friendship and josiah’s advice

October 2, 2006

There has been lots of self-evaluation (even more than usual) after a falling out with a friend this week. The whole family seems to have something to say.

After giving Josiah the brief lowdown:

Me: Well, I haven’t been a good friend in some ways but it’s a little complicated.

Josiah: Mom, that’s not true, you are a very good friend. Just say your sorry mom, it will be fine.

Me: I did say my sorry but I think my feelings are hurt…

Jack: I cly (cry) when my feelings are hurt.

Josiah: Mom, tell me what happened.

I share just a little more of the story.

Josiah: Mom, this is not a big deal, just say sorry and it’s okay mom. Did you ask her to go to lunch? That will work, just do that tomorrow.

In my mind, it is so much more complicated but his advice seems very wise in the moment.

When I look back in my life I’ve always made friends very easily, I’ve had lots of friends, I was always looking in the room for that person that needed a friend.

I’ve never required much from my friends either, I don’t need you to call me back, it’s perfectly fine if we don’t see each other in a awhile. I am very present, in the moment when I’m with you. I give you everything I have, I think about you when I’m not with you, I pray for you, I’ll drop something on your doorstep if I know you are low, I’ll listen to your bad life or stories about your horrid mother in law, I’m right there with you. I delight in your company and can see all the treasures in your soul. I’ll process, share, discuss anything, at anytime….it sounds fantastic right?

But the weird part is I don’t really need a certain kind of emotional support returned from my friends, which in some ways it ends up not really being a give and take friendship at all. It’s not that I see the world as a great big project, it’s just kind of how I’m wired I guess. It feels more like breathing, I don’t think about it, it’s just how I am. When I do have a need or a problem I have lots of different people I can go to share or draw wisdom from.

Besides my family, there are just a very small handful of people that I can’t live without.

I feel like an ice princess just saying that.

Most are pretty fine with that arrangement, but for some it’s a recipe for disaster.

This also leads to flakiness- I have lots of people going, giving lots because I enjoy it and it really isn’t that hard for me but if you need to be needed back, I’m a horrible friend. The second I feel that need arising, I start to retreat because I can’t deliver and then I get all up in my head worrying that you feel loved by me. I don’t have the mental energy to be worrying about the frequency of our interactions hoping you are feeling close and connected enough. My instinct is to break-up immediately which leaves both friends feeling horrible.

So I have to figure this dynamic out. I think this is what my friend was trying to do but her delivery was too harsh and brutal. I felt forced to try to make a change and unsafe to practice with her. I think it might have been a myer’s briggs letters communicating issue. Maybe I’m not meant to have those type of more intense friendships or maybe it’s an opportunity to grow. I feel horrible about the whole thing but I think time will help to heal some deep wounds and maybe josiah’s advice will ring true in the end…say your sorry and go to lunch, it will be fine mom.

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