No, it’s not just you! As a matter of fact, I had an experience like this myself recently so I’m quite empathetic. A person I considered a dear friend suddenly lashed out at me in public when I described a series of difficulties we’ve had in our home recently. We had a fire and subsequent plumbing leak (but thank God the coincidental leak put out the fire, so we were saved!). My “friend” attacked me viciously, saying that God was punishing me for “being too negative” and “not having enough faith.” She was so incredibly hurtful that I decided to end the friendship.
Ironically, I had been there for this person 100% through seemingly endless “drama” over the past 12 years. I was always there for her when she called me crying and begging for my advice (which she usually disregarded anyway), whether I was working or sleeping. I stuck up for her when other friends accused her of being negative or dramatic. I took her side when her own family members didn’t. I even loaned her money even though I couldn’t really afford to. I supported her during her estrangement and divorce from her first husband. Being a minister, I performed her second wedding, and offered my counseling services during the many subsequent fights and threats of divorce between her and the second husband.
Never once during those 12 years did I say, “You should be more positive,” or “Have more faith!” or “Maybe you should consider getting a job,” or “You brought this on yourself.” I always tried to be neutral, compassionate and supportive, because that’s what friends are for… right? I honestly don’t know how I could’ve been a better friend to this person and her family.
So, imagine my utter shock when she turned on me in my time of need! Why would she do that? Dear reader, does this sound familiar? We will investigate this phenomenon further in Part II.