bandwagon’s full–please catch another

not sure why i seem to attract a slew of people who are interested in having one-sided friendships, but i do. a series of similar situations has made this a topic of interest to me.

let me preface this by saying that the vast majority of my friends are friends indeed. they give as much as they get, and i am blessed to have them in my life. and this also has nothing whatsoever to do with my calling–totally separate.

but, see, i keep managing to attract the people who want to pick my brain, the ones who seem to think that i am the perpetual wisdom ATM that never runs out of funds. i’ve done it all my life–where i get to be the one with the perspective, the one that never needs anybody, the one that saves the world.

i’m pretty much done with it.

i’ve done my share of seeking, so i’m not saying it’s wrong or even bad to need someone’s advice or to reach out. in fact, in my “i’m fine no matter what” world, i ought to do more of it. i play the superwoman far too often.

maybe what i wish is that these kinds of friendships would come with a label. like some would be labeled as dairy products–perishable, not likely to last long, could go bad at any moment. others would be chinese takeout–great at the moment, but leaving you wanting more–or hamburger helper–where you have to add something good to get something mediocre. still others would be kool-aid–one person adds 95% of the ingredients, and the other one adds some color and flavor.

if i could see the label coming at me, when the friendship began or as it evolved, i wouldn’t be so surprised or disappointed by it. because, honestly, i always am. i’m surprised when people don’t seem to be as interested in my life as i am expected to be in theirs. or when i am dismissed. wow, do i hate that. i know you all hear me on this–there is NOTHING more infuriating than being dismissed by someone who is supposedly a friend. it’s just irritating on the deepest, most basic level–because it is thoughtlessness at its most fundamental.

i expect my friends to be my friends. i don’t think that’s an unreasonable expectation.

but then again, i am a freaking awesome friend. i am fiercely loyal. maybe other people don’t know how to do that. or maybe they really think that they are being a good friend.

i don’t know.

but i have people in my life who do, for me, precisely what george eliot describes: “oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.”

there is no label for friends like these. there are no words to describe this feeling any better–and i have it. i am so blessed.

perhaps the comparison between the two is what throws into sharp relief the emptiness of the other. perhaps i should look at these relationships as doing service, but i don’t think service can be defined as friendship. perhaps we throw that term “friend” around a lot when it’s not really what we mean. can i really say that i am friends with a person that i know doesn’t have my back, when i also call the person who knows me pretty much inside and out and would have my back in any situation my friend?

i don’t think they’re even in the same category.

and the irony of all of this musing is that i don’t think i will ever stop attracting these people–the good advice givers always manage to find them–nor, even if they had labels, would i turn them away. i would still give advice. i WILL still give advice. i will still be around. i’ll still play lifeguard in the drama pool’s deep end to try to help others navigate their way through it. it’s what i do, almost happily, because if i can help i feel of use.

i guess i just ought to stop being surprised when conversations are one-sided and when it’s not ME that they’re interested in but my role as an awesome soundingboard.

that would be nice. to not be surprised.

but i wonder what i would give up in the process.  would i become that cynical person that i hate so much, the one who’s always wondering what the person wants rather than who the person is?  will i become the hard outer shell carrie, the one that i have fought so hard to soften, again?  the one who doesn’t let anybody in because she’s sure they’ll disappoint and it’s not worth the effort?

seems like that’s not worth the trade.

so, the wisdom ATM is stocked, i suppose, and ready for business.



2 Responses to “bandwagon’s full–please catch another”

  1. squirrelhuntress Says:

    This stimulates my thinking and I am impressed that you are able to keep giving . As for me I have been trying but it isn’t going well and I have tanked yet again. I feel like a little spring seedling trying hard to reach the surface and then YANK must of been a bad weed. I don’t think I will try anymore for a while.

  2. You hit it on the head! Being dismissed for being who you are is INFURIATING. It’s always all about them and then they’re flabbergasted when you just don’t see how spectacularly gifted they are that you want to leave them.

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