I was having this conversation with my baby yesterday night. Yes, I have a boyfriend and I’m in love and I’m happy. More about that later.
But I was having this conversation last night and I was reflecting on the quality of friendships. I think I’m a pretty open friend. There is no guess work when it comes to the things I find acceptable in a friendship and the things I feel are a betrayal of trust. So in my opinion those nearest and dearest to me know my expectations. I expect them to be open and honest with me regardless of how they feel I might react. I expect them to defend me when I am not present to defend myself. I expect them not to date anybody I have been romantically involved with. I expect them to talk to me directly if we have a problem.
Now, truth be told, I use to hate confrontation. I rather go to God and talk to things over with Him than to go to the person that was causing me the headache. I would do anything to avoid a confrontation. Not so anymore. I face my challenges head on now. If I can’t call you, I will send you an email and let you know exactly what I feel and why. Because I am a writer, if I can’t talk to the person that is the problem, I come to my many blogs and let it all hang out. That has gotten me in trouble with some friends and so-called friends in the past. Nobody wants to be portrayed as the bad guy when it’s down in black and white for the whole world to read. BUT, for my part, I do my best not to use names and not to describe people to such an extent that anyone would know who I am talking about. HOWEVER, I do have a lot of acquaintances and ‘friends’ who keep up with me via my blog and despite my best attempts at keeping the subjects of my blogs “annonymous”, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out who I am talking about.
With that disclaimer in place, I will launch into a description of the last dramatic episode in my life. So one of the loves of my life had a problem with one of my friends. This person felt like the other person while claiming to be their friend when asked, really did not care about them. That the only reason this person associated themself with the other person was because they both ran in the same social circles. So, needless to say, feelings were already hurt and it would only take one more occurrence for these two to bump heads. That occurence happened to be an outing that was planned by one and not attended by the other. The planner felt that the failure to attend was a direct spit in the face of a so called friendship. For my part, because I knew how raw emotions were to begin with, I pleaded with the invitee to make an appearance, or call and explain why they won’t be coming. The invitee did neither. The planner of the event decided that this was the last straw and proceeded to cut the invited out of the social circles to which they both belonged. Of course, being the causal link between the two parties, the now disengaged-invitee contacted me and asked why the love of my life was treating them as such. I told the invitee point blank that my love is fed up with you. You don’t treat this person as if they matter to you, you do not acknowledge them in any way shape or form and you only make such an acknowledgment when all of our social circle is present. The invitee still felt slighted. So once again, since I was the causal link, I put the invitee in touch with the love of my life and sat back, hoping they would work it out amongst themselves. They didn’t. Everyone went their separate ways.
In my mind, the invitee was wrong. Regardless, I tried to treat both the love of my life and the invitee impartially. Not based on the situation but based on my independent relationship with each. Then, I started thinking. The invitee has a proven pattern of behavior. Not once but twice, this person as treated me in exactly the same manner that they were now treating the love of my life. Not once but twice, this person has ignored me without giving me a reason all the while showering attention on all other members of our social circle. Not once but twice, this person has neglected to honor the code of friendship of looking out for your friends interest when they are not their to look out for themselves. Yes, the invitee and I have had our own falling out in the past. But because I feel that my friendships are worth the fight, we usually work it out rather than dwelling. But now after the situation with the love of my life, it starts occuring to me that there seems to always be a reoccurrence in the invitee’s proven pattern of behavior.
As much as possible I try not to take sides, but this situation bothered me to no end because I felt that my worst fears were justified. In the back of my mind everytime the invitee and I have a falling out I think to myself, “friends don’t treat each other like this. So either, I am being unrealistic with my expectations or you are not a good friend.” My worst fear is that regardless of how long we’ve known each other and how much we’ve gone through together, the invitee is never going to value my friendship. It seems to me that every single time something goes wrong in their life, my friendship is the first to be thrown to the wind. It seems like the invitee’s first reaction is never to work it out but rather to sacrifice the people who are trying to be there for them. So, regardless of trying to remain impartial, I can’t close my eyes to what I feel is right in front of my face. The invitee disregarded a friend’s feelings and ultimately walked away from a friendship when all it would have taken to mend it is an acknowlegment of fault and an apology. Every time the invitee and I bump heads, like I said I value my relationships so regardless of who’s fault it is, I always apologize (after all it takes two to have a disagreement). So what I got out of this situation is a forshadowing of things to come. If my friendship is not of the highest priority to the invitee at any point, I will get disregarded in the same way and brushed to the way side. Rather than continuing to invest precious time and energy and emotion in someone who may or may not care if we are friends tomorrow or the day after, is it better to just cut my losses and walk away?
Now, returning to the “I’m too nice” premise that I was previously working on. Every time that someone I genuinely care about bumps heads with me, I always and I mean ALWAYS seek them out and talk it out. As long as the person gives me something to work it, some acknowledgment of fault, some proclamation of care and concern, and some good faith effort to build a better relationship, I forgive them and in turn, I apologize, we move on. BUT…I have come to realize that although everyone deserves a second chance, there is no third.
That is what I had to realize with the ***hole of all ***holes as well as the gentleman that turned out to be an ***hole. Everyone gets a second chance. The ***hole, he got about 1,000 chances and he could not get it right and like a fool I thought that love meant that I was suppose to continue to let him treat me like garbage. The ***hole disguised as a gentleman, he got 2 chances. He blew both. I’m done and God has allowed me to move on to someone better.
Now, with my friendships. I once said in a blog that I have no problems letting go of a guy who is not treating me like the jewel that I am, but cutting off a friend to me is like cutting off a limb. But I have also come to realize that sometimes cutting people off is the best thing you can do for them. Especially if it allows you both to grow as individuals.
I don’t know what I am going to do about the invitee situation. I have already explained to the invitee in “not so sweet” terms how I felt about the situation between the love of my life and the invitee. The ball is in the invitee’s court. For now, I am at peace with myself.
I once said that if a relationship is meant to be, every little thing would not be a struggle. For the most part you would have peace. And I guess the same is true for friendships. If it is meant to be, it would be easy for the most part. I don’t want to give up on a friendship before I have made my best effort to make it one worth having but at the same time, I don’t want to foolishly continue to invest in a relationship that is not going to bring me peace.
I have explained my side and I have put the ball in the invitees court and I have removed all insinuations of bad blood from our communications. The next step is the invitees. And which ever way it turns out, I’m happy with myself. Thanks for listening.