I’m going through an interesting stage of my life where I’m re-evaluating all the things that are important to me. One of the traits that I’ve had for a long time is ‘people pleasing’. With everything I’ve been dealing with lately, I’ve realised that part of my problem has been pleasing others.
This has been to remain liked and respected, and to avoid conflict, etc. All measures of my own insecurities, really. But lately I’ve been finding more and more that many of those people who I once considered friends, have actually been friends only because I’ve been a particular way with them, and if that ‘way’ has deviated in some way, then their friendship has waned or disappeared altogether.
Some of my ‘friends’ have chosen to part ways, while I’ve chosen to part ways from others.
What’s been really interesting to me is that these friends, for want of a better word, have only been friends if I’ve been of a particular way. Attitudes, actions, opinions, etc. If I do something different, they’ve shown that they haven’t been there for me.
Conditional friendship, I call it. “I’ll be your friend only if you do the things that I want you to do.” Or, “I’ll be your friend only if you do the things that I like.” Or, “I’ll be your friend only if you agree with me.”
Ultimately, I don’t need them, and I know they don’t need me. Placing conditions upon friendships is not what I’m interested in, and I don’t need them in my life. What I’m interested in is having quality relationships with people who accept who I am, warts and all, and still consider themselves to be a better person for knowing me.
Any person who wants me to be the kind of person that they think is best, are the kind of person I’m not interested in having around. So I’ve been happy that they’ve shown their true colours and forced the end of the ‘friendship’, one way or another.
But the experiences have made me take stock of myself. Part of my passive aggression is agreeing with others for the sake of being liked, and fitting in with what I feel they want, so that I don’t feel so lonely or challenged.
But I’ve been doing it for so long, frankly I’m sick of it. I’m tired of being what other people want me to be. If they don’t like me for who I am, then that’s their problem. I’m glad to know about it, so that I can move on with someone less arrogant, selfish, inconsiderate, short sighted and closed minded.
All traits which I have in me. 🙂
But I need to walk away from those traits in me, and I need to walk away from those people who reflect the parts of myself that I don’t like.
It’s sad to lose friends, but when they’re friends only because you fit into the mould of what they want, then they’re not really friends.
They’re people who are searching for relevence, and by fitting into their categorisation, you’re only reaffirming their own insecurities about themselves. Insecurities? Yes, definitely. So insecure are they that they can’t accept people who are outside of their frames of reference. They have to have people around them who agree, who don’t challenge them, who have the same interests or talk about the same things.
The ‘unknown’ frightens them, and they can’t handle it. So they surround themselves with ‘yes men’, and ‘people pleasers’, those people who are hoping to find friendships by being what other people want them to be.
I used to be that, and I’m only realising it now.
I’m still finding out who I really am. It’s going to take a while. But all those people who can’t handle who I am, and instead want me to be what they want, they can go find someone else to fit into their mould.
I’m not having it any more.
I’ve started a new search for quality people, who are not only outside my frames of reference, but are happy to develop friendships with someone like me. I’ll challenge them, question them, anger them, but at the end of the day, I’ll be there for them, ready to help them, to be challenged and questioned by them.
And we’ll know that in the glory of humanity, we’ve come together to enrich each other’s lives.
I’m looking for people who recognise that, and goodbye to the rest of those who can’t handle stepping outside their small, secure box of safety. They’re imprisoned by their own beliefs about what kind of friends they want, and the kind of friend they want to be.
It’s good to say what I feel in this blog. I’m sick and tired of trying not to piss anyone off. It stops, now.
It’s also good to know that I still do have friends who love me regardless of what I say, who know that it’s not my opinion that matters, but my presence. Most of them are in Canberra. I plan on returning to them soon.
So what kind of friend are you? What kind of friends do you have around you? Are they people who will stick by you through thick or thin, or are they there for only until you challenge them, and then they’re off, hiding in their box?
Choose quality friends. It makes for a more rewarding, quality life.
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