Monday, June 9, 2014
You've got a friend...or do you?
What do you do when you have a one-sided friendship? Is it only one-sided because you have too many expectations that you never voiced? Are your expectations the real cause of your stress and anxiety? Should you really have to express your needs to a genuine friend or should there just be certain things a good friend should just know? Should you have no expectations at all, therefore never get disappointed? When a friendship is so incredibly difficult is it worth having? I think about these questions far too often… I think expectations are good, and of course can be changed as life changes our needs and perceptions. Granted, there is no really cookie cutter expectation, but I do believe there are some that should just occur between really good friends. For instance, you should stay in touch so that when one of you is going through really bad times, your friend can and should be right there offering emotional support. If there is a death, that friend should not only be supportive but also show up on your doorstep. You should be considered in the good times and remembered on your birthday. You should want to spend time with each other and actually make it happen without excuses. Life’s moments should be shared with friends. When none of these things occur, I begin to question the “friendship” and that is when I say okay with “so-and-so” I cannot expect this or that. Perhaps with her/him I can only go to a movie or grab a quick bite to eat out now and then. Those are what I consider friendships in small doses because it seems like that is all they can give. I think my problem is that for so long, I had placed the same simple expectations on all my friends, but only a few actually met them. Over the years, I have learned to categorize my friendships. I realized that while they were all beneficial to my growth as a person, they are as different as the people themselves. Relationships with people are not easy, if they were I am pretty sure there would be peace in the world. Of course, there are also people who have social challenges. They need to have it all laid out for them about what the expectations are in the friendship on a continuing basis. Life has taught me that your heart has room for all the friendships you develop in your life. If you are “both” willing to work at it the friendships can grow and become what will benefit both participants. If, however, you realize the friendship is one sided and/or toxic, you need to express your needs, create emotional boundaries or walk away.