Most of the time, taking the highroad does involve doing the right thing when no one is looking. Like assuming that the person who just cut you off in traffic had a good reason to do so and continuing on your way without tailgating them as revenge. Or, trying to find the rightful owner of the shiny diamond ring you just found on the deserted sidewalk. But, what does the highroad look like when the path involves a friendship that is fractured?Part of me thinks the haughty path is the direct route, which in my mind involves awkward conversation(s) where I would explain why I perceive as sin what the other party likely perceives as a friendship faux pas. I would – in a non-accusatory and hopefully constructive manner – list my grievances and be able to really listen to the other person’s response. In my fantasy, the result of this effort is the other person concluding our talk with a phrase something like, “I’ve seen the error of my ways, I’m going to be kinder, better person. I’ll eat less, workout more all thanks to your brilliant insights about me and the mistakes I’ve made in our friendship. Thank you.”
I like to believe in the power of my words and the insights behind them, so yes, this is my idea of a great fantasy. It is one of the reasons I enjoy watching Grey’s Anatomy because the characters, even when in the depths of despair, can conjure up the most insightful examinations of their angst. They articulate every other emotion with equal eloquence, uttering a line in the moment that in real life no one thinks of until the situation is a mere memory and the good line another frustration to be associated with
But the situation I am currently fretting over is a devolving real-life friendship and thus the direct route outlined above would likely end up with more feelings hurt and more social awkwardness.
And it likely wouldn’t even make great television. Sadly, most mundane conversations are not as
articulate or constructive as those in drama.
So, if the direct airing of grievances route is not the one on high, what is the best path to travel with someone from friend to acquaintance? Unfortunately, as much as I like to speak my mind, I think that the highroad for this journey is silence. So, I will smile at the right times, avoid the topics where we would argue without benefit and avoid one-on-one interactions. I will try not to clutch to the debts owed and lies discovered too hard lest they make me bitter and unable to see the positives that existed in our friendship.
And yet, despite the certainty of this decision, I know that I will continue to fret about the sadness of the loss – and the missed opportunities for what I know would be great lines should I have chosen to confront her. Why? Because I am not enlightened enough to know what one hand clapping actually sounds like. But I am not so foolish to believe that friendships don’t take twists and turns and thus what I deem unsalvageable today might be a shared laugh tomorrow.