Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my interpersonal relationships, or lack thereof. More specifically, I’m talking about friendships. If you want the honest truth, then here it is: Here on Guam, I don’t have many friends. By that, I mean those friends I can really confide in and count on, and trust that they have my best interest in mind. You know, friends that just get you and everything you’re about. They’re the type of friend who indulges you when your eyes light up as you talk about anything that interests you.
Let’s not get it twisted though! I do have literally a handful of best friends, which are my brother, fiance, a girl I went to college with, and my parents. And, I have another handful of good friends. Then I have those online friends who I wish were my friends in real life. (Y’all know who you are!)
But you know what? I ain’t even mad. It’s all about the quality of the people you keep around; not quantity.
Keep your standards high
The older I get, the more particular I become about two things: (1) who I allow into my life, and (2) what I choose to do with my time. Basically, if he/she/it doesn’t bring around positive vibes, then I simply can’t keep he/she/it around. I’m not willing to put up with bullshit, and just a few days ago, I did exactly that.
Just to give you some context first: I take my friendships very seriously. I care about your well-being and what’s best for you. I’m a very giving person – whether it’s time, help, or simply a shoulder when you need to ugly cry. BUT, I also expect reciprocity, which has been the bane of most (if not all) of my failed friendships. They say that you’ll never be disappointed if you don’t have such high expectations, but come on! I was always that friend who would give 80 percent, only to receive 20 percent! By that, I mean I would be that friend who reaches out first; who checks in, plans hangouts to catch up, etc. Have YOU ever been that friend? It sucks, doesn’t it?
You just know
So you want to know what I did? Well, I forced myself to become that friend that gave 20 percent. It was hard for me to be that friend because generally, I make a conscious effort every single day to not be a hypocrite. I treat others the way I’d like to be treated. And I make absolutely sure that I’m not doing the things that annoy me when other people do it.
Anyway, the outcome was that I never got those “Hey, I miss you. How are you doing?” or “Hey, it’s been so long. Let’s hang out!” texts. Honestly, it really hurt to know that the people I bared my soul to and shared my deepest, darkest secrets to never came around. I cried, got over it, and shifted my attention to myself. Soon enough, I became what I needed to be: my own best friend. I now enjoy time alone just as much as spending time with quality friends.
Friendships shouldn’t be so hard
So back to the past few days… I don’t want to get too into the details that it would double the length of this post. Basically, I had to come to terms with the cards that have been in front of me, and they were not pretty. Sometimes, for me at least, it’s hard to accept a situation for what it is when you only want to remember the good times. But what if the bad times outweigh the bad?
It’s becoming hard to accept that I’ve allowed anyone to use me for so many things, including personal gain and as a therapist/emotional punching bag. I tried ignoring it all, putting shit in the past. However, these transgressions have piled up to where I’m now at a tipping point. And despite not wanting to deal with the bullshit, I still took the mature route by starting a conversation to clear the air. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough respect for me to even get a reply. There was no reciprocity, again.
But hey, life goes on, right?
If you are going through or have been through something like this, just know that I totally get it. Friendship is a two-way street that needs to be balanced in order for it to work. You know what you need and that’s OK. Oftentimes, there are those who keep friendships so they don’t feel so lonely. But is it really worth the hassle if it means you’ll continue to feel or be treated shitty? And if your friend doesn’t check in with you or tries to hang out with you, aren’t you technically still lonely and now sad?
If you’re in this situation right now and don’t know what to do, let me tell just say that I don’t have any regrets. I’ve cut off “friends” with no hard feelings. Yes, it’s lonelier, but I’ve shifted my focus onto me, my personal growth, my interests, and the people who do love me – things that bring about positive vibes. At the end of the day, I can sleep easy.
Put yourself first. You deserve it, friend.