Welcome to Day 7 of #write31days!
For more information check out the series’ page.
When we are a few years old it is time for us to leave the fold of the immediate family and expand our world. We enter kindergarten, then school, university, apprenticeships, work…
Along the way we meet many new people from all kinds of backgrounds with all kinds of lifestyles, likes and dislikes, and personalities. Some of them move on, sometimes we move on. Some of them leave a mark on our lives. Some of them we call friends.
Sometimes these friendships can be really tough. As if we were traveling on a road together, suddenly hitting a T-junction with a one-and-only decision: Where does our friendship go from here?
I’ve had a few of these junction in my life lately, and they made me wonder about the different natures and kinds of friends. What are potential problems in friendships where we need to set boundaries?
The Phone that Never Stops Ringing
We all need friends, people who take an interest in us, share their lives with us, want to spend time with us. We all want to feel needed.
But sometimes it can all become too much.
When you feel exhausted and all you want is someone who listens to you, it can be a real challenge to have coffee with someone who talks about nothing else but themselves.
When you’re laden with questions and sorrows the least thing you can handle are friends dumping all their problems on you.
People taking it for granted that you’re always there to help. Grown-ups expecting you to take care of them all the time.
May it be picking them up every weekend after a night of partying.
May it be solving relationship issues for them.
May it be you doing work for them because they don’t even ask if you’re free to do it. Isn’t that what friends do?
May it be always being available, no matter how late it is. You end up sleep-deprived because someone kept you up for something “really important”. You end up putting your life on hold because someone else has claimed your attention, your time, your soul.
The point of friendship is to be there for each other, especially when it gets hard. This doesn’t involve taking over each other’s lives.
All Alone out there
I’m a very giving person, I like to invest in people. Lots of my time is filled with writing emails, skyping or calling people all over the world. I like to connect because I like friends.
Last year this became really hard because my time was taken up with studying. I had moved too much, had to say goodbye way too often. It got really hard and tyring to keep in touch with everyone. Emails became rare, skype dates almost impossible to schedule.
There were days, sometimes even weeks without a word from friends. Nothing.
Days when the word ‘friend’ on Facebook sounds like a spit in your face.
That feeling of emptiness filling your soul.
Loneliness creeping up until it feels your room, your apartment, your heart.
The battle between bitterness, hatred, and sadness raging in your soul.
The overwhelming fear that you’re all alone out there, that everyone has left you.
Where are all the people I have invested in?
Do none of my ‘investments’ pay off?
Where are friends when you need them most?
Can I be on the receiving end for once when I’ve been giving for months and years?
Such lonely days can easily lead to a whole lot of questioning, desperation, fear, and anger. A downward spiral that can drag you down if you don’t fight against it.
Who are the people walking with you in life?
Do you rather give or take in friendships?
When does it become really hard for you to stay friends with others?