Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mixed Signals

Since Beren and I started going to the Ormond house at least every other weekend, we've naturally been spending less time with friends. With everyone's busy schedule, working and taking care of our families, there simply isn't much time to socialize. When we're up north we have tons of alone time, even with his children visiting, so when we get home we are rested, fulfilled and looking to hang out with those who we love & cherish. Family dinners become oh-so-important, as does hanging out with good friends. And yet..I've noticed something happening, more & more often. Our friends say they miss us, say they want to get together, yet it never seems to happen. I've had several occasions where they have actually made plans with us and yet canceled at the last minute because they're tired, etc. Now, I completely understand, these things happen! I myself have had to cancel on a social engagement recently due to a sick child, and though I felt badly we all understand that kids come first! But when these things happen repeatedly one must look at oneself and one's relationships and evaluate. These friends who "miss" us so much, don't you think they'd make an extra effort to get together? And how about the ones who find themselves right down the block from us and yet don't bother to call or txt to invite us to join them? Or how about the half-hearted, "give me a call and let me know when we can get together" which puts the ball back in my court, or does it? I'm thinking if you really want to see me you'd call and directly ask me, "Hey, Rapunzel, I'd really like to see you. How about lunch next Tuesday?" When this happens again & again what am I to think? Eventually I have to believe that their actions speak louder than words and for whatever reason they simply don't want to make the time for us in their lives. That's all well and good, I just wish they'd come out and say so because frankly I'm getting mixed signals, don't know where I stand and frankly I don't do well with that. I'm a Leo. Warm, loving & loyal to a fault but eventually even I get tired of putting effort into something and not getting anything back. It's exhausting. I'd rather people just call it like it is. "Listen, we care about you but we simply 1) don't have time for your friendship or 2) you're a crappy friend and I don't like you anymore or 3) don't need you anymore now that you're not fulfilling some purpose in my life." Whatever the truth is, I'd just like to know because I can handle any of those reasons. What I can't handle is the not knowing. What I can't stand is inauthenticity. I've lost several friendships over the past couple of years, for various reasons, and though it pained me greatly it was done cleanly and honestly.

I just wish these so-called friends would do the same. Find time for our relationship, explain to me why you can't and we'll redefine it, or let it go. Because this "I miss you badly but can't bother to call you" crap is making me nuts. Frankly, I'd rather be alone. And since my friends are one of the few things keeping me from moving north full time, I'd rather know if that's not an obstacle anymore.

Daily OM
The Friend We Want To Be
Evaluating Our Relationships

There comes a time in all our lives when we may need to evaluate our relationships, making sure that they are having a positive effect on us, rather than dragging us down. Without realizing it, we may be spending precious time and energy engaging in friendships that let us down, rather than cultivating ones that support and nourish us along our path. Life, with its many twists, turns, and challenges, is difficult enough without us entertaining people in our inner circle who drain our energy. We can do so much more in this world when we are surrounded by people who understand what we’re trying to do and who positively support our efforts to walk our path.

We can begin this evaluation process by simply noticing how we feel in the context of each one of our close relationships. We may begin to see that an old friend is still carrying negative attitudes or ideas that we ourselves need to let go of in order to move forward. Or we may find that we have a long-term relationship with someone who has a habit of letting us down, or not showing up for us when we need support. There are many ways to go about changing the status quo in situations like this, having a heart to heart with our friend showing through example. This process isn’t so much about abandoning old friends as it is about shifting our relationships so that they support us on our journey rather than holding us back.

An important part of this process is looking at ourselves and noticing what kind of friend we are to the people in our lives. We might find that as we adjust our own approach to a relationship, challenging ourselves to be more supportive and positive, our friends make adjustments as well and the whole world benefits.


Helena said...

I've stopped wasting time on people who don't give much anything back. It's better to search for new people. And sometimes you grow beyond your old friends. Your interests become so different that it's hard to find a common tune anymore. Then it's time to move on. I believe that people are meant to give us something and when it's done, they've sort of fulfilled their task.

Rapunzel said...

Helena, I agree. Don't you find it difficult to find new people, though? At my age, and I know I'm a bit older than yourself, it's a challenge to find women to connect with. It's not like grade school where we can walk up to a classmate and say, "want to be my friend?" you know?

Jen said...

I admit there are people who say, "let's get together!" And I say "cool, lets" but when it comes down to it, I don't want to make time in my life for that person (in most cases, I don't want to make room in my life for their baggage). Am I terrible? I suppose there are probably people I'd like to be in touch with who don't care to be in touch with me either.

But there are also people who I want to get together with, and we are both just so busy that things do come up. My aunt was supposed to come to my new house and it took 2 1/2 years of rescheduling to get here here, someone would get sick, we had to go out of town unexpectedly, my uncle lost his job and that threw things off...but when we finally did get together it was SO fun!

So I guess to me it comes down to really evaluating which type it is and if they are really busy/tired/sick or if they are avoiding you.

antgirl said...

I think, that if you took a step back, you'd see that these people do actually care about you, like you and enjoy your company.

Life gets so freaking hectic. That they run out of time and energy makes sense. Maybe just call them once in ahwile to check in without any expectations.

It happens. I've had those years ... when going next store was too much effort. Not because I didn't care, but because my daily life consumed me and I had nothing left to give.

I would think that most people in your life fall into that category. Since the child has moved away, we have more time and more freedom. We can have lives of our own again. Until then ... you just do your best to keep up and stay sane.

It is harder to make new friendships as adults. Find a club or something where you share some common interest. I've found that the best way to make new friends.