Goodbye, old friends; hello, new friends

October 24, 2017

goodbye,-old-friendsGoodbye, old friends, people I have known for many years…. or fewer than many, but still not a few.


In this new polarized world of ours we have all seen friend fall by the wayside, some horrified by how we think. Others horrified by how they believe we think.

We’ve also made choices ourselves, to leave friendships.

Over politics.

As the late Rodney King once asked, plaintively, “Can’t we all get along?” and the answer is, “No. Not any more. We can’t.”

When push came to shove this past election, our very deepest feelings about how we treat others as a society were probed and stimulated. Many of us simply had to speak out.

In the speaking out we found there was no common ground with some of our friends.

Led by the lunatic now in the Oval, by Russian Facebook ads, by Faux News talking points, we became increasingly polarized. Choices were made.

I watched a couple long-term friends disengage from my Facebook page and my blog. Friends I thought would be with me through thick and thin. One who called himself my biggest supporter. Gone. Poof.

I’ve watched their social media feeds as they ignore the issues of the day and post about mundane daily life. Or they post things akin to “there are bad people on both sides.”

That is, of course, their right and privilege.

But it gave me an opportunity to choose, too. Because when push came to shove, these were revelations about how they really think.

So goodbye old friends. It was lovely while it lasted.

And welcome, new friends! I am thrilled to know so many members of the Generosity Revolution. So many caring people who are concerned about making a better world for everyone. I am stimulated by the warm, articulate and intelligent posts I see on these new friends’ social media fees.

Hello, new friends! I look forward to meeting some of you in person one day.

Because when push comes to shove? We got important things in common.




28 comments on “Goodbye, old friends; hello, new friends
  1. robin rue says:

    I lost some friends over the election last year and I figure that it’s good riddance. If we are THAT different in our beliefs, I don’t want them in my life anyways.

  2. It’s tough to lose friends over anything, but it happens. It’s hard to have a meaningful relationship with a person whose core beliefs are so diametrically opposed to our own.

  3. It’s like what I said in some of my recent posts Carol – people come and go from our lives – letting go seems painful but I think we’ve reached a stage in our lives when we see the good that comes from transitioning out of certain relationships. I’m so glad you’ve found some worthy replacements 🙂

  4. Roberta says:

    I don’t know. I have two friends (a married couple). They have always been republicans since I have known them. She is an artist and he is a very liberal thinking guy. Until it comes time to vote. We have agreed to not talk about it and it has always worked for us. They are the best friends anyone could ever ask for. I love them dearly. Whenever a friend is needed they are there for us. I don’t know what I would do without them. So I don’t think it is a requirement that we all believe the same thing……

  5. Shari E says:

    Losing and gaining friends is a natural part of life, but the election certainly accelerated the process for many people. Thanks for this interesting piece.

  6. Thank you for this post. I live in a very conservative state so really most people in our area are republican and conservative. Before this guy got elected we had more friends here than we have anywhere we lived before. Now they seem to have faded except for a very few. One friend is very conservative but loves us to pieces. She knows how we feel about the president and politics. But she is our friend. Another couple, same thing. Alwsys there for us. We are also involved with a progresdive group here so we are gaining friendships with peolle more in line with our similar beliefs. We hope that pans out. I am all for being friends across borders, party lines, etc. I never ask about politicsor base friendships on it. My husband and I never talked politics before we married. Turned out we are quite similar, though and have bern married fkr almost 30 years. I have had beefs witb friends and acqusintances on both sides of the aisle. Met the most bigoted and unappealing woman who was a liberal. I just wish we could be human beings to each other instead of conservative or liberal. This divide is not healthy. Yes, friendships come and go. It is natural. But dumping a friend due to politics is a new phenom that disturbs me. To put politics before humanity is warped in my book. We need to come together and open dialog with those who think differently, not stick together like glue with only those who believe the same as we do.

  7. I am so sorry for all the typos in my previous comment. I proofed it and they were not there before. Sigh.

  8. PatU says:

    My story sounds like your story.

  9. MAKEBA GILES says:

    I’ve been one to never put too much into what people post or don’t post on their social media channels. Before social media, people talked about current events in one-on-one — be it at home with their family, at work, or over the phone or at a gathering with their friends. I believe that there are still a lot of people in the world who just still choose to do it that way, which is totally okay.

  10. Diane says:

    This has certainly been a separating of the sheep and the goats, even here in Canada. I remember the distinct shock when an acquaintance announced to me she was a T#$%p supporter. I was shocked to my toes. I’m still shocked. I thought ‘now I know what you’ve been thinking all this time and hiding it!’

  11. The past 5 weeks have been some of the most productive, sad, interesting and emotional in my life. We have been working like crazy (since my heart thing last year our business has grown 300%) Raymond had double hernia surgery (I don’t talk about our health very much online because what if someone doesn’t hire us because they think we cant do it?) I met my biological family in Louisiana, helped my daughter move to New Orleans, and did tons and tons of jobs including my 45th class reunion. I made a vow to post often about our business but I fall short. And I am exhausted…your blog today (and I read them every day) made me think….do I have friends that are not of my political persuasion? Yes I do….One of my very best friends is a top,top, top democrat in our state. We are very close and I love her with all my heart. I would miss not having friends who are different from me.I read what they write to keep my thinking in check….there are a few writers I follow, my dear friend John Daly writes and has a video presence, we are doing a show on my event next month. He is very progressive, but it makes no difference in our friendship that has lasted for 25 years. Love to Riley, He is getting better! My sweet Sadie may have a collapsed trachea….heartbreaking to have our little lovies not feel well.

  12. Myrah Duque says:

    I believe friends should be friends regardless of their beliefs. If we don’t agree in a topic, we should avoid it.

  13. Barbara says:

    It seems I have always had more like-minded friends so, I haven’t lost that many. But, my husband has and it hurts him. You have to shake your head and try to move on. Not always easy.

  14. Liz Mays says:

    It’s unfortunate that we have to move on from old friendships but it’s the best thing to do sometimes. It’s great that you’re connecting with some new people!

  15. Beth Havey says:

    I have cooled it with some of my friends. Ironically a neighbor is coming for wine tonight. She voted for HIM. But we try to be neighborly. Will Jeff Flake come up? Life is always a journey.

  16. I would be so bored if all of my friends believed exactly the way I do. I have lost a lot of ‘online’ friends over politics, which told me they weren’t ever really friends and didn’t know me at all. When everyone in our circles thinks the same way we do we get a false sense that ‘everyone’ thinks and votes the way we do. The fact is 49% of the country identifies as Democrat and 49% identify as Republican and both are going to vote for their party’s presidential candidate no matter who the candidate is. It’s different locally for me I vote for the person not the party locally because I tend to know them personally. We’d all be so much better off if we concentrated our efforts locally in our neighborhoods where we can actually make a difference and see positive changes. I’m witnessing so many talented, successful people who have been literally stuck since the election. They post nothing but negativity, sadness and fear. A friend that has written a book a year hasn’t written a word since November 5th. Another friend is losing her business (a bookstore) because she has done nothing but go to protests and she was closing her store so she could hold meetings and have speakers there. She alienated 1/2 of her customers and small independent bookstores need all of their customers to survive.
    Its all so heartbreaking. I am going to continue to love and support all of my friends because of what we have in common and I will continue to respect them when we differ.

  17. The last election was pretty intense and people were very protective and defensive over their choices, I have lost friends too. I was happy to unfriend them because it felt like it’s just becoming too toxic!

  18. I am with you on this. It’s better to just let go of old ties especially when you no longer get along. There are others who deserve our friendship more.

  19. Pam says:

    It’s always so hard to lose friends. It sometimes even feels like a betrayal.

  20. Shell says:

    Throughout our life we lose and gain friendships….As life changes, we change and this changes our relationships with others. Sometimes we outgrow others, sometimes they outgrow us.

  21. brianne says:

    Oh i know this only too well! I’ve lost high school friends just by simply posting my beliefs online!

  22. I have many friends who see politics differently than I do. However, I have never let go of my friends simply based on politics. The great thing about being adults is being able to have a difference of opinion without treating each other badly.

  23. Theresa says:

    I have friends on both sides of the political fence and refuse to let go of any of them just because they don’t believe exactly how I do. Same with religion or any other controversial topic. I mean, how do we learn and grow if we can’t bring different views and ideas to the table?

  24. I have definitely had the same issue with many of my friends. It was disheartening to see how many people I thought I knew suddenly were different people. People that said things that shocked me and showed me their true colors. However, in that same process I have met a lot of other people that are encouraging and supportive and ready to be a part of the solution.

  25. Sometimes we really need to say goodbye to old friends. Everything in this world is changing but I think we just have to look on the positive side of life, where we meet new people and make new friends.

  26. adkinsdomain says:

    I have been very blessed in that most of my friends have been long relationships. My longest friendship is going on 12 years.

  27. I seem to be the dissenting voice here, because I don’t think politics, especially, should be a reason to lose relationships with family and friends. It’s just not worth it.

  28. Zulema Nall says:

    Reality is that there is a lot of different people in the world and If you are not able to accept others the way they are how can you start a friendship? I lost a dear friend over a discussion after so many years of friendship I couldn’t believe she decided to let go. But oh well I can beg her to be my friend either so I wish her happiness and Got new friends along the way 🙂

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