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Ending a friendship

BunksBunks VeteranAustralia Veteran

Hi all

Just after a little wise advice on the best way to end a friendship.

There have been times over the years I've forgiven this person things but his most recent behaviour is completely unacceptable and has made me realise I could not trust him again and it's best to let go and move on.

We probably only catch up a couple of times a year when I go back to my home town to see my parents.

He has tried to call me a couple of times recently and I've ignored him but I realise at some stage I need to tell him I no longer want to see him. I don't feel comfortable just continually ignoring him as that doesn't seem particularly fair. We've known each other for 35 years (since primary school).

The fly in the ointment is that I can't tell him what he did for me to end our friendship as I have promised the person who told me what he did that I will not say anything.

Any advice appreciated.....

Comments

  • LionduckLionduck Veteran Veteran
    edited June 28

    Perhaps you can say that as the years have passed, you have found your interests and priorities have changed. No hard feelings, but your life has led you on a different path and wish him well.

    Peace to you

    Bunkslobster
  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Veteran Canada Veteran

    You don’t need to tell him WHY, but you DO need to tell him what. That is the compassionate thing to do. And Buddhism pushes compassion because the less we focus on ourselves, the less we become “stuck” in our attachments and aversions.

    Now if I was to ask my teacher (who is one of the Dalai Lama’s senior monks and a geshe, living/teaching in my city), he would tell me to welcome this aggravating person and to see them as my “kind teacher”, a “precious jewel difficult to find”, because they inadvertently point out where I am “stuck” in my attachments and aversions, so then I can work on relaxing about them. Easier said than done, but Buddhism is NOT about running away from whatever makes us unhappy. It is about relaxing into whatever makes us unhappy.
    However, Pema Chodron, a Western Tibetan nun who teaches, says that if you are not up to the task … you are not up to the task. And that anyone can think they have mastered themselves if they make sure their aversions are never challenged.

    This set of verses is very useful … after 6-10 years of saying them out loud daily. Maybe you are a quicker study than I am. The concepts of these verses is SO different from how we Westerners see things, that I flinched for many years … and I am still limited in my ability to be a Buddhist, as outlined in these teachings. But these verses are the essence of Buddhism relating to our own ego and to others:

    Eight Verses for Training the Mind
    by Langri Thangpa

    With a determination to accomplish
    The highest welfare for all sentient beings
    Who surpass even a wish-granting jewel
    I will learn to hold them supremely dear.

    Whenever I associate with others I will learn
    To think of myself as the lowest among all
    And respectfully hold others to be supreme
    From the very depths of my heart.

    In all actions I will learn to search into my mind
    And as soon as an afflictive emotion arises
    Endangering myself and others
    Will firmly face and avert it.

    I will learn to cherish beings of bad nature
    And those oppressed by strong sins and suffering
    As if I had found a precious
    Treasure very difficult to find.

    When others out of jealousy treat me badly
    With abuse, slander, and so on,
    I will learn to take on all loss,
    And offer victory to them.

    When one whom I have benefited with great hope
    Unreasonably hurts me very badly,
    I will learn to view that person
    As an excellent spiritual guide.

    In short, I will learn to offer to everyone without exception
    All help and happiness directly and indirectly
    And respectfully take upon myself
    All harm and suffering of my mothers.

    I will learn to keep all these practices
    Undefiled by the stains of the eight worldly conceptions
    And by understanding all phenomena as like illusions
    Be released from the bondage of attachment.

    lobsterperson
  • BunksBunks Veteran Australia Veteran

    Thanks @FoibleFull.

    So are you suggesting I should still continue my friendship with this person after he has harmed two people I am very close to?

    Because I can forgive him and have compassion for him but not have anything to do with him anymore yes?

  • VastmindVastmind Veteran Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited June 28

    As I've gotten older, I've outgrown several friends. I've never felt the need to tell them why or give an explanation. I've just always been the type of person that I run with you until I don't. That's it. Clean break is the best, I think.

  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Veteran Canada Veteran

    "So are you suggesting I should still continue my friendship with this person after he has harmed two people I am very close to?"

    I am not suggesting anything. No one judges another on their practice, and until we are enlightened it is unrealistic to expect us to BE enlightened. I'm just telling you what our teaches say is our GOAL ... but not necessarily what we are capable of now.

    And yes, Frederica is correct .. the teachings DO say that compassion starts with being compassionate for ourselves. But this is not the same thing as indulging our aversions by avoiding situations that challenge us.
    IF we are with someone who is hurting US, then in self-protection it is important to withdraw from that situation. But we need to distinguish ... are they the ones hurting us, or it is our inner emotional response that is hurting us? We cannot apply a remedy until we see the source.
    But again ... we need to have patience, tolerance, and compassion for our own responses (all coming from an understanding of our ignorance and lack of skillful means). We can only do what we can do. But that doesn't mean that remaining unskillful should be our goal.

    BunkspersonQuidditch
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Bunks said:
    Hi all

    Just after a little wise advice on the best way to end a friendship.

    There have been times over the years I've forgiven this person things but his most recent behaviour is completely unacceptable and has made me realise I could not trust him again and it's best to let go and move on.

    We probably only catch up a couple of times a year when I go back to my home town to see my parents.

    He has tried to call me a couple of times recently and I've ignored him but I realise at some stage I need to tell him I no longer want to see him. I don't feel comfortable just continually ignoring him as that doesn't seem particularly fair. We've known each other for 35 years (since primary school).

    The fly in the ointment is that I can't tell him what he did for me to end our friendship as I have promised the person who told me what he did that I will not say anything.

    Any advice appreciated.....

    There is really no 'best way' unless it's a mutual agreement @Bunks...Which ever way you decide to end it will be the 'right' way to end it....

    Bunkslobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Everyone, me maybe more than most :3 has done things deserving the ending of a relationship. So cutting us off makes us aware of where our naughtiness lays. >:)

    Just don't waste your twice a year time on them baddie buddhas. Job done. Praise Buddha, what a good boy she was ... :p

    Bunks
  • BunksBunks Veteran Australia Veteran

    “Many deities and men, yearning after good, have pondered on blessings. Pray, tell me the greatest blessing!

    Not to associate with the foolish, but to associate with the wise, and to honour those worthy of honour- this is the greatest blessing”

    Maha-Mangala Sutta

    lobsterFoibleFull
  • BunksBunks Veteran Australia Veteran

    @David said:
    Plus you wished him and his family well. Having your family be well is also a greatest blessing from the same sutta.

    This is true @David

    "To support mother and father, to cherish wife and children, and to be engaged in peaceful occupation — this is the greatest blessing."

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Bravo Bunks <3

    Perfect, ideal, platitudinous dharma and real world living ... where do they meet?
    Well ... I like moths but a small, gold, probably pregnant, moth was in our cereal cupboard. If I was a wondrous mother protecting bodhisattva I would have caught it and set it free to be eaten by our hungry garden spiders ...

    I have limited possibilities/patience sometimes ...

    Result = dead moth 😱😪

    Plenty more fish in the sea - yum ... sorry spiders :3

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @lobster I never had you down as a serial cereal moth killer...we live and learn ;)

    lobsterJeffreyKundoperson
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