When to stop caring?

I received some bad news about an estranged friend before I went on holiday and my first reaction was really “should I even care?”, see; the estrangement was pretty mutual and was the result of what I see as profound differences in our respective approaches to friendship.

I don’t want to dig all that up, having spent a long time getting to grips with it and accepting that some relationships just don’t work. It really took a long time to stop thinking about my friend and feeling hurt about what had happened.

So back on topic; I had this bad news and it stirred all these feelings up, and my defensive reaction was simply that I shouldn’t care: so I’d try not to. I had a good holiday but I did dwell on it in-between having fun: am I really being honest with myself here? Can I really just ignore this bad thing that’s happened? Let’s bear in mind here; the bad thing is completely not his fault so it feels completely unjust to mix that up with the things for which I do hold him accountable; those actions and inactions that led up to the split.

I haven’t managed to find an answer within myself to the question I’ve asked; I can’t switch my feelings on and off, and I can’t stop caring or wanting to help even if I (cynically) feel that I’ll end up disappointed that he’s not magically become a friend I want to have. So I’ll help where I can and I’ll hope anyway. I can’t see any other way that works for me.

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