In the last few years I have taken a number of hits in regards to friendships. People who I thought were very good friends have disappeared. It has hurt, but I have made peace with it.
However, it all came up again this morning when I discovered that someone had blocked me from their social media accounts, except Facebook which they had simply put me on ‘restricted’. While I knew we weren’t close friends any more, I didn’t think that we were in that place.
I was really upset, actually. I know it’s a bit daft but I think it was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. Friendship means that world to me but I appear to have fairly poor taste in people. Not all the time, but sometimes with what I have thought of as close friends.
On my walk this morning I was trying to work out why. And I think I maybe have…
I am drawn to people who aren’t like me. People who sparkle. Who are the life and soul. Who have big personalities. Who bring me out of myself. These are the people that I somehow manage to form very quick and close bonds with.
Upon further thought, these are actually the people who are critically insecure and need the constant attention of people. Anyone will do. They just can’t take any of the spotlight, so people who aren’t as outgoing or confident are perfect.
This thought snuck into my head unnoticed until it was pushing everything else out of the way. The more I thought about it, the more I think am right.
My enduring friendships are with calm, kind, beautiful souled people. They are the ones I can go for weeks without speaking to and know that it will be the same. They are the ones who I can move countries away from and yet still have a close bond. They are the people I can be entirely myself with.
I mentally put my new found “sparkly people” theory to the test.
The first time I remember it happening was with “J”. I noticed that we weren’t in contact like we used to be and tried to approach it. I extended an invitation to him to come and discuss it at a neutral place so we wouldn’t be disturbed and could sort it out properly. It was all agreed, right until the day when I turned up and waited for 2hrs before deciding I had been stood up. We have not spoken since.
There was “L” who I had known since my teens. She was a very good friend and came to visit when I moved. I introduced her to all my friends. She got on fabulously with some of them. She then moved too. She took over. She gathered some of those people – the other ones who are attracted to the sparkle. Then when she was settled, only time I ever heard from her was when something wasn’t going well or she was ill. Eventually I decided enough was enough but it look me a long time.
Then there was “E”. We both went through a horrendous time, and supported each other through it. We were there for each other no matter what. When we were both back in a good place I noticed that I was the only one making contact with her. Then I decided to see how long it would take her to reach out. After 3 months I just deleted her. Not my most adult decision but it was easier than discussing the hurt I felt.
“A” was probably my biggest upset as I still have no clue what triggered her to declare that our friendship wasn’t worth bothering with. We had been incredibly good friends, or so I thought, for years and then suddenly I was “dumped”.
I think that’s why this morning’s discovery was so much worse. It was someone who had believed lies that “A” was spreading about me. I thought we had gotten over it but sadly not. 18 months after the lies were told we had an adult conversation as to why our friendship wasn’t working and parted on good terms. Or so I thought. Good terms to me wouldn’t be blocking someone.
Working through the major friendship breakups made me realise that I was actually right. I had found my weakness. The discovery helped me make peace with my initial hurt, but it also made me think even more…
What is it about me that meant that these horrible types of non-friendships keep fooling me? Why am I mislead by people so easily? Why do I allow myself to be hurt like this?
Then after a good amount more stomping, it hit me like a giant lightening bolt. I realised this happens because I allow it. I allow myself to be treated badly. I allow myself to be used. Not only that, I ignore my instincts and become swept up in that persons sparkle and drama. I then put way to much time and energy into helping them through whatever drama it is, and so when it’s not a huge problem anymore, I don’t hear from them as much.
I do this to myself.
I don’t respect myself enough.
Well, that stops now. I am sick of crying and being hurt by people who obviously don’t have respect for me. I am sick of crying because I can’t respect myself enough to expect my ‘friends’ to treat me in the same way I try to treat them.
I have never been popular. Not even at high school when you’re meant to make long lasting friendships. I know a few people still I went to school with but we aren’t close. I really didn’t think I chased popularity but maybe, in my own way of chasing those popular or sparkly people, I actually do.
I thought I needed the reflection of their sparkle to make me shine. I am not a sparkly person bu nature. But now I know I don’t want those people around me any more. I want real people.
The people whom I love most in the world and whose friendship has endured, sparkle in their own unique way on their own without help from anyone. They don’t crave attention from the world on mass. They are happy to just be. I need to learn from them. I need to learn how access my sparkle for me. Then the right people, the good people, the real people will continue to be my friends. I just don’t have a clue how. But at least now I feel like I am one step closer to working it out.
For the time being, while I work all that stuff out, I am going to take a moment to celebrate those friendships that I do have. The ones that despite my chronic laziness, continue to thrive. Those who I know I will have in my life because we have proven to each other numerable times we are here to stay.
Those people who sparkle brighter than any of the stars in the sky to me.