Putting the "end" back in "unfriend"

I somehow feel compelled to drop what I’m doing at the office and vent.

A friend un-friended me on Facebook today. And this wasn’t just a “Facebook friend” either, where the word “friend” can be applied a little more loosely; this was an actual personal friend.  We even share other mutual friends.

My rant begins with the knowledge that being axed from this person’s friend list was intentional.  I mean, the “remove from friends” button is located near the bottom of the page and off to the side.  It’s not as if it occupies prime real estate, likely to be clicked by mistake.  This person visited my profile, scrolled to the bottom, and gave me the boot.

It’s certainly this person’s right to decide who remains on–and who is booted from–their friend list.  I’m not contesting that.  What does bother me is that, since this person was, indeed, a personal friend, wouldn’t it be semi-reasonable of me to expect that if this person had a problem with me, that they might bring it up with me first, rather than just passive-aggressively wuss out and disappear without saying anything?  We’ve been friends for several years; am I not reasonable to expect this?

What has always struck me as interesting (I may have mentioned this before) is that I’ve noticed that those who remove me from their friends list have massive issues themselves.  The irony is that they claim they don’t.  Yet, it’s plainly visible that they’re a little mentally “off” somehow.  These could be unresolved issues from childhood (that they claim to have worked through), incompatible political views (which they claim not to have at all), incompatible religious views (which they claim to be open-minded and tolerant), or incompatible dietary views (cue the crabby malnourished irrational extremist vegans, fruitarians, breatharians, and exclusive raw foodists in 3…2…1… who can’t stand the fact that I eat–or advocate eating–meat).

Or, it could be nothing at all, and out-of-the-blue snip of the friendly ties.  Cya…door….ass…

It’s certainly not the first time I’ve been given the heave-ho, and frankly I shouldn’t concern myself with something so trivial, but as much as I can sit here and say it doesn’t matter, that my ego isn’t bruised, the fact is that if I want to be really honest with myself, I feel a little slighted.  Yes, my ego is a little bruised.  I know that by feeling that way, I’ve let them win and all that, and what’s more is, they probably haven’t given it a second thought anyway, so why bother, but to say it doesn’t matter would be to be less-than-truthful.  Because like every other human on this planet, I was born with certain neurological hardwiring, the kind that seeks recognition, acceptance by my peers, and camaraderie.  I seek bonds and friendship.  And when someone cuts that off, it goes against that hardwiring, tripping a small part of my survival instinct.

I’d like to move on, putting it behind me, and focus on other things.  After all, my now un-friend most likely doesn’t feel any regrets.  I don’t know why this person decided to cut things off, and my best guesses are all I may ever have, but the truth is that I am true to myself and I have opinions that while not intended to offend, I’m also not afraid to voice, even if they’re contrary to others or to the mainstream (or even to the accepted uber-cool “alternative”).  I’m not going to stifle, hold back, mute, or blunt those opinions simply to pacify those who might otherwise be offended.  It’s not like I’m talking about animal sacrifices or other extremism.  It’s not like I’m vulgar or graphic.  I may be a little unrefined at times, lacking in a few social graces, but I’m certainly not obnoxious or irrational.  I’d like to think that my opinions make sense, but apparently they don’t make sense to most other people, because I go clearly against the grains of the mainstream on so many levels.

However, it’s not like I’m preaching some pipe dream out of left (or right) field.  I simply choose to express myself, and from what I can tell from comments to my posts or the circle of friends I keep, I’ve got decent company.

When there are so many movements, initiatives, and agendas FAR more extreme and damaging to society than mine, I hardly feel obligated to sacrifice the expression of my thoughts in favor of keeping the peace or going with the flow.  I’m not going to stop being who I am or communicating it to others just to cater to someone else’s hypersensitivity.  After all, I have friends from practically every ethnic group, multiple nations, multiple cultures, multiple languages, all age groups, and the full political spectrum, and I’ve posted a few polarizing viewpoints in my day, without suffering the wrath of unfriendship from the vast, vast majority of them.  Practically all of them have shown enough maturity to stick with me and respect my viewpoints, even if they don’t agree.  They certainly don’t let something as trivial as politics, religion, diet, mindset, opinions on individual subjects, or anything else destroy an entire friendship.  And, I sort of pity those who do.

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