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Keeping the Friends that Keep You Back

dandelionsI was recently looking through old shoe boxes filled with notes, photos, keepsakes and memories that I have never been able to toss out, and I found a letter from a friend I have been drifting away from over the last year or so. While I know that drifting from friends as life gets busier is fairly common, the words she chose in the letter made me recognize that through thick and thin, no matter how many days or weeks have passed since we last spoke, I could call her under any circumstances and she would come running.

This kind of friendship is fairly rare to find I think. I know that we all often dole out our ear or our sympathy to those who need it. In fact, I almost never say no if a friend wants to talk to get together because I pride myself in being a good friend and I feel like I should be there when asked. However, I don’t think we necessarily, especially as women, demand that this kind of behavior be reciprocated.

I’ve come to realize that I very often am fully aware that the feelings are not reciprocated but go about believing that if I am available enough or listen enough, others will come to grow into the kind of friend I need them to be. Now, insanity is literally described as extreme foolishness or irrationality. Isn’t entering a situation where you know the result but expect different extremely irrational?
Yes, yes it is.

It’s interesting to be a part of SheTaxi at the stage in life I’m in, because I’m very clearly learning and growing as I type, but I’m learning that it’s important to have very clear expectations of relationships that are not imaginary or unrealistic, and it’s important to be dedicated to friendships that help you grow in spirit rather than constantly deplete it. As a woman, I feel the absolute obligation to nurture and provide, but at some point, we need to nurture ourselves and provide for ourselves. Lending an ear is selfless and wonderful, but understanding when to say no and give ourselves what we need is equally as important.

 

*Note: this blog was originally published March 2012.

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