Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Friends are like Potatoes...If You Boil Them, They Die.

Relationships are funny. I was recently "unfriended" by someone who wasn't really much of a friend anyway. "I can't have a relationship with someone who doesn't communicate," she told me.

Um...have you read my blog? Communication? Yeah, not really an issue with me.

Nevertheless, we are no longer "friends." And, mind you, this happened within a matter of hours. At 6:30AM I was her "go to" for whatever favor she needed; by 9:30AM, I was no longer at her beck and call. You can tell how all this bothers me terribly.

The thing over which I am scratching my head is, how could we have spent so much time together and had formed two totally different conclusions about our relationship?

She truly believed she was my friend. She rarely let me finish a sentence, she depended on me for countless things, and she always found a way to ignore the advice she'd harassed me to get, or "forget" her promises to return a favor. I had no problem taking her to places she needed to go. I didn't care whether she heeded my advice or not. I had no interest in discussing my personal problems with her. Bottom line is, I didn't care how obnoxious she was -- I wasn't doing any of this to win her approval, and I wasn't looking for her friendship -- I wasn't looking for anything from her. Sadly, though, she didn't get that.

In thinking about all this, I realized I have made the same foolish mistake, as well. Generous, selfless folks who, for reasons I didn't understand at the time, were giving beyond my capacity to accept graciously. I cheapened their gifts by trying to give back, when I had nothing to offer, instead of graciously accepting their kindness. I scrambled to prove to myself that I was just as capable as they were. The joke was on me. They knew how ill-equipped I was; I was the one who didn't see it. If I hadn't been so prideful, I would have seen how desperate I was and how wonderful they were. Instead, I made promises I couldn't keep and spoke with compassion I didn't have. Ego rarely allows other friends in the room.

I don't worry that my "unfriend" no longer calls. I just hope the next time someone comes along who simply wants to help, she sees them for who they really are. Meanwhile, I guess I'll be working on my communication skills.

Post a Comment