Thursday, August 14, 2008

one sided

Here is a post I wrote months ago when I was hurting over a friendship that wasn't going my way. I wrote it in the heat of the moment, and then decided not to publish it right then. Well, that particular emotion has passed, but I thought I would share the lesson I learned in the hopes that others can learn too.

Dear Friend,

I have noticed that I am always the one who makes the move. I invite you. I send you a card. I want to be involved in your life. I take the time to call you if I see something you might like. I think of you as a friend I can confide in and share my secrets. My pains. My hurts and my successes. I want to share my big moments with you, and my little ones too.

You don't see me that way, do you?

You don't invite me. You don't include me much. You listen, but you don't share. You aren't interested in the daily aspects of my life. When we talk, I think you disconnect sometimes and it hurts. You don't really initiate anything. Sometimes I get a glimpse that you enjoy our relationship, but then it is gone. I have a glimmer of hope that we really connected, and then I get disappointed when I am not included in the next thing.

Maybe I should just let you go. Maybe it might hurt for a little bit that you can live without my friendship, but I might feel better in the long run if I don't get my feelings hurt all the time. Maybe I am just too sensitive, and your life is busy, and I just don't fit in.

So I'll pray about it and let God lead me to a decision.

Your friend,


Did you ever have a friend(s) that made you feel like that? That you really weren't on their radar and it didn't matter if you called, or came by, or had a banner written in the sky? Someone you may have gotten to know and thought it was great, but time really showed how different you were?

I feel like that sometimes.

It isn't my favorite feeling.

Have you ever done it to someone else? Pressed "ignore" on your cellphone when you saw their name come up? Made excuses and planned other things, or were unavailable for when they wanted to meet you somewhere?

That isn't nice either.

So here's what I decided. That friend that I don't do much with...the one that keeps calling? She WANTS to spend time with me. She wants to talk to me. She wants to be involved in my life. She is the one excited to hear my voice when I do call and she is the one who asks me to do things.

That's the girl I need to appreciate. She's interested in being my friend.

And that's not to say the other one(s) isn't. Interested, I mean. But I don't need to worry my heart over someone who clearly isn't available for the deep, meaningful friendship that I want. She isn't in that place. And that isn't wrong, or mean.

It just is.

Women and friendships can be hard. We all want to be wanted. By this group, or that group, or the pretty girls, or the best bloggers, or our husband's family. It gets to be so important, but it's impossible to maintain all those relationships to a meaningful level. You have to have priorities, and that's ok. But I guess the realization I just came to was that one-sided relationships really aren't healthy. I want more than a friend can give, but someone wants that same thing from me. So I can choose to put my energy in a place that won't yield anything, or in a place that is hungry for my particular brand of sunshine.

And I think you should too.

I think you should take stock of those people in your life that are really asking for attention. They may need it for a reason that you just don't know. And show them some love.

Instead of reaching for someone that isn't available, give to someone that is there and asking.

Girls tend to make us feel like this, and I am ready for it to stop. I am ready to stop doing it to others. I guess that was the biggest lesson for me. I was hurting over some people ignoring me, and then realized that I can be just like that sometimes. And if I want to break the cycle, I need to be a big girl, and wear my big-girl pants, and move on.

I don't need to have the biggest group of friends.

I need to have the BEST group of friends.


Lula! said...

I could have written every single word of this. So good, Sissy. I do not know that I'd have the courage to be this candid with any number of my friends to whom I could send this same letter. Does this mean our "friendship" isn't real?

Deep thoughts...lots to ponder...

I had to "break up" with a friend several months ago. It was hard. But I've felt so much better ever since.

Karin @ 6ByHisDesign said...

Amen, Sister.

Hunny Bee May said...

Ditto on the Amen.

I've been in both spots. I'm currently in the "needed" spot it seems and the truth is that sometimes I just don't know what to do about it. I guess my side of the story is that it seems that no matter what I have to offer it isn't enough. Or it wasn't in the right way. Or when I reached out in need I was ignored because I was the one being needy, not the one being needed. Or I didn't reach out with the right need. It was too hard to know which way was up so I stopped trying.
I stopped inviting. I stopped calling. I retreated.
Maybe I have needed to learn to muster the energy to give when I don't feel like it. In this particular case it seemed, though, that it was just one person who wasn't satisfied and what I had to give was good enough for everyone else. I felt and feel confused about it.
Thanks for the food for thought. I appreciate your honesty. You are one of my very favorite bloggers for this very reason.

Sissy said...

It is hard when we can't figure out what people need or want. I feel needy sometimes and wish I could get time with friends. But, I have learned that I can say to my husband "everyone is busy, so I need you to be my girlfriend right now." He's great about that.

Breaking up with friends is hard, and I never want to burn those bridges. Honesty is the best policy. Always.

Amy said...

I too have felt like that so many times. Thanks for sharing, it really shed some light on some of my current (and past) relationships.

Also, as I read, I couldn't help but think of Jesus as the author of the letter as well. It made me re evaluate my walk and friendship with him too!

Thank you once again for your honesty.

Deanna said...

Such a great post! Sometimes you do just have to cut your losses - or what may really be theirs.

Nichole and Scott said...

It's a hard lesson to learn about friendships. Especially, when you are new to an area and trying so hard to find a friend. One that you connect with on a deep level and feel you could call any time day or night. I used to be someone who needed tons of friends as if the saying, "The more the merrier" were true. I learned that I was often pleasing everyone but myself and this made me miserable. Now, it's not the quantity I crave but the quality. Life is hard enough w/o having to force a relationship. I want the easy, relaxed and dependable friendships now. I love this post of yours and thank you for being so open. I think we have all felt this way more than once in our lives.

Scrapper Mom said...

I have felt this very way so many times. I have a couple of college frienships that I can think of. When I call this girl, we talk for hours, but it seems like I am the only one that ever calls. She built a new house a few years ago, I went straight there to see. I built one, she hasn't been here. I know things are good between us and I know she loves me, but I don't understand...and it does hurt. I don't know if I would ever have the courage to send her a letter like that, but it fits perfectly. Great Post.

emily said...

I sure hope you never break up with me :)

Kat said...

Sissy, you are so unbelievably wise. I wonder why that is - that friendships between women are so difficult? I have definitely been in both positions. And for the people that I tend to want to retreat from - I always have to ask myself WHY they might be put in my life. And's not all about me.

Kristen said...

i hope this friendship never ends! Kristen

Heather said...

It makes me sad that someone hurt your heart.

Rebekah said...

Yes, I could have written this post too.

And is is definetly not the quantity of friends- but the quality of a friendship that matters.

Well spoken

Kelley said...

Girl, this is one of those things that ANY of us could have as easily written. I have a friend who fits almost perfectly here. We have been friends for many, many years and I know that if and when I ever need her, she'll be question. However, she is often unable to make time to just be an everyday friend and I don't literally mean EVERY DAY. I mean she talks so much about missing me and wanting to get together but she never actually DOES it. There is always something else in the way. Sometimes the situation hurts my feelings more than ever. Today, for instance, I have it in perspective and I know that it is partly due to a season of our lives but, tomorrow, I may be hurt and weepy over it. Thanks for posting's always nice to know that our feelings are normal or at least shared.

Cherry's Jubilee said...

Wow..very thought provoking. I have a "best friend" that I have known for years..but ever since I moved 2 hours away from is out of sight out of mind. I email her etc and she never emails back. I am def. gonna have to move on. Thanks for this. OHH by the way I believe this is my first time here...I enjoyed your blog. cherry

Debbie said...

Wow. That was jaw dropping, brilliantly written, Sissy. It is so spot on true. I have been in both positions, and I think you are right. Put your energy where you are appreciated and loved the most...YOU have a whole lot to offer. You really really do. And that other woman is missing out.

Screaming Meme said...

Hey this is my first visit to your blog...It's nice to meet you! Screaming Meme

Lynda said...

What a great post! I can so identify with this. I have a friend who always dumped on me, but wasn't emotionally available back. It's hard. You are very wise in your observations and conclusions.

It's a hard line to walk - female friendships.

ohhollyf said...

I remember a friend ignoring a cell call and saying "do i need to talk to her everyday"? Opps, i won't be calling her.......
Like Amy, i too thought about a letter from Jesus.