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3 months ago Friend blocked me for an incident. Now I want to restart.

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  • #389949
    Dude
    Participant

    <p class=”_1qeIAgB0cPwnLhDF9XSiJM”>3 months ago, I had a friend over at my aunt’s garage where I was living at the time. My aunt is my ex-landlord. Living there, I had many restrictions on who I can see and where I can go because of COVID-19 and since my uncle is immune compromised. Both my friend and I were weirded and creeped out by several security cameras directly pointing at us, placed by my ex-landlord for security purposes. I disabled all of them. We were sitting on a yoga ball at the time. I asked him to bounce on it as a joke. He refused. But I kept asking because I thought it would be funny.</p>
    <p class=”_1qeIAgB0cPwnLhDF9XSiJM”>A couple days later, my ex-landlord found out. She was furious. I told my friend, and he offered to come back to apologize.</p>
    <p class=”_1qeIAgB0cPwnLhDF9XSiJM”>The night before he was supposed to come, I told him he had to go back in the garage (My ex-landlord was very conservative, and no matter who it was, she wanted things her own way). But he refused. I continued anyway because I thought I was at risk. My friend didn’t want to deal with my strict ex-landlord, and was also weirded out by me asking him to “bounce on a yoga ball”. He was eventually fed up and told me “I want to distance myself for now”. I apologized and he forgave me, but still wanted to keep distant. When I asked him if he wanted to hang out elsewhere, he said “Yes, maybe after a while after I’m over that crazy experience in your garage”. But then he later blocked me off all main contact points (iMessage, social media).</p>
    <p class=”_1qeIAgB0cPwnLhDF9XSiJM”>That next morning, I was called up to see my ex-landlord. She told me she viewed and saved the tapes right when I disabled the cameras. She then told me “(i) basically showed (them) that you clearly don’t care about your family. I don’t care if your friend was involved or not. You made the decision, for whatever reason, to go ahead and disable my security cameras, in hopes you would get away with something”. I kept arguing with her. She eventually called the police and showed them the tapes. Since I consented to the cameras (it’s a one-party state) the police couldn’t help me. They sided with her and told me I could be charged with a misdemeanour and possibly sentenced up to a year in jail, if she wanted to pursue charges. They said because I was fully aware of the cameras and I consented (I did) and I went out of my way to disable them. Eventually, I broke down and the police took me to the hospital for a mental health evaluation.</p>
    <p class=”_1qeIAgB0cPwnLhDF9XSiJM”>A few days later, I made the mistake of contacting my friend’s mutual friends. Guess what. They all sided with my friend and blocked me too.</p>
    <p class=”_1qeIAgB0cPwnLhDF9XSiJM”>About a week after the police came, my ex-landlord asked me to move out.</p>
    <p class=”_1qeIAgB0cPwnLhDF9XSiJM”>2 months later, I moved out and now I live in an apartment with my mother. I don’t have to deal with the restrictions of living with my aunt. I’ve also noticed my friend hasn’t blocked me on a few other social medias. Recently, I’ve seen him online a few times (I am clearly visible on his friend’s list there). And today I still have him there. So I think he moved on from that situation at least. He’s about to finish a semester of school in a couple of weeks. And I haven’t seen him since he came over. I have not made contact with him ever since that week.</p>
    <p class=”_1qeIAgB0cPwnLhDF9XSiJM”>The last time something like this happened (yes, with the same person) was over 3 years ago, was blocked on WhatsApp, waited 3-4 months (ran into him at a party), and we made up slowly and became friends again. Before that, was 2016, he un-added me on social media because he didn’t want to hang out that summer. Waited exactly 4 months for us to slowly come back as friends. However, I said happy birthday to one of our mutual friends the other day and she blocked me. She was close with my friend but not as close with me.</p>
    <p class=”_1qeIAgB0cPwnLhDF9XSiJM”>I have learned 3 lessons the hard way:</p>
    1. Don’t touch other people’s property, especially without their permission.
    2. Don’t force something on someone if they are clearly uncomfortable.
    3. Give the person(s) space when needed.
    <p class=”_1qeIAgB0cPwnLhDF9XSiJM”>I just want to reach out to him, letting him know I moved, and offer to start the friendship over again.</p>
    <p class=”_1qeIAgB0cPwnLhDF9XSiJM”>What do you think? Should I wait a bit longer? Should I reach out to him now? Is 3 months a long time? What do you think his reaction would be? Is this possibly the same pattern? I posted this story in another forum, but everyone was criticizing me and advising against restarting the friendship. Like I said, I want to just restart the friendship since I already apologized and he accepted the apology right before he blocked me.</p>

    #390090
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dude:

    Congratulations for learning 1, 2 and 3. I am trying to understand your former friend’s discomfort regarding the bouncing-on-the-yoga-ball event, a discomfort that was so intense that he and his friends blocked you on social media. Do you know what it was that made him so uncomfortable? I wonder if there was a sexual tone to your request and insistence that he bounces on the ball, and/ or if it was an act of bullying, on your part.

    The last time something like this happened (yes, with the same person) was over 3 years ago, was blocked on WhatsApp“- what happened, I wonder. Would you like to elaborate on this other time that something like this happened? What happened, is the question.

    I think that reading your answers will help me to answer your questions (“What do you think? Should I wait a bit longer? Should I reach out to him now?“).

    anita

    #390101
    Dude
    Participant

    Thank you very much for your response. He was discomforted by me asking several times and him refusing, not by any means of sexual pleasure. Plus, the cameras my aunt placed in the garage. He was also very discomforted at how I was trying to get him to come back to my former place to apologize and/or defend me in front of my aunt, because I thought she was going to press charges on me for disabling the cameras.. It was all a joke, at the wrong place and at the wrong time.

    I assume his friends also blocked me because he didn’t want them siding with me and he thought his boundaries were being violated.

    The last time something like this happened in 2018, I believe I posted his number on the white board at my college tutor room.

    #390102
    Dude
    Participant

    **Correction: The bouncing was all just a joke, wrong place at the wrong time.**

    #390118
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dude:

    You are welcome. I read your recent reply and then re-read your original post.

    In 2016, something happened and he un-added you on social media, not wanting to hang out with you that summer. It took 4 months for the two of you “to slowly come back as friends“. In 2018, you posted his number on the white board at your college tutor room, and he blocked you on social media. Three or four months later, you ran into him at a party and you “made up slowly and became friends again“.

    In September 2021, you had him visit your aunt’s garage. There, you asked him to bounce on a yoga ball: “I asked him to bounce on it… He refused. But I kept asking insisted that he bounces on a yoga ball after he refused“. A couple of days later, he offered to come to your aunt’s house to defend you, but the night before he was supposed to do that, “I told him he had to go back in the garage… But he refused. I continued anyway“, you continued to insist that he goes into the garage again.

    Here is Wikipedia’s definition of bullying: “Bullying is the use of force, coercion, hurtful teasing or threat, to abuse, aggressively dominate or intimidate. The behavior is often repeated and habitual“-

    You didn’t use physical force against him, you were not overtly aggressive by holding his body on top of the yoga ball and pushing him down on the ball, or by pointing a weapon at him and ordering him to bounce on the yoga ball, but you did use mental force against him, being pushy, covertly aggressive, not respecting his NO, and suggesting it’s all a joke.

    The bouncing was all just a joke, wrong place at the wrong time“- insisting that he bounces on anything is not a joke and it is wrong in any and every place, at any and all times.

    I posted this story in another forum, but everyone was criticizing me and advising against restarting the friendship. Like I said, I want to just restart the friendship… What do you think?“-

    – I join the other forum’s advice against restarting the friendship because you repeatedly bullied him. It would be too difficult and too risky for him to be friends with you again. He already got hurt by you and he can get hurt again. He gave you a second chance (2018), a third (going into the garage with you, Sept 2021), and a fourth chance (offering to go to your aunt’s house to defend you), and he got hurt every time. He shouldn’t risk a fifth time: it is not right for him.

    He was eventually fed up… I apologized and he forgave me“- reads like it is not easy for him to be assertive, that he endures bullying for a long time before he gets fed up. Seems to me that there were likely more than five instances when you bullied him to one extent or another.

    “When I asked him if he wanted to hang out elsewhere, he said ‘Yes, maybe after a while after I’m over that crazy experience in your garage’. But then he later blocked me off all main contact points“- reads like he may be a people-pleaser, trying to avoid conflicts when in the presence of pushy people, but when alone, away from the pushy person, he realizes that he needs to protect himself and proceeds to assert himself from a distance.

    You wrote that you learned the following: “Don’t force something on someone if they are clearly uncomfortable“- I would edit it: do not force anything on anyone (unless you are saving a person from injury, let’s say by pushing a person away from the path of an approaching truck). Don’t force anything on anyone, end of sentence. And don’t use people’s weaknesses against them, for example, bullying a person who has a difficulty asserting themselves.

    I just want to reach out to him, letting him know I moved, and offer to start the friendship over…  What do you think his reaction would be?… I already apologized and he accepted the apology right before he blocked me“- I understand that you want to reach out to him, but it is not the right thing for him. You can start a new friendship with someone new and make sure that you do not bully the new person.

    When you disrespect and bully a friend, you are not really his/ her friend, are you.

    When you feel stressed, when you find yourself in distressing circumstances, be especially careful to not bully anyone just because you feel it’s funny (“I thought it would be funny“) and because it would make you feel better to have fun this way. Resist the temptation to go that route.

    anita

    #390125
    Dude
    Participant

    Anita,

    Thank you for your feedback.

    I realize now, it is not a good time to reach out since his friend blocked me recently (I assume she didn’t realize she blocked me before, I tried to tell her about what happened the day after and she didn’t reply). My ex-friend could also still be reeling from this situation. Yes, 3 months have passed since then, but because of what happened then and before, I don’t think he’s ready yet. Adding to that, new COVID restrictions have been put in place in our area, so at least for now, that option is not currently viable.

    While we were friends, we had the best of times together. We went to basketball games, shopping, hanging out with all his friends, playing games together, going for bubble tea, and so on. We had many more plans, but most was postponed due to COVID-19.

    I have to live with this every day, thinking about how I messed up, coping the loss of not only my close friend, but my aunt and her family since they asked me to move out. The worst part is, I’m dealing with the losses of people who are still alive.

    However, I still believe there is a chance later on. I may have to wait even longer for this due to the severity of my actions. I believe, he may come back, but there is a chance he wouldn’t be comfortable with pursuing a close friendship for the time being.

    However, I do remember us running into each other a week after the 2018 incident. I pretended nothing even happened, and we talked and had a normal conversation (I was kind of surprised that even happened, he was responsive and everything was normal). I hope for this situation, we run into each other again, and that normal conversation we had in 2018 happen again and we would be able to restart something. I’m willing to wait however long it takes for that, or even something else to happen that would bring us back together.

    My friend is more of a forgiving person. I’ve known him for more than 9 years, and I cherish this friendship very much.

    I really do hope, one day he will truly forgive me, unblock me and restart the friendship.

     

    #390128
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dude:

    I will be able to read and reply to your recent post tomorrow morning, which would be in about 17 hours from now. Feel free to add anything you’d like to add, if you do, before I return to your thread.

    anita

    #390138
    Dude
    Participant

    ** That other friend didn’t reply to my message right after my friend blocked me **

    During her birthday, my other friend was with her boyfriend (he has me blocked too, NOT my friend) so I’m guessing he told her to block me or she blocked me herself?

    Adding 1 more thing, I don’t believe that my friend even remembers those past falling outs. Those happened so many years ago that I doubt he even remembers. Of course, he forgave me for those (I apologized during those). Because we wouldn’t have had a great friendship if he remembers those. He didn’t even bring those times up while we were arguing that night he blocked me. Only the time I mentioned that he didn’t like me asking about the yoga ball thing. There have been many, many, many great moments that happened over the past 2-3 years since then between us.

    Yes, we’ve been friends for almost 9 years. We were high school buddies. We’ve helped each other a lot. I even helped him pay a part of his student debt during college. The friendship was going well, up until that day.

    #390145
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dude:

    You are welcome. You shared yesterday for the first time about the friendship itself: that it’s been going on for nine years, that you were high school buddies, “had the best of times together… went to basketball games, shopping, hanging out with all his friends, playing games together, going for bubble tea, and so on“, that you helped each other a lot and that you “helped him pay a part of his student debt during college“, that you “cherish this friendship very much” and that you are regretting your actions against him in September, suffering the 3-months old loss of this close friendship, and hoping to run into him in the future, and resume the friendship then.

    When you described the history of the friendship, you mentioned “hanging out with all his friends“-I am wondering: (1) In high school and later, did you make friends who were not in his group of friends? (2) Do you have any friends now?

    anita

    #390149
    Dude
    Participant

    Anita,

     

    Thank you again for your response.

    When I mentioned all his friends, it was a mix of both our mutual friends from high school, and a few times, my friend invited me to hang out with his church friends (whom they all blocked me, they were the closest to him). I got to know them quite a bit, I even made solid friendships with a few of them.

    Unfortunately, those church friends of his that I was friends with are now all gone; they all blocked me on social media. As for our high school friends, I have deemed it too risky to restart the friendships with them right now. There’s a good chance they’ve heard about the September incident and have likely to side with my friend.

    During those 3 months, I’ve spent my time away from those people. Sometimes alone, or with other friends of my own. I do have another friend group of my own from my college, but we all graduated and talk here and there now. I have caught up with a few of them during the 3 months.

    Experiencing a situation like this gives me a feeling of what it’s like being cancelled.

    My aunt, uncle and my cousins have forgiven me for disabling the cameras.

    No matter how many friends I have currently, I’ll always be suffering this loss, until I’m able to be friends again with him. In order to be friends with his friends again, I need to be friends again with him first. Although he could be still reeling, there is a chance he may be fully over it since 3 months have passed (I’m sure he is!)

    I hope the time will come very soon for us to be friends again.

    #390155
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dude:

    I am guessing that his church friends are more likely to side with him because they all attend the same church.

    As for our high school friends, I have deemed it too risky to restart the friendships with them right now. There’s a good chance they’ve heard about the September incident and have likely to side with my friend“-

    – reads to me that his church friends and his other friends, all look up to him as a trustworthy person, and this is why (1) they all side with him based on his account of what happened, without asking for your account, (2) you look up to him as well, cherishing the friendship you had with him, eager to resume it.

    Is he a good, trustworthy person that people look up to?

    anita

    #390179
    Dude
    Participant

    Anita,

    Thank you for your response.

    Our high school friends all know each other. We were one big friend group during high school. I’m lucky to still have them on social media. However, it’s been a while since I’ve spoken with them. Adding to that, I’m sure they don’t want to be involved in this drama.
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Unfortunately, the news has spread to my other close church friends, whom I introduced to my friend. Even some of them I have not, and I’m also in a church group myself, but not the same one as my friend. However, my church friends also know some of my friend’s church’s friends, but not him directly. I’ve also noticed some people in my church actually unadded me on social media, weeks after the incident. I’ve received some criticism from my own church friends about the incident too.

    And my friend’s church friends, they’ve known each other for years. Probably for the same time I’ve known my friend. Maybe even longer.</p>
    Judging from what I did and the severity of my actions those days, why would anyone side with me? Nobody sided with me, not even that other forum. You even advised against restating the friendship too.

    At least for now, it is too soon to salvage the friendship. I hope I run into him, or we’re able to work out something. At this point, I’ve admitted the error of my way, apologized, learned my lesson and vowed to myself not to repeat those actions (or any similar) again. Mentally, I am ready to restart the friendship. Not too sure about him. Just waiting for something (good!) to happen.

    I just want forgiveness. I understand he may already forgave me, but it was in the heat of the moment and he distanced himself from me that day. If he really did forgive me, he wouldn’t have done that after. After all, the Lord always teaches us to forgive, right?

    Overall, this incident has been the most painful, challenging, and also life-learning for me.

     

    #390190
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dude:

    Judging from what I did and the severity of my actions those days, why would anyone side with me? Nobody sided with me, not even that other forum. You even advised against restating the friendship too“-

    – (1) Disabling the security cameras in your aunt’s garage was illegal, and immoral: it was a betrayal of your aunt who took you into her home. When she confronted you about it, you argued with her (“I kept arguing with her“) instead of taking responsibility for what you did and showing some humility: no respect, no humility, no gratefulness, and no empathy for your aunt.

    (2) You suggested to your friend at the time that he bounces on a yoga ball, he didn’t want to, and you kept pestering him- no respect, no empathy for him.

    I am not sure about your characterization of these actions as “severe”, but they do leave a bad taste in my mouth because I wonder how pervasive these attitudes and behaviors have been in your life.

    I’ve admitted the error of my way, apologized, learned my lesson and vowed to myself not to repeat those actions (or any similar) again. Mentally, I am ready to restart the friendship… I just want forgiveness… After all, the Lord always teaches us to forgive, right?“-

    – As far as human forgiveness, you deserve forgiveness if indeed you do not repeat the attitudes and behaviors I pointed to in this post. But you are not entitled to his forgiveness. It’s really up to him to choose what’s right for him. It just occurred to me that if you pester him to forgive you, at any time in the future, that would be more of the same attitude that needs changing!

    Overall, this incident has been the most painful, challenging, and also life-learning for me“- good to read that you are learning, learning and changing go hand in hand!

    anita

     

    #390197
    Dude
    Participant

    Anita,

    Thank you for your responses and support.

    To clarify, both my friend and I were weirded and creeped out by having those cameras pointed directly at us. I had no knowledge of their locations until I was cleaning up the garage for the visit. It’s why I disabled them.

    I do remember the day before my friend came over, I went out to my local mall to replace my Apple Magic Keyboard. I didn’t tell my aunt I was going out because I knew she would say no – my family had so many restrictions placed by my aunt in order to protect my immunocompromised uncle who is currently recovering from cancer treatment. There was not an option to ship the keyboard to my house. Yes, the restrictions were harsh, even though I was fully vaccinated. My aunt is someone who hates taking risks. When I got home, my aunt came home before I did and we ran into each other. She didn’t say a word; only gave me a weird look. I knew I got caught.

    One of the many restrictions I had living with her, was not being allowed to go out and see friends. My aunt told me the only place I could see them was in her garage. The reason is she had no control over who I was seeing in person if I went out anywhere else, and was terrified that I might unknowingly catch the virus and bring it home. She mentioned “better in [her garage] because I can see who you are friends with and in your circle”. The rest of the house, even the backyard, was off limits because my uncle uses those spaces.

    When I got my 2nd dose, I thought I would be allowed to see my friends, some who I didn’t see since the pandemic started. I had so many plans to go see people and go places in the summer. But the restrictions I had last year was repeated again. Her reason was “you can still be infected with COVID even with 2 vaccines, and you can spread it to your uncle. I don’t trust people these days, it would totally ruin all the progress your uncle has made in the past year, if you brought home the virus”

    I now suspect that me going to the mall may have in the long run, cost not only my 9-year-old friendship, but the trust between my family members. I believe my aunt may have made her cameras more visible so that she can send me a message saying “I’m watching you, don’t try and be slick with me”. Because she knew that I was having a friend over, and she probably thought my friend and I were planning something?

    When I explained the situation to my friend in July, he was disappointed. He told me he didn’t want to hang out in a garage, and I said “me neither, but I just wanna see my friends and stuff”. Eventually, my friend agreed to come over just to see me again.

    With regards to my friend, he is kind of the same as me. He does everything in his power to get what he wants. He’s just better than me at doing that. For example, in high school, my friend and I would always sneak things or make lies just to get away with something. In fact, those times it was actually him who told me to do that kind of stuff in some instances. I remembered the times where he forgot to finish homework or forget to bring something for class, he’d make some silly excuse for why he forgot stuff. I do admit I kind of learned from him and do the same stuff, and yes, I even did it with my aunt. At times, my mother would distract my aunt so she wouldn’t see me come home from somewhere. And at times where she was suspicious, my mom would just tell my aunt I went for a walk.

    Yes, I did sneak out a lot, especially when my aunt wasn’t home. It was up until July 2021 when I told my aunt I was going for a walk, and she unknowingly saw me play basketball with my other friends, and when I came home, she told me I wasn’t allowed to go for walks anymore. A few weeks later is when I asked him to hang out.

    I’ll just be putting a cap to how far I can go with this after learning the hard lessons.

    #390202
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dude:

    You are welcome. It seems like you and your mother, and maybe other family members as well, all lived with your aunt and uncle. Being that your aunt was very concerned about her husband’s health, I am curious as to why she allowed you to live there, particularly after she knew that you sneaked out. I wonder if her motive was caring for you and for your mother who didn’t have another place to stay.

    Your story shows how much the pandemic increased people’s anxiety, changed habits, and reduced socialization, sometimes stopping it altogether. Teenagers and young adults are especially in need of socializing. No wonder the pandemic increased depression and other mental health problems for so many young (and older) people.

    It was wrong of you to sneak out and of your mother to help you sneak out of your aunt’s home, particularly if you lived with your aunt because you didn’t have another place to live, and if she accepted you and your mother for little to no rent.

    If you were paying your aunt market value rent, then you could have moved out and pay rent elsewhere.

    Reads like your aunt loves and cares for her husband very much, that’s precious. I understand that her restrictions were very difficult to follow, but like I said, if you paid her market value rent, you could have moved elsewhere, and if she allowed you to live there out of the goodness of her heart, you should have respected her restrictions for as long as you lived there.

    In high school, my friend and I would always sneak things or make lies just to get away with something“- how did you manage to be okay with sneaking things and lying, being that you and your friend were (and maybe still) involved in church?

    * Proverbs 6: “There are six things that the <span class=”sc”>Lord</span> hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue… a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers”.

    Proverb 12: ‘The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy”.

    Psalms 24: “Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit”.

    Ephesians 4: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”.

    Colossians 3: “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices”.

    anita

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