Monday, September 13, 2010

Axing Friends

Being in Montenegro for three glorious weeks, we were surrounded by some true, blue friends. It felt good. It felt great. And it made me question my "friendships". A few in particular. I realized I don't have the time or patience to continue friendships with fairweather friends or friends where a jumble of strings are attached.

I refuse to pretend anymore or reach out to those that rarely reach back. I AM a good friend and I AM a good person. I will no longer be a doormat or let my spouse be one. The more you give, sometimes, the more people expect. And it sucks when all some people do is take...from your heart, your home and your life and yet, somehow, make you feel as though you owe them. But I accept responsibility here. We have let this happen.

And a lot of it has to do with both hubby and I's mutual need to be liked by everyone.

But I'm done. I know who my friends are and I know where they live. Some are across oceans but they're the best friends we'll ever have.

I will continue to live and work in this country where friendships are few and far between and that's ok by me. I no longer have a yearning to make friends nor will I complain about how hard it is to make friends. I have friends who fill me completely. My cup runneth over. For the most part, I have to hop on a plane to get a refill and that's a journey I'm willing to make until such time (when the time comes) that we're in the same country again.

Yes, I realize I've mixed "I" and "We" quite a bit here. Sometimes you're not only standing up for yourself but for someone else who doesn't have the energy to do it for themselves.


Tales of a young mamma said...

looks like you had an amazing time- and you look Fabulous! And i completely understand your post about being tired of friends who take take take instead of give to the friendship. I have a few of those as well and hopefully I will have the courage to do the same! Life is too short to be spending time and energy on crappy friends.

Michelle said...

As a fellow member of ASPP's (Attention Seeking People Pleasers, remember? Hehe) I completely relate to this post. It has been an uphill battle for me in this arena for the past few years, but I feel like I've made progress.

The turning point came for me when a friend and I were commiserating over a mutual "friend" who seemed to always be taking advantage of our kindness. I was always the sucker and she was not, therefor she was rarely asked anymore. She said something very simple that really stuck with me. She said, "Some people will bend over backwards to do anything for anyone, I am just not that person." At first I was shocked that she would admit that out loud...and then I thought about it. Was it so bad to only do the things I truly wanted to do? To stand up for myself when I knew she was only asking b/c she knew I wouldn't object? Did I really want to be a door mat? So I made a decision to change things and although it hasn't always scored me brownie points, it works for me. I now weigh every decision I make carefully, thinking about whether or not its fair of them to ask this of me and whether or not I really want to do it. Or say it, or agree to get the idea. It works for many situations.

It is a wonderful thing to know you have true friends in your life, friends who would not ever consider taking advantage of your kindness or expect anything from you that you aren't willing to give. Staying true to yourself is not easy, but it does feel good in the long run.

There, first official meeting of the ASPP's - adjourned!

Hyacynth said...

Jenn, I know what you mean. It's sooo hard to keep putting into a friendship when there is no reciprocity. {Is that a word?}
I have a best friend who is TERRIBLE at keeping in touch, but whenever we are together, it's like nothing has ever changed. However, is it really worthwhile to keep pouring into friendships that don't nurture you?
Tough call sometimes.
I'm glad you had fun in M. But I'm also glad you're back. :)

SwedishJenn said...

@Tales of a Young Mama: You can do it!
@Michelle, President, ASPP: Thanks for sharing your story. I hope to have the strength to continue here. It will be very difficult for us but we must persevere.
@Hy:I am done pouring any of myself into those friendships and have started by maintaining a respectable distance. And I vote for reciprocity as a word :-)

Monica said...

wow.... i'm alittle scared..... :)

SwedishJenn said...

@Mon: Uhhh....why?

Den said...

OMG - you have no idea how much this post hits the spot for me! I have 'lost' a couple of friends recently - but really I've been 'unburdened'... the weight of other people's crap has been lifted and I feel lighter (not greater - I'm with the other folks here who struggle with "not being liked").
I've had a revelation about a friend who I have known and loved since I was 14 years old. I am the only remaining buddy from a whole bunch and recently i figured out why - because I am the only one who can arsed to keep the connection, keep putting up with her b/s.
I could go on & on but I don't have time or a decent enough connection right now!!!
Just so sorry we didn't get to spend some actual time together to build on the connection we have developed...
Glad you are home safe & blogging again!

SwedishJenn said...

@Den: Glad this post resonated. Yes, you have wonder: If folks are dropping like flies, there must be some shit lying around. Ok, bad But good for you for recognizing this.

I am sorry too. It would have been great to get up there. I wrote about that being my one regret in my first post after coming back :-(.

Monica said...

oh, i was joking.... as in, your determination was scary. lol

Just Me said...

It's amazing how many of us are going threw this. I have just unloaded 2 friends. At first I did it because I needed peace of mind. Then I realized later and more so by this post that this is why I needed peace of mind. They were always takers and never gave back. I felt burdened and they were the cause. They never reciprocated the kindness or respect I gave to them. So I started to feel like I did something wrong.
It wasn't me at all.
Thanks for posting this Jenn!

SwedishJenn said...

@JustMe: Way to go Just Me! Toxic relationships are harmful to our health. Now we just have to be able to read the warning labels and faster so we don't ingest even a drop :-)

septembermom said...

I agree that we should avoid negative or poisonous relationships. Love that picture. You girls are rocking those outfits!