By: Misty Smith

The Mayans projected that the world would end in 2012, but we are all still here. As I sit here thinking about the events that took place in my life in 2012, I am drawn to some of the “endings” that occurred that still weigh heavily on my mind: the ending of a business, the ending of child’s pre-school enrollment (Wow, how time flies!), and the ending of my early 30s. The most concerning endings were the endings of friendships. Through these thoughts I was reminded of something a bit lighter, and that was one of my favorite Sex and the City episodes.

The “Post-It Note” episode, as we have all come to know and love it. Come on…anyone who is a true fan of the series should be able to remember that episode. I mean “I’m Sorry. I Can’t. Don’t Hate Me”….on a Post-It!  It seems that there are a variety of relationships (friendships, couples, family) that end through this method of cowardice. Yes, I said it. COWARDICE! I cannot find a better name to call it. Now, let’s be honest…in today’s world of technology it’s not usually done on a Post-It, but more likely through a text message and/or an e-mail. What happened to picking up a phone and being an adult about it??? Women, men… it doesn’t matter your gender or the type of relationship you are in. People deserve the respect of a phone call, or Heaven forbid a face-to-face encounter. You know exactly who you are, and shame shame on you. Is it that difficult to pick up the phone, state your case, and then actually listen to what the other person has to say? If you are in a romantic relationship, you have probably spent a lot of time with this person; serious quality time. You have probably seen this person in very vulnerable situations (i.e., NAKED.) They may have thought you were their “One.” You may have been the only person that knew how to talk to them or really “knew” them at all, and now you can’t even call them to say it is not going to work out? I’m not even asking that someone make an appointment to do the break-up in person, but simply saying that you should allow the person whose heart you are breaking to have a conversation about why you are crushing their dreams. Allowing them to scream and yell at you over the phone is just COMMON COURTESY!

Now let’s move on to the “friends” scenario. You are best friends. You tell one another everything. You discuss your deepest, darkest secrets and the most intimate details of your life over endless gossiping, drinking, dancing, getting your nails done, and shopping, but you “end” it in a text. Are you kidding me?  You have no desire to listen to this friend you have had for years. And why?  Because you would rather take the easy way out. You couldn’t handle saying the words out loud and hearing the hurt in the other person’s response. This is an extremely selfish act. Is this the type of person you want to be? Whatever has led you to making this decision is something that deserves dialogue, not a one-sided written message sent through some version of social media. Come on people… be respectful, courteous, and be a good human being.

You will respect yourself more when it is over, and you will be able to retain the respect of other people.

Ending relationships (friends or couples) via text message or sms, would you? Have you?

About this column: Please be aware that this column potentially addresses sensitive issues that might, at times, be considered offensive. Feel free to send your relationship-related questions to my email: Be aware that email is not a secure method of transmitting personal information so it’s best to keep your questions general. If your question is featured in the column, your name and email will not be published. Submitting a question does not constitute a professional relationship in any way, and this column is not meant to substitute for face-to-face therapy. If you feel you’re doing the best you can and still need help, it may be time to seek counseling services from a professional. You may also join in on the conversations over on her Facebook page.

Misty Smith, Ph.D. is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She owns a private practice, Smith Counseling Services, Inc. She obtained her Master’s degree in Counseling from Jacksonville State University, an Educational Specialist degree from The University of Alabama, and her Doctorate in Counselor Education from Mississippi State University. She provides counseling services in the following areas: couples/marriage, family, stress management, employee assistance services, time management, divorce, and other major life changes. She generally focuses on solution-focused brief therapy, as well as, behavioral and cognitive-behavioral techniques, but feels a flexible approach to therapy is necessary because all people are different. She is a wife of 10 years and a mom to a 5 year-old daughter, a 3 year-old son, a 19 year-old step-son, a 16 year-old step-daughter, and a 20 year-old Russian exchange daughter.