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I’ve lost that friendship vibe

Quarantine was kind of a relief. Am I a bad friend?

We’re all feeling a little off-kilter, says our elder. Talk to your friends and find out how they’re feeling.

Dear EWC

So, my problem is not very big, but I don’t know what to do. I go to school and I have some friends. We went through a lot together, and they were by my side, when I was acting terrible or even when my father got sick (now he’s fine), we spent almost the whole day together for classes, lunch or recess. See, I love my girls, but in the past few weeks (before Corona) I was feeling that something had changed. I don’t feel our ‘vibe’ anymore. I always feel like I’m not in the right place, I don’t feel like talking, laughing or going out. It’s not the same thing. And I hate that. I was a little relieved when we got into the quarantine, so I could take a break from it (not that I like the situation!) Nothing happened, we didn’t fight or anything… I don’t know what to do. I feel like there’s something wrong, but it seems like it’s just me. Maybe I’m being too selfish? What am I missing? Am I a bad friend? Because I love them, I don’t want them to feel bad, I don’t want to leave my friends behind. But I don’t want to continue feeling bad. What should I do?

Good-Listener replies

Sometimes that “gut feeling” we get is intuition. The problem is — sometimes we don’t know exactly what it’s telling us. By the way, please do not worry about your problem(s) being too small. As I always say, if it’s important to you, it’s important to us and no issue is too insignificant. The Elder Wisdom Circle is here to address all of it — and we have! OK, on to the subject at hand.

This whole quarantine/covid “thing” is making everyone everything from “nuts” to confused, to scared, off-kilter, and everything in between. Since we’ve all been at home and off of our regular schedules and way of life, there is a lot of time to think — and overthink. It may be that you’re simply not around your crew or communicating in the ways that you normally would, so there may be gaps or miscues… or nothing at all. I would not assume it’s you, it may be that your girls are each feeling off balance in their own way too.

It’s also possible that you’re all growing up — and often the closest of friends grow apart as they age, and a crisis can make people closer, or make them go off in their own direction a lot faster. If you are concerned and really want to know, then quietly and humbly ask one of them if you think there has been a miscommunication somewhere. Maybe there was, or maybe it’s just, as I said, everyone is trying to handle this situation differently. Don’t assume you did anything wrong! I think it’s likely a matter of this crazy unknown. No one alive today has been through anything like this — the last time being 1918! And, obviously, life was a lot different… There were wars and the Great Depression and even the Dust Bowl (the latter two in the 1930s), but one of the ways people got through it was by being together, not being told to stay home and stay apart.

Try to distract yourself in healthy ways if you can. It may be that when things open up, all of you will resume your friendship and this will be a memory. Or, yes, it could be that you’ve all moved on a bit in your own ways. But talk to your friends and see how they’re doing too. Chances are everything will be OK and you’ll each have stories to tell your kids, grandkids and (possibly) great-grandkids!) many years from now. Good luck.

Letter #: 459233
Category: Friendship

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