Is Friendship Balanced – Why am I so affected by Toxic Words? (Long and rambling discourse on why I am the way I am)

Last night I dreamt that I was on a road trip. In the dream there was a collection of friends I have had through my life. No rhyme or reason for their inclusion in certain areas of the dream that I can see but when I woke up my mind was circling on lovely friend memories and one bad memory.

I talked in the past about being a terrible friend. I think I have gotten better in some ways but I am still not good at it. I am not asking anyone to convince me otherwise, I am smart enough to see my own short-comings but also honest enough to know that I have my positive points, it’s just today I want to talk about why I am not always a good friend. 

My big fault through most of my adult years was that I never trusted anyone with secrets. Too many times in my younger years my trust was misplaced and my secrets were told, and sometimes taken out of context when retold for maximum flash. So, as an adult I learned how to listen, and how to draw people out, and it was genuine, I enjoy hearing about peoples lives and felt empathy and sometimes sympathy and wanted to help them, but I did not reciprocate. I would not show my true self. This means I was only half genuine.

I have gotten much better about this particular issue. I have learned how to trust and I do now have a group of people to whom I can say things. I try very hard to be honest and forthright.

My other shortcoming is my solitude. As much as I need people, I need solitude. I enjoy these quiet moments with no outside clamour and having the freedom to just write and be instrospective. Or not! To just sit and watch television and not have to interact. I am terrible at being the person who reaches out and asks other people what’s new. Thank goodness people reach out to me. I appreciate so much that time and time again they send me a quick text to check in and don’t seem to mind that I am not the initiator.

So when I woke up this morning I was immediately slapped in the face for like the 1000th time in life by what someone said to me many many years ago. 35 years? Give or take. A person I was not friends with but who was on the periphery of my life out of nowhere one day said “Have you ever noticed that you are only friends with people who can do something for you?”. I have no idea what prompted this person to say that to me but it had a terrible terrible effect on my head. It sat in my brain and has just caused this ripple of concentric thoughts for all these decades. It made me question every single friendship then, and now. What did this person see that I didn’t see? What made me so horrible that they were forced to try and protect all of the people of the world from me? Now, logically, I can tell you that this person who was very intelligent was also mean. He garnered attention by being mean to other people, and I think he just fired an arrow that happened to hit me at the perfect time,in the perfect spot. 

I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone about that. It actually caused so much internal turmoil for me that I never talked about it. One sentence by one person who meant literally nothing to me but had a very profound effect on me and how I view my own motivations.

I believe now that all friendships are with people who can do something for you. Why would you be friends with people who couldn’t stimulate your mind,or make you laugh when you were down? Or listen to you ramble and ramble about nonsensical things that were aggravating you. All of my friends are people who can do something for me. Hopefully all of my friends are also people I can do something for.

I was actually looking for a picture of dirt & Plants in my library but then ran across this. Always one of my favorites and somehow fitting for the topic of brain mess.

Also dirt and plants were a reoccurring theme in the dream.


4 thoughts on “Is Friendship Balanced – Why am I so affected by Toxic Words? (Long and rambling discourse on why I am the way I am)

  1. It sounds to me as though that person made that statement with a great deal of malice, possibly out of hurt that they felt excluded from friendship with you. Sometimes the most innocuous moments can have personal reverbations far exceeding their face value. I know I have inadvertently made remarks that were perceived as hurtful, but people that say things like that on purpose…I’ve never understood it and it scares me.

    I quite understand the enjoyment of alone time.

    I think you must be a better friend than you think you are! Because I can tell you that people don’t always reach out; they just don’t. There are people who have not one friend. But you, I think, are rich in friends!

  2. Idk who said that to you, but it’s exactly the kind of thing my grandfather would do. And he did it to my mom (and others) her entire life. Mean is exactly what it is.
    It’s awful how a thoughtless statement can mess with your head for so long.
    Maybe some of us found each other because there were things we just couldn’t share, in real life.
    I totally get the needing solitude thing. When I don’t get a chance to recharge, I get a little nuts. A lot nuts. Overly emotional, easily overwhelmed. It’s like not sleeping for a week.
    I couldn’t be more thankful for my friends today. But like you, I’ve often thought of myself as a bad friend. I’ve come to look at it more as a personality thing. Not a bad thing necessarily. Some people are just more planners, and doers for whatever reasons, they need to be out and about, involved in everything all the time. My sister is one of those. I once felt bad that I wasn’t more like her. Until I came to realize that I could be more like her, if I wanted to. But it would exhaust me. She thrives on that stuff. I would not find happiness there. And she would go crazy spending her time the way I spend mine. We’re different people who need different things.
    Maybe you’re not a bad friend, maybe you’re a low maintenance friend. My favorite kind. Just because you’re living your life and doing your thing doesn’t mean you don’t love and care about your friends. Want to know how they’re doing and think about them. Good friends get that.
    You’re pretty good at sharing. Since I’ve known you, I’ve felt like I know you. You don’t get that with small talk. So yeah, you’re a good friend. Maybe not the cruise director, but that’s not a job for everybody. 🙂
    Hey I have to say this about that pic. I have one something like that, but it’s of a girl from the back. She’s leaning against a tree in the foreground. Only other living thing in the background is a sheep. It spoke to me, solitary, content, maybe contemplating. What if there were ppl in the behind her, would her face look like your guys? Maybe it is anyway and I just can’t see it. Whole other perspective….

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