So I woke up this morning to a text that was sent at a time I was in sweet slumber. A text from someone I met some years ago online but at this stage was still a short step on from being an acquaintance (note the past tense).
This text was basically accusing me of avoidance and not inviting him to a Christmas party or more precisely…seeing other friends over him during the Christmas period…this guy is not my boyfriend, he’s not even what I would call an ‘inner circle’ friend. I have no doubt he is a good soul but the past few months have indicated that he is a needy soul, a person who has no idea of where friendship boundaries lie. I made it very clear that this was never going to be a relationship… ever… yes I made it clear; I also made it clear that I am a very busy person. I like to get these things straight from the outset due to previous experiences.
This ridiculous, I’d be as confident as saying ‘childish’ text did get me thinking though. How is it the word ‘friendship’ can be so differently defined by, and towards different people?
I have friends I have known for more than half my living years on this earth and some I don’t see for months at time, especially of late; I am still rebuilding my life after the accident and they get that. They are always there on the side-lines and I love them for that. These closest of friends know that I may be too busy’ to see them in a social context as often as I and they would like. But, they also know, if they ever have an emergency, I will drop everything and be there for them.
My ‘besties’, for the past two years have all had other arrangements for New Year’s Eve celebrations and I am fine with that, I don’t own them and they don’t own me. If we did that to each other I would find it a claustrophobic arrangement; the fact that they have different friend circles is what keeps our friendships interesting. Never do I, ever, even ask who they are going with, where etc…it’s not my business quite frankly, if they want to tell me they will. The point I’m making here is; my knowing all those details makes no difference at all. They are free and I am free…this type of questioning, can, sometimes come across as being possessive.
So this guy made a huge assumption that I was avoiding him as I had not seen him since the summer…I AM BUSY!!! I had made this point initially and he is one of many friends I have, I will make time for my closest first; others fit around that as and when possible…life is busy. Most individuals seem to get that and will agree that life is busy but not this one! He wanted to be included in what was a work do…no one even brought their partners and this guys is no more than one step from an acquaintance…why then would he want me to include him?
This over reliance and possessiveness…is not good, it’s something most of us will run a million miles in the opposite direction from (and I have). I have two kids to raise, a life to rebuild, a charity to run….these are my priorities. This type of behaviour sucks the life out of a friendship.
Understand that friendships come at different levels, some friends are like family, they get you and you could see them after months or even years and it will be like you only saw them yesterday. These friends never have any expectations of you, they don’t put pressure on you to ‘fit’ them into your life they know they are already an integral part of your life. Other friends are at the opposite end of that spectrum, not close you may see them in specific circles or within a specific context (work related perhaps?).
If you start to become possessive and over reliant on one or two individuals and expect to be put first, then you my friend, are not a friend…you are needy and you want to step back and ask yourself “what is it that is creating this need, this behaviour in me?” Work through it, or get help to work through it. If you don’t, you may end up losing what could be good friendships. I accept sometimes a lack of confidence can have something to do with this over reliance; confidence can however be learned and gained.
Be a friend…not a Dementor (note, I have been watching Harry Potter over the festive season).
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*Image by Worradmu courtesy of Freedigitalimages.net