Friday, March 31, 2006

Friendship and Anger

Interesting comments on the last post. I'm going to pick on Devan now. Fair warning.

If you value someone's friendship, accept it. They are who they are and their rudeness has nothing to do with their feelings for you. Accepting who someone is and the structure of a particular relationship is EXACTLY what it means to be someone's friend. Just because someone's a "flake" doesn't mean they're not a "friend." And just because you're not priority number one in their lives, doesn't mean that you're not an important part of their life. It's just a matter of perspective. ~ Devan, in comments below

See, this is what I mean by being able to explain away just about any treatment. This is a bunch of rationalizing bullshit that confuses "being a friend" with "being a doormat".

Friendship is a mutual system of support, affection, interests, and respect. Keyword: MUTUAL. I think I allowed that this friend's actions have nothing to do with her feelings for me. I'm pretty sure her actions have much more to do with the value she places on her personal time and other issues stemming from shyness and self-worth considerations. I don't believe I ever mentioned anything about needing to be a number one priority with a friend. HELL, I'm not even a number one priority with my husband. (Though I think I've made it into the top three now.)

Likewise, my admission about being pissed off at her actions has no bearing on my feelings for her as a person. I love her to pieces. She was there for me in a very real way throughout my college years. When she decides that she has time for friends and friendship in her life again, I'll still be here. But for me to be okay with ME, I can't keep holding out my hand only to have it be ignored over and over.

My saying that I'm pissed off has much more to do with me getting over that voice in my head that says "you don't have the right to be angry". Because, honestly, I AM angry, and if I deny that, it's only going to destroy, little-by-little, the friendship that I do feel for her. Simmering anger turns into resentment, and nothing sours a relationship faster than bubbling pools of resentment. If I own up to my anger, I can deal with it, get over it, and move on to something more productive and interesting.

Yes, opening yourself to other people can hurt. I can only assume that's why so many people are so crippled by social interactions. ~ Devan again

What the hell kind of high horse condescending bullshit statement is this? And what does it have to do with the subject at hand? I'm not talking about being unable to "open" myself to people. (And, my, doesn't that sound pornographic?) I'm as open to people as the next person, but I have a lot of interests and a lot of ways to entertain myself, so I see no reason to tolerate disrespectful treatment from others. Just not worth my time. Doesn't make me crippled, just makes me happier and saner.

Don't make me have to smack you. (Metaphorically speaking, of course.)

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