No sane person likes conflict. The most basic instinct is for survival and conflict kind of flies into the face of that.
This is what I'm telling myself in order to take away the sour taste of having lied to escape a conversation. No, my physical survival wasn't on the line, but my mental well-being was. I needed a sounding board. I needed to be heard and validated, as I had done for this person over the years. This one time that I opened up, I was shot down with everything I had done wrong during the course of my life, with a line thrown in about, "...so you really should be more understanding of the situation you're in."
I did consider calling out this person: "Look, you're being an ass and you sound like you really enjoy rubbing my face in my mistakes." I also knew how that would end: "But it's the truth. Your feelings shouldn't be hurt because I'm not saying anything that isn't true!"
There is a lot about myself that falls short and needs to change. There is an almost equal amount that has changed drastically. This person will never see the latter. Even as she remarks about how much she has changed and grown as a person, she comments about aspects of my life that haven't held true for years. She's dismissive when I point out that certain things are different.
I don't need that. I've beaten myself up over my shortcomings for a very long time. I have worked - am still working - on becoming somebody that I can be proud of. There is no point in keeping company with somebody who seems to quick to remind me that I fall short.
So she and I will part quietly, without words or confrontation.
Unless she asks, in which case I'm letting her have it with both barrels because she'll have started it.
(Just kidding. I'll keep it civil. I've really had enough.)