Friendship is not my strong suit. I have a handful of friends who I love dearly and our relationship has truly blossomed. Others, I feel we are friends out of an awkward obligation and that is not necessarily a good thing.
I think I am a good friend because I am a good listener and I am supportive. The more comfortable I feel, the more I can keep it real and truly demonstrate I care. Until we reach that point, most of our conversations consist of them talking and me asking questions. It is a blessing and a curse, as this allows me to deflect personal questions for long periods and time and we can go years without them even knowing my favorite color.
I have noticed that I tend to attract people with a lot of drama and we spend the majority of time talking about their issues. Sometimes, I do want to share but I end up not feeling heard because they brush off what I have said to continue speaking about themselves. My previous “friends” have made me feel as though I should be appreciative of having a friend at all. Which, to be honest, I have spent so much time alone, it really takes me a while to form an attachment. Once I see you are not a nice person, it does not hurt me to sever ties. It’s really a defense mechanism.
I have friends who are negative and I am beginning to see that now. I can be a negative person, but I mostly keep it to myself. I will always express my support and encouragement. Some people complain about everything and do not support you when you need it the most. For example, shortly after writing my second or third blog post, I told a “friend” that I started a blog. Instead of being supportive or asking a follow-up question, she scoffed and sarcastically said: “what do you have to write about?” I dropped the topic but we ended up bickering for most of the day and I realized we had nothing in common. We have known each other since high school.
The older I become, the more important I find it is to protect my energy. I am limited on positive energy as is, but people will tap into it and drain the life out of me. I do not need the judgment or harsh criticism, I do that enough on my own. I’ve been ghosted then accused of being the one that did not put an effort into the friendship. It’s not worth it.
Friendships should be mutually beneficial, whether it’s in the form of a good time, solid advice, or stimulating conversation. Tough love is fine but your friends should not make you feel like a terrible person. Having your dreams and goals supported can be crucial, encouragement does not have to be one-sided. One person is bound to give more than the other at times, but you should not feel obligated to continue a friendship in which you’re energy is continually zapped. YOU MATTER!