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    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Hi Brynro,</p>
    thank you for sharing this complicated and sensitive situation. I am sad to hear she is no longer speaking with you, but perhaps she is doing so in order to cool off and avoid yelling more at you.

    I agree that her anger seems disproportionate. In my opinion, since you all are sisters and supposedly know each other practically since birth, these relationships are loaded with histories and memories. It feels to me like this fight really may be about more than the trip. Perhaps this reminds her of a different time she felt hurt, left behind, or excluded? I feel like this event may have triggered an emotional response of an unresolved conflict that happened years ago.

    Nevertheless, I believe it is great to communicate as openly as possible, and it seems like you tried to do this over the past few months (although some resentment may have remained due to the mentions that she was not able to understand what you wanted for your birthday). However since she is not responding, no communication can be had. I believe a well-written apology is a step in the right direction, but a long and honest conversation (when she’s ready) can mean a lot too. I don’t think this is really about the last-minute trip, I think the last-minute trip is a metaphor for something else – an overall feeling that you don’t prioritize her, or some other narrative/belief that she holds and is looking to affirm.

    I agree that seeing them more often outside of birthdays would help heal the relationship. In my experience, my family’s and ex-lovers’ biggest spats always happened around vulnerable expectation-fueled and regression-fueled events such as birthdays and holidays. It’s always tough! i find it’s easier to resolve feelings and candidly describe expectations when everyone’s sober  and not in “special event mode.”

    I hope my bystander observations are helpful. Thanks again and wish the best for you and your family. Please remember your life decisions are yours to make, and we on this forum don’t know your life as well as you do!


    Oops, just realized the link didn’t paste. Here’s the post I was referring to at the end of my third paragraph.

    Thanks again and hope to hear back.


    Dear Anon765,

    I am very sad to hear that happened to you. I had to reply to this topic because I was, just a minute ago, confronting this same negative core belief about myself! (Holding on to the belief that I am ugly as opposed to the belief I am beautiful/handsome/gorgeous.) Thank you for sharing your story here.

    If you feel comfortable, can you please state the specific sentences in a dialogue conversation? I ask this because, as of right now, what was said is quite vague and open to interpretation. Sharing the specific words may alleviate your burden because we can unpack them and understand what exactly happened here.

    I was struck by when you said “I know I’m not attractive or beautiful.” What do these words “attractive” and “beauitful” mean to you? They mean different things to different people. For example, I consider gray/white hair and a very skinny body in a man beautiful but not all men strive to look like this. Since you say you ‘know’ you are not these things, how did you find out this information? Did someone tell you, or did you infer this from previous situations or relationships? When was the earliest moment you remember ‘learning’ this? I’m stealing the last question from this post:

    I also notice that you have a girlfriend, and yet you say you are “meant to be forever alone.” By the way, not all of us are so lucky…I am single, in contrast!🤣 Do you agree that there is some cognitive dissonance happening here, to claim being alone despite someone being romantically involved with you? I wonder, is there an assumption that your girlfriend will leave you? I believe this negative self-talk is contradicting what is happening to you in reality; therefore I believe it may be your own mind giving you a specific narrative that fits a “story” from your past. When my brain does this, it’s because it wants to avoid getting hurt the same way twice. So it keeps me safe by presenting a “movie” of past abandonments. For example I subconciously assume women I date will emotionally abuse me in similar ways to my sister, and I expect my sister’s behavior even though this person obviously isn’t her! I get so into this “movie” that I react to the past and can’t see the person I’m with. What do you think?

    Thank you again for sharing this sensitive moment and hoping to hear from you soon.❤️


    Thank you very much Anita, what a kind wish to read in my inbox this morning!  I wish you the same joy!

    As an update for you and all future lurkers to this thread :), I am happy to say that the friend turned out to be extremely busy with her work, career, schooling, and family. She naturally detached from the friendgroup without any intervention. I personally believe that God/Spirit/etc willed her to withdraw from us to focus on her own life, and this is what I believe is best for herself and everyone. I am glad I did not choose to intervene and gave her space as needed.

    Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays to you too! May warmth and coziness be near you those days and always!


    Dear Tara,

    I hope you are doing better since then. I would like to share that, as a 23 year old, most of my friends from childhood live with their parents and they too are earning college degrees and working, so please know that your situation is not uncommon.

    However, I agree with other posters that it seems incredibly intense and the scrutiny your parents demand is highly unusual and seems unfair to you. I am very sorry you have to deal with such intrusion.

    Do you think it is worth discussing boundaries with them? How do you feel about other posters’ ideas to move out? Do you feel like you can continue living there and find some semblance of privacy?

    I hope you have been doing well and sending positive, peaceful energy to you and your family!


    Dear Alexis, I really love this poem. Thank you for sharing. It reminds me of the powerful and strong women in my life as well as my ancestors. I am glad you shared this with us!


    Dear peace,

    I think I can relate to your situation. I can’t stand being patient especially when it comes to relationships. I have had the feeling of finally showing my full self to someone, and then feeling betrayed as if they are abandoning me by focusing on something in their own life. I am a 23 year old male as well and I have had this happen with a previous relationship. He was focusing on college and no longer had time nor energy for me.

    On the other hand, I also feel like I may understand her perspective. I recently “dropped” so much of my city life to move hours away to a farm to pursue new opportunities and challenge myself, as well as leaving behind many friends from art college. I reinvented myself and rediscovered my ethics, values, and personal religion. This process felt necessary to finding a new side of myself, as I believe we are relatively young and I believe the 20s are an important time to find who we are by ourselves. In the process, I hurt some of my then-close friends. I sometimes got cold and quiet because I did not want to face the reality; that I would miss them.

    I bring no answers, only questions 🙂

    1) Have you ever been in a position where you restructured your life and wanted to temporarily abstain from seeing your loved ones? If so, can this experience help you to understand her position now?

    2) How would life be different if the relationship ends? How would life be different if it continues?

    3) Can you identify what gifts the relationship gives you? (Confidence, security, purpose, etc?) Do you think it is possible to find these things within yourself?

    Regardless I wish you strength and the knowledge that you are loved!




    Dear friends Anita and Roberta,

    How liberating it feels to get these thoughts off my chest! Thank you both for reading my situation and providing your perspectives.

    Anita; I have been mulling over what you said about groups of folks being a mini-society. It has helped me realize how permissive I tend to be, which may extend towards unhealthy practices such as staying silent when injustice such as racism or bullying occurs. I hope to change this in myself by becoming the type of compassionate man that empowers and stands up for others. I’ve heard Buddhists philosophize that such situations are great opportunities to learn so I will try! Imagining my role in this little government makes me consider my own leadership stance and how I want to be as a friend and as a person. Thank you for the unique idea, it has helped and continues to open new doors in my mind’s hall!

    Roberta, I am surprised and intrigued by your idea to volunteer together. I’ve never volunteered as a group before as it seems like a very vulnerable thing for myself to do. I believe it really is a great risk-free way to gauge who is interested in helping the greater good, in general. I know one of my friends from the group has mentioned it before, and we both expressed an interest to do so together but haven’t had a chance. It is such a different approach than getting together with the goal of just having fun, as we have been doing. The idea of doing this makes me feel uplifted, mature, and grateful. I will mention it to my friend who expressed an interest and see where it goes!

    It also occurred to me that, just as all things change from moment to moment, people may change from moment to moment. This includes responding to different environments, days, and feelings. I will keep in mind that each incident listed above is caused by different moments and memories in my friend 4’s life, while at the same time opening myself to the idea that she can change.

    Thanks again everyone for the wonderful ideas.


    Hi Anita,

    Thank you very much for your prompt reply and providing your opinion! I am so glad to cross paths with you again on this thread. Thank you for reading.

    I appreciate your advice not to socialize with friend 4. I suppose I should ask, how do you think this can be achieved? Should I speak to the friendly directly and state my own intentions? Should I speak to other friends and try to collaboratively exclude friend 4? Should I create a new groupchat without the friend?

    I do wonder how to physically go about this!

    We are slated to get together in a very large group on Halloween, so I think that may be the last chance I give her.

    Thanks again for providing your thoughts!


    Hi Anita and Helcat,

    Yes, I’d agree with Helcat; no pressure for the OP to return to thread, but OP is welcome to do so. 🙂

    Thank you so much Anita for the kind words, as well as the attention to detail you bring! It is a blessed feeling to read your insight, and I was so glad what I wrote resonated with you.

    I would feel bad hijacking a thread that is not my own, so I leave the questions open to anyone else who feels moved to answer it, LOL!

    Thanks again everyone and hope you enjoy the weekend.


    Dear Tony, your poem really affected me! It sang with delight and brought me nearly to tears. The moments that particularly echoed for me was the purple mystical direction to “Focus your third eye upwards” and the bright line, “You are the glittering star of fun.”

    I found it a wonderful reminder to collect my inner child and it brought beautiful images to me. Thank you so much for dedicating this to everyone and I am truly grateful for this poem!


    For me, it’s peer pressure in a positive sense 🙂

    I write my best funny stories when I know someone asked me to do so and is waiting for me to deliver. I am thinking of my best friend from middle school who continuously asked me to write new stories about our favorite characters. It’s been about 10 years since then, but that time was euphoric and so gratifying for me creatively.

    Having at least 1 person to work for gives me a purpose.


    Hi KP,

    Thank you for sharing. I would like to say that I deeply resonate with your sentiments.

    I too tend to have crushes on unattainable figures, including fictional characters or people I consider “out of my league.” My therapist explained that this distance provides me the ability to 100% love and project all my desires onto someone. If a love interest is forever out of reach, I get to imagine whatever I want about them. I don’t have to accept their humanity. But in reality, they are complex, imperfect, and have their own goals and desires; there is no human born to be my perfect match, unless they are obscured by my imagination.

    I have recently joined dating sites (à grace de Anita; thanks again!) and in fact have found several interesting women near my age who have shown interest in me. However once we begin speaking (or even just match), I too seem to shut down and lose interest/attraction and feel tempted to deny them, even though I outwardly claim I am interested in the process of beginning a relationship.

    Rather than advice, I bring these 2 questions:

    1) What makes you want to enter into a relationship?

    2) What is making you want to reject/deny these people?

    I believe your insight can help others as well. Thanks again.


    Dear Anita,

    Thank you so much for the kind words on your July 7th reply!! It made me so happy. And the compliment about my writing was so nice that I felt overcome with good feelings!

    I appreciate you reminding me of my own humanity. What you said about sincerity is shocking and amazing, once again reminding me of moments in my past that commenters have told me that my art/posts has helped them to feel seen. I too recall how often another person or character’s mere existence can feel validating! I love that idea.

    The NPR strategy sounds like a beautiful practise, I appreciate you sharing.

    As an update, I did begin an account on OkCupid, a fun dating site I have appreciated since I was a kid (it used to have lighthearted quizzes and games). It feels right for me and it is a fun challenge. I am glad to have received the clarity, courage, and direction to do so by reading your ideas.

    I too hope to see you around the forums and will continue to explore and post when I feel so moved. Thanks again for your considerate responses and unique perspective. 🙂


    Dear Anita,

    Thank you so much for your response. I have been reading the TinyBuddha forums for a few months now, and I had hoped you may see my thread! I deeply admire your methodology wherein you state portions of the person’s response in order to help them gain clarity. Reading through replies including your own has made a difference in my life and self-perception – even when I carried a vastly different problem than the OP.

    In regards to your reply: thank you so much, I am so glad to hear your thoughts. Your response has given me a whole new way to look at this. Hearing the comparison of your own experience on this very forum was unexpected and deeply helps to hear. Verily, I do get lost in “how I am perceived” and it stops me from being myself.

    Wow, focusing on being me feels like an idea I haven’t consciously explored before. I had never consciously decided to having sincerity as a goal…that feels brave and scary (in a good way)! From a young age my goal was to impress, and in many cases, it still is. Impressing others is a neverending arduous task with external loci, while sincerity seems to light up my world from within. I now see impressing empowers others, while sincerity empowers me.

    I LOVE your last analogy because I do dance and it’s one of my favorite ways to express my body! Serendipitously, I have taken a half-year break from dancing classes due to budgetary reasons, but I had intended to go to a dance class tonight specifically, so I will take this as another sign to attend.
    In fact, one of my happiest moments was shameless disco-dancing at a 2022 New Year’s Eve event. I think I looked ridiculous and weird and no one else was dancing with my intensity and vigor to Scissor Sisters, but I didn’t care because I was so happy to be dancing as ME!

    Focusing on being myself, I feel like I can just have fun with it and think, “What kind of dating profile would [StoutHeartedMen] have?” and “How can I most sound like myself while talking to this person?” Doing this, I feel like I would almost forget about the wall of silence entirely because it brings the dance-party to me, and I barely care what others will think of the fun I am having. What a shift. Thank you for taking me towards BEING and expressing my inner light.

    I may take your advice and try an online dating site like Match.com rather than an app. I always thought websites were more fun.

    Hearing your perspective has given me a newfound awareness of what to focus on. Again, thank you so much for your response.

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