A while back I reconnected with people I originally disconnected from before because I decided at the time that I just could not stand them. Hey, it happens. One re-connection was because they wanted to reconnect, and the other was an accidental friend request sent on Facebook. Both ended up disastrous and reminded me why I wanted to disconnect from them the first time. I recalled both as being drama magnets and pretty self absorbed, but kind of fun, just not fun with any regularity.
They had other things in mind for me this go-round though. I’m not sure it was a friendship they were as interested in, as much they were interested in getting some kind of revenge or closure. It freaked me out! Both of them chewed me up one side and down the other! While maintaining they were still interested in being friends, sort of, they demanded the equivalent of dousing myself in gasoline and lighting myself on fire. Um…hello? Being friends does not require those kinds of sacrifices! They were asking me “what was up with that?” and I was wondering wtf?
When friendships start being negotiations where one friend’s humiliation is the cost, then that’s not a friendship anymore.
I was a bit perplexed by both reactions and wondered just who in the world did they think they were? There was no need for that kind of drama. If you don’t want to be friends with someone, then you just move on. Which is exactly what I had done the first time and exactly what I did this time too. Except this time I didn’t bother giving an explanation or salutations. I just disappeared.
People! Try to get over yourself…please.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I probably needed to get over myself too.
I started wondering why anyone would react the way they did. If it had just been one reaction I might have ignored it as histrionics, but it was two and that makes it something. That makes it kind of my problem too.
Perhaps they had a deeper investment in the original friendships than I did? (It’s the only explanation I can come up with, so if you have a better one please let me know.) Does that make me shallow? I don’t think so because I know I’m not shallow. The good friends I cherish are some of the best investments of my heart that I can think of!
Was I being insensitive?
Thinking back over the time I spent getting to know them I can’t imagine that anything I did could be seen as insensitive. I never ignored them. I tried to be helpful, but in a non-codependent way. Seriously folks, you can be helpful without doing all the work for someone. I could empathize with the pain they were feeling and was sad for the situations they were in. So, no I don’t think I was ever insensitive.
But I also know there are certain behaviors out there that I am not going to do well with. I think that everyone should have those kinds of boundaries. You have to know what you will allow and what you won’t allow. How else are you going to have deep and meaningful connections with other people? It won’t be possible! You have to know yourself and you have to know the people you’re close to. Not everyone is perfect and I know I’m not perfect, but there is a certain level of perfection you reach with your friendships.
I say this all the time! Not everyone is going to be your friend.
I knew that level of friendship perfection was never going to happen with these two people. I knew the minute I started getting to know them. Both of them carried that one trait that throws a heavy wool quilt over me and suffocates the life out of me. They tend to suck all of the air out of the room the minute they enter it. Surrounded in drama, always asking for assistance, but never taking any advice or trying to help themselves. Just this helpless, put upon mess. Every day is a new trauma drama. Nothing is ever working out for them. Every day there’s somebody or some thing that has them distressed and unhappy or feeling psycho. And it’s all about them, all the time and it is never their fault.
You just want to look at them and say “You don’t need a friend right now. You need a therapist and maybe some Xanax.”
Does that make me horrible?
If it does, then I guess I’m horrible.
I like to be there for my friends. I listen to them, offer advice if they ask for it and try to be the voice of comfort and sometimes, reason, depending on what’s going on in their lives at the time. I always know that when I need someone to listen to me that my friends are always going to be there for me too. And we ask about each other. We check in. It’s not always one sided. There are no unrealistic or selfish demands made on one another. There is love, acceptance and unconditional support. That’s called being a friend.
Don’t make someone follow you around in order for them to feel like they’re a friend and don’t make them jump through hoops for you on a regular basis just to prove that they’re interested in you. Friends don’t require assignments. Codependency is not friendship. Those aren’t friendly behaviors.
After giving this some thought I decided that perhaps I do need to get over myself too. I am not a mind reader, thank goodness, and I have no idea exactly what these ladies expected me to do. All I know is I wasn’t going to do it. But they had every right to react the way they did, if that’s how they were choosing to handle it. Some folks might have given them what they needed in order to feel like the scales had been balanced again. I am just not that kind of friend, I guess.
I’m the kind of friend that comes with balance built in.
How about you? Have you taken a good look at the kind of friend you are?
What do you like most about the friends you have now?
What do you think they like most about you?