Friends #6 – Or more off-the-top-of-my-head thoughts

About 3 years ago, I read one of the most influential books I’ve ever come across – called, Love Is A Choice. It made an impact because it brought to light & illustrated the human condition & how/why we connect with others… esp. in unhealthy, selfish, &/or destructive ways.

One of the things that stood out to me, (at least from the thoughts that ended up being provoked OUT of having read it,) was that in order for a friendship to be healthy & life-giving, both parties had to be ‘givers’ (my word;) nurturing, feeding, building up the relationship & the other person – a relationship where 1/both are ‘takers’ (again, my word) ends up with 1/both being taken advantage of, used & abused, all in the name of friendship.

It made me think about what I’ve tolerated (& also watched others tolerate) in the name of “keeping a friendship.” Things like:

  • 1 persons constant tardiness or not showing up at all, & when they’re questioned, saying, “Oh, I was busy,” or offering up some other excuse. Always.
  • The blowing up in rage, pouting in petulance, avoiding in silent treatment upon saying “No” to a request (demand?), & seeing the behaviors (& acceptance) change only upon giving the “right” answer, “YES!” – do what I want.
  • 1 person being the one that kept communication going – in emails, letters, phone calls, with the other always being ‘too busy’ or ‘not good at” initiating contact.
  • Having been asked, “if you see something in what I’m doing, who I’m seeing, places I’m going that seem destructive, would you please tell me?” & actually believing it & doing it, to find that what you end up with is a person that ‘dumps’ you from the friendship because of what you’ve said, finding out too late that the fine sounding words spoken in a point of seeming relational intimacy were not quite what was meant.
  • hearing from someone just when they need something, & going weeks, months, & even years when they don’t.
  • Not being able to talk about anything significant or important to being really real friends, because it just might upset the other person – meaning we wouldn’t be able to maintain the minimal & surface-ey contact we have.

    Maybe it’s just that I have a different set of definitions when it comes to what a friend is & what a friend does & doesn’t do. Maybe it’s not being willing any longer to live with the sham of “as long as you’re feeling ok & not offended today,” relationships. Maybe it’s being tired of carrying both sides of the relationship. Maybe it’s the realization that there are many, many great people that hold a high value on true friendship that makes fakin’ the funk not worth it, no matter how long standing the contact or how much water has gone under the bridge…