or don’t want to go to X thing even though you’d like to see Z. again. Like, they could pick a better time. And place. Maybe next time.
This is of course just one example of the Fade Out, but it should suit to elaborate the most common steps: diminishing contact to the bare minimum of social media recognition, which in turn should fade around the six month mark, slightly flavoured with a downward spiral of resentment, guilt for feeling resentful, and even more resentment because they are apparently not feeling guilty for ignoring you at all. The desired end result should be a complete cease of contact.
This method is very effective on its own, but even more so in combination with #3.
#3: The Nookie Provider
So you love your friends, but there’s also this other person that’s really special to you, and you always have a good time when you hang out and you’re exclusive now and, well, you may or may not be having sex. Hopefully good sex. Basically, you’re in a relationship and relationships are important. After all, they’re built on trust and building trust mean to get to know the other person better and that means spending every free second with them. So, in a word, you’re busy. Fucking busy, or vice versa, you decide. This is the perfect time, not to mention excuse, to start slacking on your keeping-in-touch-mojo because you rather upgrade your keep-touching-mojo, and who can blame you. Ignore messages unless they’re from Significant Other, when you have news you call SO first and then forget to call anyone else, this step is crucial. When you do somehow get ensnared in a meet-up with one or more of the people-who-don’t touch-your-booty, keep the meetings to a minimum and if possible, bring SO along with you every time, even if they’re not invited. If somehow they get you alone, talk about nothing but SO, highlight all their qualities, compare them to everyone else’ SO, go all out and spontaneously compose a sonnet. At a party, always hang on SO’s lips, literally, and ignore everyone else. Those pesky people-who-don’t touch-your-booty should get the hint soon enough.
#4: The Actually
So you may or may not be twenty or older, you do not see your friends every day anymore, and you are hit by a bout of self-awareness: Actually, you never liked those people. Like, J. is a real jerk when he’s drunk and he’s always drunk, M. is always and forever talking about her love life or lack thereof and it’s so boring, N. never says a fucking word, and the rest, actually you don’t have that much in common. Maybe you should stop paying so much attention to them, some stuff they do is kinda stupid. Actually, those other people you just met, you seem to have a lot in common with them. Maybe you should follow them on social media, they’re so funny. Maybe you should meet up with them more. This is the best time to start on the Fade Out, because it’s not like you’re going to end up friendless, you have all those new cool people!
And that’s all for now. In Part 2 we will look at more advanced methods of getting rid of friends, and Part 3 will deal with the alienation of people in your daily life. Stay tuned!
*Based on actual events? Bitch, they might be.