There are times when we all will have to choose between keeping a friendship and letting it go. It shouldn’t be this way and normally, it isn’t but there are times when a friend gives you no choice but to accept that there is no choice and either way, can lead to an issue. The only question that remains is which one will leave your self-respect intact?
I am far more emotionally sensitive and have tried to be more helpful than I should be or is healthy for me to be. I’ve had more than enough experience in “people pleasing” and I’ve often been left hurt because of it. It’s left me thinking about the lines between being helpful to someone else and being destructive to self. Where is that line?
I’m no saint and I don’t pretend to be one. My halo is not a glowing gold and I certainly don’t have the wings of an angel but, I have prided myself on my ability to recognize a friend in need, doing everything that I can to help them out of any and all pain, if humanly possible. I cannot stand to see people in pain. I therefore, empathize myself into and out of a lot of energy loss and heartbreak because of it.
I recently had an issue with a long time, net friend. She’s been in and out of personal troubles, more often than not, as a result of her own poor choices. In spite of that, I have always tried to step in and help when she wants me to do so. I have rarely ever refused her any help that I could possibly give her, even if it could only be a shoulder and an ear for hours on end, day after day.
However, this time came to a point where I could clearly see that her current trouble was multi-faceted and clearly due to her own mistakes as well as control issues that she has had in her own life. It was at that point that I recognized that no good could come from me wading into this mess to bail her out as I would usually have done with her. The price tag would have been far too great a drain on my own self-respect, energy and time. Not only that but, my efforts wouldn’t have worked in this scenario because the issues involved were created by her own poor choices, needs and internal predicaments that she’s kept herself under.
As hard as it is to do, we sometimes need to let others fall and not feel the need to dust off their behinds for them. Sometimes, people need that bruising with which to learn what is needed to be learned. By constantly stepping into it all, it would be akin to depriving them of perhaps, a learning experience. This is where I decided to step aside this time.
Was I right? I’m not sure yet. I do know that by not leaping in to the murky waters this time to save her, I angered her. Yet this time, I also recognized that had I continued on with trying to help her, I also would have stepped into a role that was not mine to step into nor, one that was helpful to her or me.
While I have incurred the wrath of her upset at my lack of being The Calvary this time, I somehow, deep down inside, knew that standing back was the right thing for me to do, for her sake and mine, whether she sees it that way or not and in a way, it felt relieving to have done so this time. Her current predicament is one that she has created, expecting others to help her. This is the one time that I stood back and saw that either way, helping or not helping, it wasn’t healthy for either one of us and would have led to the end of our friendship anyway. Either way, I was going to lose something.
I have no clue where this is all going to end up but, I do know that for at least this time, I grew a thicker skin and didn’t let my usual patterns rule my actions. I refused to allow a friend’s poor choices affect my life this time and that felt good.
As they say, “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions”. It’s hard to please others but, really easy to tick them off. I may have lost a friend today but, I have gained something in return…the ability to know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em.
At least, that’s the way that I’m seeing things from My Little Corner of Life at this moment.