I had a friend from college who went a little bit crazy after we graduated. She started getting into fights with her other friends and her family and stuff. She alienated a lot of people, and stopped talking to a lot of people, and feeling very much like, Why is everyone against me? all the time. She and I remained close, though. I was pretty good at not coming down on her about the things she was doing that were putting other people off. I would usually just try to lend an ear; her relationships with other people were her business. It got to the point where I was among her only friends left; I noticed her calling more frequently, sounding more angry and desperate on the phone. She cried a lot.
One night we were talking, and she had just gotten in a big fight with her mom. Her mom was giving her some good advice, some advice I agreed with. But my friend did not agree with it. Her mom told her she was acting like a child. “Can you believe she said that to me?” my friend asked, again, in tears.
“Actually, I think maybe your mom is right,” I said. I knew that this would likely just make my friend more upset. But it was the truth, and the situation had gotten to the point where something had to change.
It didn’t work. She flipped out. “I can’t believe you,” she said, sobbing and hurt. “I thought you were my friend, I thought you understood. No one understands me!”
I tried to talk her down some. But she hung up on me. And soon we weren’t speaking either. And we didn’t speak for a long time after that. Years. And I think they were some hard, sad years for her.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered Israel some hard truth yesterday. Israel should listen. When you’re alienating even your best friends—your last friends—it’s time to take a look in the mirror and accept that maybe the problem is you.