Lately, my friends have been slacking. They have not been on top of their friend game at all.
My friendships are now starting to feel like one-sided situationships with me reluctantly thrust into the role of designated driver, hired to make all the plans, initiate all the calls, send all the introductory texts, and listen to all those dreadful late night lamentations which are chockfull of the inane and painfully ridiculous buffoonery of my so-called “friends”.
As a friend, I do not necessarily mind doing these things, it’s par for the course when that’s what friends are for. But lately, a feeling of bitter resentment has come over me because my efforts to be a “good friend” have not been reciprocated. If anything, my grievances have been negated, criticized, ignored, minimized, and dismissed as juvenile. I have been crowned heir to an empty throne of rejects, misfits, and degenerate beasts from planet sociopath.
My first order of business as reigning king of this vacant throne has been to keep the friendship train chugging along despite numerous technical and mechanical issues. Having to manage friendships that are supposed to be mutually maintained is starting to tax my last nerve not to mention my dwindling patience.
Truth be told, I’m at a point where all I want to do is live out my days peacefully on some secluded tropical island, where I will humbly accept my role as the local hermit, who sells coconuts and other wares by the sand and surf. The thought of not having to deal with other people’s bullshit washes and rinses my soul free of all nagging frustrations and throat-grating worry. I just don’t know how all this happened. When did my friends stop caring about how I feel?
Why aren’t my friends well…..FRIENDS anymore?!
One possible explanation for the breakdown is the difficulties my friends have with adapting effectively to the many shifting roles that are concomitant with growing up. Some of my friends have come out of the closet, others have become parents, others have begun to focus on their burgeoning careers. While others received their selfie sticks in the mail and are preoccupied with figuring out the instruction manual. In other words, my friends have a lot on their plate as well as mismatched priorities.
I GET IT!
But does having a lot on your plate and different priorities give you a reason to ignore your social obligations to the people that have been there since day one? Why is a person’s social obligation to their friends always the first thing to go when reconfiguring priorities?
I have had friends use their children as excuses as to why they cannot be present for our friendship. I have had friends abuse their own mixed up emotions and cite them as reasons why they could not commit to plans. I am still always amazed how when they have something that they really want to do, they find the time to be attentive and fully present.
Having a lot on our plate does not give us permission to skimp on the portions of loving kindness we show to a friend, nor does it exonerate us from being a good friend, nor justify a tendency to shortchange a friend in an effort to restore a modicum of balance. Assuming that your friends will always understand your repeated slights and oversights is taking advantage of their understanding and will ultimately result in your being fired from the company of their friendship. It’s like a job. If you constantly call out on your commitments, you will be terminated pointblank. The same applies to friendships.
Another reason for the breakdown in my friendships is technology.
Ironically, there has been a significant breakdown in communication due to technological advances in how we as humans can now communicate with one another. Phone calls have become a relic of the past and have been replaced with the stoic text message. No one calls anymore unless it’s to gripe or complain. Even then, people are not looking for a connection but rather a ready-made sounding board/receptacle for their negative emotions.
Human behaviors have now taken on the characteristics of lifeless technology and it’s really putting a damper on all friendships in general not just mine. I don’t know how many times I have seen and heard people ask their friends
“Yo, are you listening?”
Basic communication skills usually acquired during kindergarten have been discarded in place of basic, unconscious id-type behaviors.
No one is listening anymore.
Everyone just waits to talk. People engage in the nasty habit of finishing each other’s sentences, talking over one another, and predicting what others are going to say instead of really listening and responding appropriately to what was mentioned. The basic fundamental building blocks needed to build and sustain friendships have been demolished and kicked over by the screaming, tantruming abuses of modern technology.
Another explanation for the breakdown in my friendships is the increased level of selfishness that I have noticed in my friends.
They have started to exhibit some real sociopathic traits such as increased grandiosity and the inability to recognize their role in any disagreement. Traits that I have never really noticed up until now. The level of self-absorption has reached epic proportions.
I don’t know if narcissus fell into the ocean and landed in our water supply, but there seems to be a marked intensity to everyone’s personality these days that causes them to act out in very selfish ways, as though they are trying to heal themselves by hurting you. They seek restitution for all of their deficiencies and expect you to pay. When you are unwilling to, that is when the accusations start and the covert aggression begins.
Your friends, the ones appointed to be your port in the storm, have opted to instead push your head underwater in an effort to save themselves from drowning. They misappropriate and misdirect their anger onto anyone who they feel cares about them and expect YOU (their true blue) to correct the imbalances they have sustained as a result of their fucked up choices.
- Are people looking for friends these days.?
- Are they looking for human punching bags, someone they can use and abuse?
- Are they sadists in search of their masochists and instead of loving company and genuine connection, they want the sinister pleasure of feeling their own power.
A final reason for the breakdown in my friendships is my own tendency to play victim.
I am no saint. I am not innocent. I have attracted these bastards to me. I have designed my life to be a fly strip for dysfunctional types. Unconsciously, I have been complicit in my own disappointment mainly because I have not gotten up and walked away from those particular tables that have offered me nothing but scraps as the main course.
I tolerate things I should of never tolerate under the guise of trying to be a real friend. I give chance after chance to people that do not demonstrated they deserve a second chance. I do not chose to apply and live the lessons I have learned. Because of that, I made myself into victim and the fact is, if you play a victim for too long, you will be victimized!
I have since learned how to reclaim my life and make up for lost time. I must immediately identify and walk away from bullshit. The minute I smell the faint hint of bullshit in the air, I will get up and remove myself with no explanation provided or questions asked. If I smell someone trying to mask their bullshit with the perfumed cologne of glib and superficial charm, guess what? I’m ghost. No more playing host to these parasites.
So to recap: Why aren’t my friends… well, friends anymore?
There are a variety of reasons why, from the inability to juggle responsibilities effectively to our nations collective breakdown in communication to down-right selfishness. But the main reason why my friends are no longer friends anymore is because I stopped being a friend to myself in hopes of securing their friendship. I dropped my victorious stance and adopted a victim posture in an effort to maintain my relationships with my friends. I accepted and tolerated things I should have never. I overidentified with dysfunctional behaviors and was excessively tolerant to the point of being ineffective with my friends.
Being this way no longer feels good to me and has yielded nothing but regret. It has outlived its usefulness. I am now committed to befriending myself because the choice is up to me to be the friend I seek. I am the friend I’ve always been looking for, I am the friend that has been here all along. Because of that I’m not taking any shots from so-called “friends” who really aren’t friends anymore. Myself included!
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