That’s about the extent of the opinions and feedback that many people will give you, even so-called friends. Give them 10 minutes though and they’ll pile on their issues like a fire takes over a room full of old, dry paper.
I recently called someone I thought was a friend. After all, I’d listened to hours of their stories, problems and whatever else they could unload into my eardrums. I took the time, without taking a breath, to lay out my issue and ask for their opinion on it, hoping for some sort of insight into it so that I could solve it. Ultimately, I knew that the final choice or decision as going to be mine and mine alone but, I still hoped for something that would be said that would be a trigger to me being able to make that choice. What I received, in between text message they received was an “awwww” and, that was about the extent of it before this person went into their own tales of woe.
Let me say something here and now. I am not feeling sorry for myself nor, do I have a bag of potato chips, a pint of ice cream beside me. I’m also not throwing myself one huge Pity Party. What I am saying though is that relying upon other people to not talk about themselves and their own troubles is akin to asking a snake not to be a snake.
This is where I realized that I’d spent way too much time, energy, effort and thought on their whining, crying and whatever else they could throw into the mix that went through my eardrums and, into my brain where it rattled around along with about twenty other people’s ramblings. Meanwhile, they were sleeping like babies, out for dinners, lunches, coffees, movies, plays and well, you get the gist of what they were doing. Nowhere was I even at play in their minds once they’d unburdened their hardships onto me. Not only was I not on their minds at this point in time but, I also wasn’t having the fun times with them. Others were having that honor instead. These were the jerks who never listened to these people’s issues but, who wouldn’t step over a puddle to hear it all let alone, do anything about any of it. Half or better of it was completely fabricated around a thread of truth, if there was that much to it anyway.
I rarely heard from people until or unless they had some need for me and my services or so to speak. Tell them that you had a few thousand dollars or something else that they wanted and they’d come running to get it. Ask them why you weren’t invited to a dinner party that they’d thrown and had every friend that they’d ever known to it and, you’ll hear crickets. That’s the plain and simple truth I’d found.
Some of you may be lucky. You may be reading my words here and saying, “I have good friends. They are always around for me.”
That may be true and, kudos to you if it is. Not only do I admire you but, I’m jealous as well. Yeah, you heard me correctly. I’m a bit jealous or shall I say, envious of you for having that in your friends. Truly though, if you do have that, I’m happy for you. I hope it always keeps up that way.
Unfortunately, there are likely more people like me out there than we’d like to believe. Don’t believe me? Unless you’re one of those fortunate few who always have people around them and, their social calendars are full or, they have friends who want you around them in good times as well as the bad, you’re like me. You’re likely wondering why you’ve put so much into others, right?
Perhaps, it’s fitting right here to give a few tips so that fewer of you end up with shoulders the size of a city block, a headache that won’t go away and, no one around when you need help or even to ask you to go for a coffee or meal.
Start Having A Life (Even If You Don’t Have One)
This may seem self-explanatory but, it’s important that you set some time frames in which people can shell out their complaints onto your shoulders. This can be anything that you set but, give it a time frame both in clock time as well as duration length before you have to do something or go. Seriously, this is important. It doesn’t matter if you’re off to watch your favorite television show, wash your hair or sit and stare at a blank wall while you pick your nose. The more people get the idea that you have a life too, the less inclined they will be to take up your generous time, thought and energy so that they can feel better while you feel like you’ve been hit by a cement truck.
People Will Find Ways To Deal With Their Problems
Many of you may think that helping someone is a noble thing to do. However, once or twice is being kind. Taking on everyone else’s problems, helping them solve them and, worrying about them, is really only a total waste of time. Why? Because people will more often than not figure out a way to solve their own issues on their own or with other people. If you truly believe that you’re the only one that they have or will tell their stories to before they solve it, the joke is on you as it was with me.
If They Aren’t There For You When You Need Help, Drop ‘Em
That may sound harsh and maybe even a bit cruel but, the truth is, if you’re alway there for others and, they don’t have the time of day for you and your problems, they’re what we’ll call, “Takers” or “Fake Friends”. Do you really want people like that in your life? Ask yourself what good they bring to you. If there’s nothing good, drop ’em or keep them at arm’s length. It’s as simple as that.
Your Doorbell Or Phone Feel Like Lifelines
If your doorbell or phone or both feel like other people’s Life Lines and you’re the 911 Crisis Centre call person for these people but, there’s cobwebs growing on both when there is no issue that they have, chances are, you’re being used and abused. Time to stop being a paramedic or heart surgeon for them. You’ve been had and are more than likely being taken for granted by these people. Stop there and think about that idea. You may find it to be right within your life.
There’s Few If Any Calls Or Visits When There’s No Problems
If you’re only hearing from these people when there’s a problem or issue in their lives but, you’re seeing them on social media or hearing about parties that they’ve been to or other social occassions and you weren’t part of those times too, that’s a classic sign that they think of you as only The Problem Person. Time to retrain them or, move onto others where you won’t start off with the idea that you’re there for their issues only. They need to be friends for and with you in good times and in bad. Not simply the bad.
If that’s all you’re getting in response to your troubles when you’ve spent endless time, energy and hours, listening, trying to help, give worthwhile opinions, suggestions and such to their cries and tales of woe, they likely truly don’t care about you or your problems. That utterance is a platitude only that means, “I can’t be bothered thinking about your problem(s)”. If they then go onto their issues and you’re attempting to solve them for them or help them to solve them, you’re training them that they can let everything go in one ear and out the other when you need a shoulder but, they’re into themselves.
Respect Yourself And Others Will Too
While it may be too late to retrain old dogs, it’s not if it’s the beginning of a new relationship or friendship. Start off by respecting yourself first and foremost. More than anything, respect your time and others will too.
We tend to give off signals when we’re always available to help others out and without regard for ourselves that we’re the ones to go to when someone has problems. Moreover, we are giving others the idea that we’re ready, able and willing to help no matter what it may do to us, our lives or whatever else we may have or not have on the go. In other words, we’re giving them the message that we respect them and their troubles more than we respect ourselves. If we don’t respect ourselves, they certainly won’t.
One last thing before I end this horror piece.
Friendships, Relationships And Such Are Two-Way Streets
If you’re not convinced yet that you’re amongst those of us who are learning this at this point in time or, our lives, think about it before you may end up like this.
Friendship is a two-way street. It means that people should be there at least half the amount of time that you’re there for them. They should be willing to help you as much or nearly as much as you’ve helped them. It also means that they actually let you know when good things happen to them and, more than anything, you are a part of the parties, having some fun, shopping, lunches, dinners, trips or whatever others are part of doing with them too. If you’re not, there’s a real problem there with them and you need to take a good, hard and long look at how you’re treating them but, more importantly, how you’re letting them treat you.
Be kind to yourself as after all, “charity begins at home”. Don’t forget that much and try to be Mother Teresa. Even she got ticked off, fed up and no, there’s not likely to be sainthood around the corner for you if you allow and permit people to treat you like this. Having a warm body around you does not mean that you have to be everyone else’s Life Coach or shoulder. That’s true usership. Love yourself and others will too.
Be well, Love and Light,
Have a GREAT day or evening and comment, please. I’d love to hear your stories and thoughts besides saying that I’m negative as well…we’ll leave it there.