A close friend broke a very big promise to me, knowing just how upset it would make me. She did so because she has been having a hard time lately and decided that it would be the best thing for her to back out, which I completely understand. However, given the nature of the promise she broke, her actions also amount to a personal insult and a logistical mess that I may have to deal with continually for a year or more.
She claims that I am still a very important friend to her. I thought friends were supposed to have an altruistic interest in each other's well-being, or at least a sense of obligation toward one another. While in the best case she'd have kept her promise out of inclination and not obligation, I wish she'd kept it for *whatever* reason.
I don't know in what sense I can be a "very important friend" given her behavior. Is it possible that she is telling the truth? If so, how? What am I missing about what it means to be a friend?
First, I'm sorry your friend disappointed you. Your feelings of hurt, confusion, and disappointment are evident in your email (and quite justified, I think). It seems to me that your friend put herself and her needs above the promise she made to you. There are occasions where this would be perfectly understandable, but the magnitude of your email indicates this does not seem to be one of them. (Missing a lunch date because of urgent work duties - yes. Missing a wedding because of exciting sports event on television - no.) One issue I would like to set aside, though, is your question about truth-telling. I think people can be completely sincere and forthright, but still be confused about their own values or priorities (or be sincere but then too selfish to follow-through on those sincere sentiments). So your friend is not necessarily lying to you when she says she values you. But she hasn't acted like a real friend would, either. Delivering on promises is a...
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