Not really friends???

Posted By: Debbie-SpiritualityEditor

Not really friends??? - 03/26/12 02:18 PM

I have some friends whom I have enjoyed talking with very much and whom I have felt close to. I have not known them very long, but long enough to believe they were good people and we had various things to talk about. They would tell me that they enjoyed talking with me, I was a good friend, and they wanted to be there to help and support me when a bad situation happened suddenly in my life. When the situation first occurred I needed a lot of time to reflect and talk about it because it was a very painful and devastating event, but I have healed a bit and now I would like to talk about a variety of things.

After a while it seems that these friends do not have time for me anymore, even though I'd like to talk about other things than just my issues, yet they have time to spend with their other friends. I am genuinely interested in their lives as well as my own, and I enjoy learning more about them. I am not a selfish person and I want to help others as well where I can.

I do not understand some people. Why tell me you are committed to being there for me, and then just disappear? Are these people not really friends at all? I am starting to think so. It is a little disconcerting when you really enjoyed the support and love someone offered and then they just take it away because they have no time or need for you. I wish I knew what I have done to alienate these people, but it is not worth it to worry about what others think about me. You can be a good person and still not everyone will accept you. It is just a fact of life. Some people are very concerned with their own agendas.

I am grateful that my long time friends of several years have not deserted me. I do not need them constantly, as I have always strived to be self sufficient, but when on occasion I feel alone or need someone to listen, I do have some dear friends who are always there if I really need them. And they are there for the every day things too which is nice, like talking about the weather or what's for dinner.
Posted By: Lori - Marriage

Re: Not really friends??? - 04/13/12 04:00 PM

Originally Posted By: Cassie67
It is a little disconcerting when you really enjoyed the support and love someone offered and then they just take it away because they have no time or need for you. I wish I knew what I have done to alienate these people, but it is not worth it to worry about what others think about me. You can be a good person and still not everyone will accept you.

Hi Cassie,

I'm sorry you're feeling upset over this. You're right that it is not worth it to worry about what others think of you, but you have to see that, perhaps, they haven't stopped talking to you because they don't like you or are thinking negative things about you.

It could very well be that they were the opposite of a fair weather friend. A fair weather friend only wants to be with you during sunny times, but her polar opposite counterpart is a friend who wants to be with you only during your dark times.

Crisis friendships are formed when one party is in crisis and the other wants to be there to help her through. Some crisis friends are just nosy gossips who need the drama in their lives to prevent boredom. Others are genuinely sincere people who feel a sense of purpose and significance in coming to the aid of a hurting soul.

When the crisis passes, the role is no longer needed.

You might hope for a continuing relationship that was on the same deep level as you experienced during your crisis, but some people don't transition well to those everyday friendships. Perhaps your lifestyles, habits, attitudes, beliefs, families, ideas are vastly different and those are the bridges that form everyday friendships.

During a crisis, we are reduced to the universal principles that make us humans so we feel as though we share and bond with those who are by our side during crisis. Think about war soldiers, for example. During the war, they experience intense bonding, loyalty and friendship even though their personalities are so different that they would never chose each other for friends outside of the combat zone.

When the crisis experience is so intense (life and death), then those relationship bonds can last, but if not...people revert back to their daily lives and daily friendships.

I hope this helps you understand that it was nothing you did or said to make these people in your life slowly move back into their daily lives without you. They think, "She's okay now and doesn't need me."

If you care to continue your crisis friendships, please don't be disheartened if they do not respond. However, you can take baby steps into building everyday friendships with them by 1. sending a little note (not gushy) thanking them for helping you through a rough patch and 2. inviting them over for a friendly luncheon or tea or card game, etc.

If they still do not respond, consider them crisis friendships who were important for you during your time of need and appreciate your everyday friends all the more.

Sometimes, the Universe has a way of bringing you what you need and then taking away what you don't need. And that includes certain friends.
Posted By: Debbie-SpiritualityEditor

Re: Not really friends??? - 04/13/12 04:37 PM

Hi Lori......thanks for responding.

You have some great points there, but when I reflected on the situation I have come to the conclusion that my friendships with these few people were only ones of convenience to them. It is no longer convenient for them to be friends with me.

In any event, these people are so involved with their own lives that I don't know why they bothered. I still have bad days where I could have benefited from their support if they had been true friends, but in essence they are really only aquaintances when they have the time. When it comes down to it, when I really needed to talk about things that concerned me these "friends" had already heard enough from me and were no longer interested. I was taking up too much of their time. Yet even in my grief I tried to be a good friend in return, because nobody's life is perfect and things do happen. I am a caring person and always want to help where I can.

It's ok because I am confident in myself, and I know I have good friends I can depend on aside from the few I talked about. Through the years my true friends and I have been there for each other through thick and thin. I have moved on and I have looked into additional avenues of support for myself when I need it.
Posted By: Phyllis Doyle Burns

Re: Not really friends??? - 04/13/12 05:44 PM

Hi Cassie.

Lori is making a lot of sense in my opinion. Some friends are indeed truly a 'crisis friend'. Take me for instance. Since my daughter was 13 I have been involved in counseling and helping others in great need. That was many years ago I began doing that.

I am always one of the first people to jump in and offer support and friendship to someone who needs to talk and work through a crisis. I care a lot about the people I help and my feelings are sincere. I do not express false love to anyone and one of my tasks in life that I have been given is to help others back on their feet. Yet I can only do so much before my energy begins to waver and I need to build up my strength again.

When my mother died in November I had already been under great stress, as everyone in my family had been. I was the one that was there at my brother and mothers home to help organize and cook meals for all the family members who were coming from all over the state and from out of state to be with mother/grandmother during her last few days of life.

When mother died I was the only one who could stay with her body and help the hospice nurse prepare mother to leave her home for the last time. It was a mixture of a blessing yet deep sorrow that I was able to be there to give her a last bath and a last hug before they took her away.

Not long after that a friend lost a loved one and I was there for that friend, putting aside my own sorrow and emotions to help her through the same thing I had just gone through. I even resigned two sites here at BellaOnline to help out with my mother, with the loss of her and to help my friend in her new loss.

I gave up things I dearly loved doing to be with my friend and help her, to do what I could to be there for her. This is part of my spiritual path that I must follow and I did the best I could for her.

Yet, I know myself well. I know when my energy is ebbing and when I need to restore that energy. I saw that my friend had as much help as I could give her and that if I let go and stepped back, she would find others to be there for her and see a different point of view, a different kind of help that she needed. I was becoming too weak to give her what she needed and their were others who could carry on where I left off.

I was then able to return to the family, and myself to give them and myself what we needed. My friend is intelligent and learning where her spiritual path lies and I knew she would be ok without me there for her so much. There is a time in everyone's life when they must let go of the teacher as well. I had to let her go to find more support and strength -- and she had to let me go to regain my own support and strength.

She was able to do this but not without a negative attitude and tries to blame me for leaving her when she needed me. She does not understand that she only needed me for a specific time when she reached a place where she could reach out to others who could help.

I am still her friend and am closer to her than ever. I still love her. Yet I am where I need to be right now and if she lets go of the negative attitude, she will realize that she, too, is where she needs to be right now. In time we will both be stronger and able to see that a friendship like she and I developed has no end to it and does not fade away, but only becomes more strong and compassionate as time goes by.

I hope all I have said here helps you in some way to realize that you are worthy of being loved and having friends and that maybe the friends who were helping you are still there. Also I hope it helps you to understand that because priorities are different for each of us.

My priority was to help my children and grandson and myself heal from the loss of our mother and grandmother, then get on with life and do as mother would wish for us. I did not abandon my friend, and I hope you can see that maybe your friends have not abandoned you, but that they have their own life and hardships to deal with.

You are stepping into a beautiful part of your life, Cassie, and I see that you are doing well in going forward. Please do not let negative or ill feelings hold you back. Maybe there is more for you to understand as to why your friends are not there as strongly as they were during the beginning of your crisis and that now you need one, or more, who can take the next stage with you.

I wish you all the best in your journey forward.
Love and Hugs.
Posted By: Debbie-SpiritualityEditor

Re: Not really friends??? - 04/13/12 07:11 PM

Thanks for your response, Phyllis. Like I have said, I moved on and I don't let these things bother me anymore. I am lucky in that I have many other friends I can depend on at any time.

One of these women I referred to has young kids, and I'm sure that is a big reason why she is too busy for me right now. I think maybe she offered more than she could really handle. I still see her from time to time when I am out and about but she is always on the go. I am not a kid person per se, but this woman and I seemed to have a lot in common otherwise and it was such a help talking with her.

The other woman is someone my boyfriend knew who came forward after he died. I don't see or hear from her anymore. I think when I suffered my loss she felt a lot of it too, being his friend, but work is keeping her busy. I think here too she had the right intentions and I really enjoyed our conversations, but she is not really available anymore.

When I offer my friendship to others I of course want to help in a crisis. But I also take a genuine interest in that person too, or I would not have offered the help. I like to talk about mutual interests and other things, and not just a crisis issue. I like to really get to know people because people interest me. That is just who I am, and not everyone is like me. I should just remember that. These two women truly are too busy and I took a bit of offense, but they have families and demanding jobs. I really enjoyed their company when we spent time together since my crisis situation happened, and I thought we were getting closer with time. It meant a lot to me to have these chats with them. I guess me having my family so far away and most of my friends not close by, it was nice to have the one on one contact, as a lot of my time is spent alone.

Even so, I have moved on and if they ever want to talk in the future I will of course sit with them again, but to me they are just acquaintances now. I have other friends I have met along the way who have been very kind to me during my troubled time, as well as my long time friends who are always there whenever I make a call to them. I am grateful for all of my steadfast friends near and far, because even if we don't communicate every day I know they are there in love and friendship.

One dear friend emailed me several times a day when my boyfriend first went into the hospital, and then afterwards she was there for me during my greatest pain in those first few weeks. I will always be grateful for her kindness. I only wish she lived closer so I could have hugged her for all that her support meant to me. She suffered a recent loss like I did, and even in her grief she was most kind to me. It is a kindness I will never forget, and it means the world to me even today. Even if some people disappoint, I have dear friends whom I have been blessed with, even if we can't spend time in each other's company.

You are a kind person, Phyllis. I can see that you help others in need even when you have other issues going on in your life. I am sure you are greatly appreciated by all those you help. If you are tired your true friends should be able to understand when you need time for yourself. I know I would understand, as I am often exhausted myself from what life brings me. Thanks again for responding.
Posted By: SamanthaG123

Re: Not really friends??? - 05/26/12 02:14 AM

Unless you did anything to offend them (which it doesn't sound like you did), I highly doubt that the reason they stopped talking to you has anything to do with you. As you know, friendship requires effort in both directions, and many people lose the drive to put forth that effort after a certain period of time passes. So it's not that you did something wrong, it's just that you may benefit from concentrating on finding some more stable friends who are willing to make a commitment to be there in good times and in bad.
Posted By: Debbie-SpiritualityEditor

Re: Not really friends??? - 06/14/12 01:41 PM

I know I didn't do anything wrong to these two women, and that the truth of the matter is that they are just too busy and centered on their own lives to be real friend material. That is fine. I do have long-time stable friends who are always there for me, as I am for them when they need support. I am doing so much better these days. Thanks for your comments, Samantha.
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