It seems that friends, former friends and a lack of friends seems to be making life turbulent around in the blogsphere that I inhabit at the moment.
I am having some of the same issues. I have very few people I would call friend. I find it really hard to make that leap from acquaintance to friend that others seem to be able to do it much more quickly. In fact in in the last week or so I have had two people I see fairly regularly refer me to as their friend. I was quite gob smacked. I guess it hadn’t even occurred to me to think of them in those terms. So then I started wondering what do I consider a friend and how it differs (if at all) from other people’s definitions.
Given the people I do consider friends are not doing things I would consider friendly either, I’m really confused. And note here I’ve actually always had this problem. And it’s been highlighted by professionals.
My thought is (okay, a psychologist helped) that if I actually contact people and want to or agree to spend time with them out of the situation in which they fit / belong (or where I think they fit or belong e.g. school mums at school) then I might actually want them to be my friends. I may actually consider opening up my lives to these people. Now for me that’s a very friendly, though extraordinarily scary, gesture.
But then there are times when I wonder why I do it. I have had friend/s seemingly turn on me for no apparent reason – well it wasn't apparent to me anyway. And it was at a time when I was very vulnerable which they knew and it hurt. But the thing was they never seem to have acknowledged that there has been a difference in our relationship since that day. Of the fact that for a good year or so afterward our relationship consisted solely of saying hello when running into each other.
Then there’s the friend who judges. Your child and their issues, your housekeeping ability (okay lack of it) and their children do exactly the same. So much so that Boy Child really doesn’t want to associate with the child from that family who is in his class anymore. The same friend who checks on Boy Child’s thumb but doesn’t ask about Girl Child who has missed school for 2 days and you told them in an email she was sick. Yes,yes I know, I should be grateful that one child was asked about.
I guess I’m wondering why we do this to ourselves? Do we open ourselves up to others in the hope that the benefits of the friendship will be greater that the risk of hurt, humiliation or whatever if the friendship fails? Is it just human nature to be trusting and open? Just for the record these are two things I am most definitely not. Yes, I’m weird I know!
So what is friendship to you? In real life I mean. Virtual friendships are probably different.
I recognise that I’m not always a great friend either. This is mostly just pondering I guess.