Years ago I had an issue with a close friend who had done something to hurt my feelings. When I confronted her about it I began, as I always do in situations like these, by telling her how much I loved her and appreciated her friendship then went into the details of the incident. It was the first time we'd ever had such a discussion and she was clearly stymied. She said "Sophia, I'm not used to having conversations like this with my friends."
Wow, I thought, you're a grownass woman and you're not used to frank and open discussions with your friends about how you interact and how you might upset one another? I can't think of a meaningful relationship I have in which that hasn't occurred. I told my incredibly wise friend Alex Hayden about the communication, that I was disappointed by my friend's response but not enough to forego the friendship altogether. Her response to me was these three words: distance with elegance.
That simple phrase has been so helpful to me in the years since. I take my friendships very seriously and invest no small amount of time and energy therein. However, sometimes there are people whom I like and care about, but not enough to do the work that it requires to foster a deep friendship. They remain in my life, but not in my house, literally and figuratively. I see and speak with them from time to time and it's lovely when I do, but I maintain distance. With elegance.