Today I find myself contemplating the middle one of these three words– outcast. Not a very pleasant word, certainly. And an even more unpleasant thing to feel. People gossip. People talk. This has always been true and probably always will be. I learned a long time ago that it is best just to ignore idle gossip and not to worry about what people you don’t know well say about you behind your back. It seems to me that one definition of a friend is one who would never talk about you behind your back. Or perhaps that is not fair. Maybe one definition of a friend might be one who would never share with you what others say about you behind your back.
I feel certain that unceremoniously dropping the former friend who repeated to me some nasty gossip that supposedly people here in my (physical) area have been saying about me was the right thing to do. I continue to sit here scratching my head in dis-belief that this guy seemed to think he was telling me something I didn’t know by sharing two of my most obvious flaws with me. Honestly, I have long, long known that I tend to be self-centered and manipulative. I try most of the time to repress these un-flattering traits, and am painfully aware that I do now always succeed in doing so. Part of me is annoyed with myself for continuing to stew about my former friend. I kind of want to kick myself for continuing to replay scenes from the ten years of our friendship, struggling to see where I might have observed earlier that the guy does not share my basic values and outlook. Yet the other part of me knows that there are no do-overs and that one must accept their friends as they are. Or stop being friends with them. And any way you cut it, losing a friend always hurts.