Someone cut me off earlier last year, and I let them do it. Our friendship didn’t have long term potential and the only thing keeping it alive was our love for talking about our lives to one another. We had a ton of free time to do it, so I rolled with it. Talking and listening sounds harmless and cheap, but overtime I became more of the listener and things started to feel one-sided. After the 100 millionth disappointment, my time and attention felt used and abused. I had some run ins with other friends concerning the lack of reciprocity in our friendship dynamic, and it was the catalyst of several conversations about the end of my people pleasing ways.
I wasn’t financially or physically investing in anyone, and because my investments weren’t measurable, meaning I couldn’t count the amount of money I loaned or the amount of times I showed up to a friend’s function, it took me much longer to recognize the problem. I was just talking and listening and I didn’t realize how taxing both things were on my mind and body.
I mentioned in a previous post that I sucked at making meaningful connections with lovers and potential suitors. This is not the case in my platonic relationships. I actually make friends very easily and more times than often, my friendships have depth. If you’re convinced this is another article about cutting someone off, please stop reading now. I want everyone to put some effort into their connections, but I also want you all to consider how or how much. Opening the floor to set a standard yields way more strength in your communication abilities than burning bridges, and if I could be honest, you’re an adult and you need to learn how to clearly state what’s on your mind to your loved ones. Notice that I mentioned having conversations earlier.
Everyone knows a person who claims their misfortune or lack of love is due to their large hearts and their ability to love and listen without conditions and limits. The entire thing reads like a lack of accountability, but as I’m getting older, I’m learning to not make judgments of others people’s love languages and timelines. I could even argue they aren’t doing it on purpose (but we’re going to keep it light around here). My friend Lapreea posted this while I was in the planning stages of writing on this topic, and it brings me to my main point: boundaries.
Our economy pulses because companies trade goods and services accessibly and conveniently. Think about your behaviors and thought processes as you buy things online. You do some research, look at your options, and select the cheapest item with the most functions and quickest delivery. Most of our friends chose us in a similar way. The turnaround time and functions in this particular argument are your time and attention. Your friends should be giving all those things in return, those factors ultimately determine if your personalities “click”. If you’re currently in a friendship with someone who is emotionally needy, deficient, manipulative, depleted, detached, make them pay or require an honest, emotional investment out of them.
I considered holding off on this topic because I was still figuring out how I planned to navigate through my friendships this year. I’m a great listener and there’s a part of me that’s going to always do it. I want to practice what I preach on my platform, so if anything I recommend that you adjust what you’re currently doing. Some people hold their deepest feelings and traumas to a high pedestal and release it to the most trustworthy bidder. Others hand it out freely to the only person willing to listen. Neither group is right or wrong, and it’s important that I state that before I leave and go tend to this fake diet I started. We’re all going after or maintaining the same thing (a friendship if you need a clue), we’re just getting to our destinations differently. That’s cool and all, but require some emotional support from those lucky people along the way…you’ll need it one day.