To Better Friends

Have you ever just written someone off? Like, a longtime friend that you’ve talked to for a long time, and then you wake up and realize, “Wow…The only person we talk about is you. Your situations, your events, your sexual whatevers, your philosophy, etc. 95% of the conversations we have are about you, and I’m kind of tired of hearing about you.”?

I had that happen last year. Around Sept or Oct, after I had dealt with some of the worst physical pain I have ever had, I realized some people seriously need to go from my life. Every time we talk, I get frustrated, feel put upon, feel used, and frankly, like I just really don’t matter as a person unless I’m willing to listen to them talk about themselves. They’d spend maybe 5 minutes asking me how I was doing, then spend the next 2 hours talking about only themselves. Or, they’d realize they were only talking about themselves, repeat a question about me they had asked an hour earlier, then interrupt my answer to talk about themselves again.

I don’t know if it was the B12, or just my general realization that these friends were not “friends”, but users that made me suddenly decide I was done with them, but I was. One, if he texted me or called, I’d just not answer. Every time I’d see it was him, I’d literally growl and say, “Oh god…I don’t want to talk to you.” to myself. I have intentionally not returned text messages or calls because I just find I never want to deal with them.

The other friend, I just stopped talking to all together. One day, he was telling me about his mom, who was sick from cancer. Probably a time he needed someone, but he has his wife and friends to talk to, so I don’t feel like I left him in some empty space alone. He updated me a couple times with that, then would send me some sexual inuendo type image, because that makes things so much better. [insert eyeroll here] I just never replied. Ever. There was no point to it. All that was going to happen was that he’d ask me how I was doing, then go off about his wife, his mom, his sexual activities online, and attempt to get me to discuss them with him so he could have a happy conversation memory. Firm pass.

I stopped caring. I stopped being polite. I stopped putting myself in that position of having to deal with things and people I really don’t want to deal with. I have told the first friend for at least a decade that it’d be nice if he asked me about me, he actually listen, respond and make me as important as his own life was, at least while talking to me, because, let’s face it, all he really did was talk to me, never with me. The other friend, I had several very stern conversations explicitly and clearly telling him to not involve me in his sexual needs. I am not his wife. I can fully understand why his wife behaves the way she does, and frankly, our past is over. It’s been over for decades. We can’t go back and relive it, and I don’t even want to at this point. It’s not like they didn’t know directly from me my feelings about hearing from them. What I didn’t want and what would be appreciated.

The bottom line is that their friendship only mattered to them when I was catering to their needs. Otherwise, I was just an afterthought. Unless it was for sex. Then I became a very important part of their lives, but again, it was to fill their needs. Not mine.

Some people feel bad about making these kinds of changes. To cut someone entirely from their lives. It’s horrible, shocking, and unkind. But completely necessary when you see that there is no benefit or gain from those people. That all they do is take from you, regardless of what you’ve told them you want and/or need. I stopped feeling bad. I stopped worrying about hurting feelings. I expressed what I needed from them. What I expected as a friend. They chose to ignore those things. That tells me, in the scheme of things, in their lives, I only mattered as a doormat. My needs and expectations weren’t important because they weren’t what they wanted to give, and felt they really didn’t need to.

There’s a point where you have to evaluate friendships and determine which ones are literally sucking the life out of you. Which ones are making you feel horrible and shitty. Which ones are just using you and never filling you back up. I haven’t done that often in my life. I regret that in hindsight. Yeah, it means I have fewer friends now. But in the long run, I really didn’t lose anything. I lost people who showed they were only interested in me for what I could do for them. I’m tired of being that person. So I got rid of those that made me feel less than worthy and valued.

In turn, those friends who do show me that they think of me, care about me and want me in their life in a mutual enjoyment of our friendship, I took that time those two people sucked from me and invested it in those friends. It allowed me to be a better friend to them, to be more available and more open to them. I don’t feel like an accessory to someone’s diary, and that makes me far happier. They have let me know I matter, and that means a great deal.

I also look at how I am with other people. Am I not fully interacting with them? Am I dominating the conversation? Am I not asking questions to let them know I want to know how they are, what they are doing and what their thoughts are? Because to me, those things matter, and I want those who want to be a part of my life to know they matter.

I have been listening to the podcast “What’s Up Weirdo?” and I love this podcast. I wish I had a friendship like those two do. The podcast is just an hour long phone call with each other, something they do at least 3 times a day, because they are best friends who really enjoy being friends with each other. It honestly is the kind of friendship people dream of. I need a friendship like that! I need at least 5 of them!

But I’m working on it. I’m getting myself out there, talking to new people and trying them out to see how I feel about them. It’s been a fun experience so far and I’ve had a lot of fun conversations. Of course, I also have had a better connection with one of my friends sharing images and links that we think each other will like, or that tell each other a little bit more about ourselves. I do like this new track I’m on. It has allowed me to find people who are better for me and make me feel more like a human being than just a verbal dumping ground. So I will always advocate cutting people who aren’t helping you be your best self and letting you do the same. Do it! It makes a world of difference!

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