Friday, December 10, 2010
Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?
I made the conscious decision to become more self-centered and let go of the one way relationships in my life; the relationships which did not offer potential to enrich my life.
I really believe that each party must bring something of value to the "table" for the friendship to be alive. Real friends know how to bring the best out of you and aren't afraid to tell you the truth when it hurts. If it is always one person being the saving grace of the friendship, is it really fair? As trite as it sounds, it's a give and take. As we give and take we should be sharing joy, love, success as we honor one another with our gift of friendship.
OMG... I've gone all Oprah. Can't help it... it's the subject matter. :)
Seriously though, I have learned that in many of my friendships I was the person who felt like they had to fix everything or come up with a solution to my friends' issues -- when they, themselves, were completely capable of doing so, which totally stems from my co-dependent tenancies. For the most part I'm beyond those challenges, but once in a while a "needy" friend comes along and I'm all too eager to hop in the drivers seat and help them.
That's not to say I don't want to help my friends, however I think I do more of a service to them (and me) if I give them the chance to move forward themselves while I support.
Then there's the fair-weather friends. The ones who need you when they need you, but then don't ever need you otherwise. Just this past year I've made the conscious choice to respectfully withdraw from their lives.
One particular friend I decided to let-go of was was super hard. I met her years ago, online, via a Weight Watchers Support group I used to lead. She's fun, witty, beautiful, etc.! She just doesn't know how to tend to a friendship on even a slightly routine basis. When she's "on", she's on and she's the most wonderful of friends. When she's "off", she's pretty much out of touch, out of sight and, well, just out of it.
This decision was tough for me, because she has a beautiful Daughter which I helped bring into the world; I was her birth coach. It was something for which I was completely honored to do and consider it a blessing that I was part of it at all. She could have had anyone, but she asked me.
What's most troubling is her two-faced activity. It became clear to me just how insecure she really was, in spite of her bigger than life personality and winning smile. We had some common friends, and one in particular, who I now spend a lot of time with since she moved out of state, is my training buddy. For whatever reason during our trip to one of our triathlons she texted a flip remark about us sleeping together. What true friend does that, knowing people could get seriously hurt? Thank goodness I have the relationship I do with my Husband, because he would have had every reason to be upset by what she said.
It was at that point I decided that was it. No matter how "on" she was capable of being, it wasn't worth it. It was always me supporting her... and any attempt by her to support me were overshadowed by her life events at the time.
Maybe I'm doing her a disservice by not notifying her I've officially "pulled away." Maybe she's reading this blog right now and knows? Maybe she doesn't even notice. It really doesn't matter because I did it for me.
Ridding myself of friends who are not reciprocal might sound selfish, but I prefer using the term self-centered. There is a difference. Being selfish is having no regard for anyone else, perhaps even being disrespectful. Being self-centered, is taking my needs and placing them first, but then always tending to others with caring and compassion.
So Being a little self-centered makes me a better me, Mom, Wife and friend. I'd rather have fewer, high-quality relations, than a ton of folks who just drain the life out of you. The rewards are beyond measure because these real friends take you for who you are, what you are, when you have time, when you don't. There are no hard and heavy expectations. True friendship feels natural and just picks up from where you left off and doesn't require moving a mountain to keep it going.
For the coming year I want to improve the relationships I currently share with family and friends. I want to be more consistent with remembering them and showing them how much they mean for me. I want to be the kind of friend I would be honored to have.