Saturday, April 7, 2012

On Letting the Right One In

Up until the last few years or so, I seemed to be constantly drawn to people who would bring me down.

When you suffer from anxiety and/or depression, friendship can be both a wonderful and yet very frustrating thing.  Actually scratch that, I'm pretty sure even if you are anxious or depressed friendship can be wonderful and frustrating.  Any activity that has you developing a relationship with a fellow imperfect human being is usually going to end up pretty messy.

A friend (see what I did there?) and I were talking about people that don't seem to be interested in having friends so much as keeping them.  I've had a lot of experience with these people it seems.  These are the people who blow you off, usually via text or other non-confrontational method I find, but yet later will still send you baffling signals about how close of friends you apparently are.  I constantly doubt myself all on my own and have sadly spent far too much time trying to decipher what my friendship means to this type of person.

I also seem to meet a lot of people who are defined by their baggage.  Since I was a kid I was drawn to people who needed me, the obvious problem being that when I needed them they were simply incapable of being there.  As you all know well, I have plenty of baggage myself and work best in mutual, caring friendships. 

Another person I come into contact with on a somewhat regular basis are downright toxic people.  I know a few friends who pollute my Facebook feed (it's always Facebook) with toxicity, and depending on who the person is it causes me stress to no end.  I'm constantly fearing a confrontation with these people and worry for hours over what that confrontation will consist of.  It isn't uncommon for me to allow these people and their actions to interfere with my entire day.  And because I'm far too apologetic and insecure, I'm too scared to delete or block them for fear of harassment and retribution.

I probably haven't always been the best friend in the world, but I know that I'm a good person and I've always tried to be the best friend I can.  I don't deserve to be bogged down by people who make themselves happy simply by dragging others down.  A personal goal of mine is to become better at determining those friendships that enrich my life rather than cause me undue stress and anxiety. I don't have time for that shit.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App 
Those of you who are my real friends can come with me to P.F. Chang's!

Though this sounds like a bit of a downer post, thinking about those not-so-positive forces in my life reminds me of those friends, online and off, that do enrich my life.  You know who you are, and I love you for it. I hope I return your friendly awesomeness to at least a certain degree.

Have a great week, all! 

11 comments:

  1. one of my goals a couple years ago was to re-evaluate the relationships and friendships in my life. i wasn't planning on weeding anyone out of my life, but when i sat down to truly think about who i could count on and who my real friends were, that's exactly what happened. i still have "friends" on fb who pollute my newsfeed (as you said) but all the "real friends" in my life really are real friends. and that's a pretty good feeling.

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  2. CLEARLY, I'm your best/coolest friend evahhhhh

    no but really i love you and i've gone through this in the last few years and boy did it feel good to cut the negative people out of my life. it really does make a difference in your day to day so i like this new goal of yours and btw lets skype drink again soon. ;)

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  3. amen, sister. it's like the overflowing cup metaphor.

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  4. Your not at downer at all, and actually we are both pretty similar to friendships (experiences and how we value them) I take my friendships seriously, go out of my way to encourage that friend and to meet their needs but I do expect (especially if someone likes to "brag on being a good friend of mine) a 50/50. I know sometimes it will be 20/80 or 80/20 but their should be give and take. It can't be someone always pouring out into that friendship, then it becomes codependent and toxic. My counselor told me a few weeks ago (because I used to pour way to much of my time/energy and encouragement into friendships that never did the same to me) that a friend should be the following

    Trustworthy person
    Do their words and actions match most of the time
    When they mess up do they repair. Can they own what they have done wrong and apologize
    Do they follow thru on what they tell you they are going to do
    (I've written this in the notes section of my iPhone) only because I need to be reminded that hey I am a good friend, I may have baggage but I am a good friend and also be reminded. Is this person I am investing in trustworthy, can they apologize (I always apologize and try to make right if I mess up or even if the person interprets something wrong and think I did something to hurt them, their feelings are valid and hurt so I try to make it right..know what I am saying) and I try to follow thru, if I say I am going to meet someone, or mail someone something, I do it.
    But for what its worth, I think your pretty darn awesome and I think anyone who doesn't value your friendship can kick rocks.
    xo

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  5. and PS....why do I write novels in your comments?? ha

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  6. I know that feeling. I really don't know why some people need to drag others down to make themselves feel better. Don't they feel bad about it afterwards? Do they maybe not notice?

    Go girl and sort though your friendships :) It will be so worth it. Better few and good ones than many and bad for you.

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  7. This doesn't sound like a downer post at all - it's quite inspiring when people say, "Ah, this isn't working out for me, so I plan to try something else."

    It sounds selfish to say it, but we aren't just here to enhance our friends' lives; they're also here to enhance ours. We should be getting more out of our friendships than feelings of resignation; you deserve to have friends who love you.

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  8. I hear you on this. I have made a huge effort to relieve myself of toxic friends, and find people who I want to be in healthy relationships with. I haven't cut those toxic people off, but I have made it clear that I am on a mission of self improvement, and if they want to be in my life, the BS has to end. Because of my depression/anxiety/bipolar (geeeeesh) I have a hard time being the kind of friend I know I can be (only a select few get the die hard in me) but i realized it all comes down to my emotional baggage-- and being afraid of getting hurt by people who I consider friends.

    Thanks for posting this, I needed a little reminder that I am on the right track!

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  9. i have had this problem in the past....with boyfriends. i always picked guys who would bring me down.

    unfortunately we also have a family member who tries to stir up drama everywhere they go. too bad we are stuck with that one.

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  10. aw, caitlin, this sucks, and although i'd like to say, "you're so funny and awesome i can't believe youd have to deal with this type of person" but truly, i know it's just a part of life. and so is facebook. and isn't that where about 90% of problems arise? i hate it.

    i'm also insecure which has always caused me to befriend people who will only walk all over me and throw me out when they're finished, and i only befriend them because i think that i'm just so happy they'll even acknowledge me. it's so pathetic really, but in the last few years i've finally rid myself of the few "friends" i had like that, and now, i can honestly say that i'd rather not have someone to call to go with me to a show, or to lunch, or whatever, than have someone who will use me, make me unhappy, and just all around be a bad friend.

    i don't think this post was a downer at all, i just think it's talking about something so many of us have dealt with!

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  11. Aw, as always, I completely agree. I had a real downer of a week and it served as a massive reminder that some people just shouldn't be in my life, even if I think they should or am afraid to tell them they can't be. I deactivated my Facebook because I realized I was so flustered by snarky comments most of the time I wasn't even getting on it any ways.
    What's that saying, something about never wasting any of your time on someone who doens't think you're completely awesome?

    Any ways, the point is, I love PF Chang's.

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