Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Friends?

Someone did something really sweet for me last week. It was a total surprise. This is someone who i consider to be an acquaintance, not really a friend. But from her actions, she sees me as more of a friend.

How odd. This makes me realize that i don't expect people to like me.

That is absurd because if i stop to think about it, i realize that this isn't true. I am wondering what opportunities i have missed from having this expectation.

Where this leads in my mind is to the people i consider to be among my favorite, whom i have never told. Because i don't want them to tell me that i am not among their favorite. Or perhaps because it's not important. Would they stop being among my favorites if i was not among theirs? Nope.

Would it hurt my feelings? Probably. Would i get over it? Yes.

Mulling it over in my head.

38 comments:

thailandchani said...

Well, you are one of my favorite bloggers. Does that count? :)

Seriously though.. I get what you're saying and it's hard. I wish we could all just be free to say what we want to say without it getting tangled up in expectations.

It's funny. You know how I am about reciprocity.. but I haven't thought about it in this context. I automatically assume I am not anyone's "favorite" anything.

LOL


Peace,

~Chani
http://thailandgal.blogspot.com

peevish said...

I have almost always found that people really appreciate being told how much their friendship means to me. If that revelation weirds someone out, that also gives me valuable information. But, for the most part, I think people love to feel noticed and valued. Don't you?

p.s. You are wonderful.

amusing said...

Well, but why does it matter?
I guess I don't really thing about it and probably approach people with the same attitude that you do -- it's wait and see. I don't assume a bond (oh, jees! Never assume!) and it's that whole "actions speak louder than words" thing.

Irrelephant said...

What a wonderful conundrum, dear! I always envied people who could stand straight without wondering if they were important to other people. If it were me, I'd tell the important ones they're important, tell the favourites that they're favoured, and tell the rest to take a hike. *grin*

btw--You're pretty important to me in the whole Blogger Friend scheme of things, but that's just between you and me, kay? *wink*

liv said...

Oh, this resonates to my core. I always want to be everyone's favorite and it makes me green and scared to feel like someone might not like me. Oh, shit. I've just confessed. I'm like a labrador.

Franki said...

Hmmm...if I consider someone "one of my favorites," I do it with joy and without expectation. Where I rank on their lists doesn't matter. In fact, I would venture to say that anyone on "my favorites" doesn't keep a list!

I love the way you introduce topics that make us introspective!

Thanks!

Her Bad Mother said...

The people I count as *favorites* know it. I think. Now I have to think about that. Hmm.

Airam said...

I don't think too much about it. I just do things for people that I think will make them happy. If it is returned then bonus. If not then it doesn't stop me from still being that person.

meno said...

chani, it absolutely counts. I make that same assumption. I mean, i know i am the Mister's favorite wife, and Em's favorite mommy, but friends are trickier.

peevish, i have one of my favorite people flying halfway across the country to see me for week in a few days. That gives me some valuable information. And thank you. I think you are wonderful too, and not just because you said it first. :)

amusing, yes, i recognize my approach to people in your life stories. I assume that is why i think i have some understanding of you.

irrelephant, i promise, i won't tell a soul! I hold the opinion that people are more important to me than i am to them because i am a bit of an odd duck. Not a really odd one, but out of the main.

liv, i know someone like that. It causes him some pain and trouble. Does it for you? As far as the movie and the bourbon, we'd have more fun at a movie we would both like. I once snuck a bottle of port and three glasses into a theater. Had a great time, don't remember the movie.

franki, yes, that is how i do it too. I would like to be a favorite too, but my "rank" changes nothing. Kind of like technorati ratings. And you're welcome.

her bad mother, i would like it if mine did too. I bet they can tell from my actions, but it would be nice to say it too.

flutter said...

I like you. So there.

Lynn said...

I can totally relate. I wonder... where does the insecurity come from?...and when will we outgrow it?

Schmoopie said...

Moving to a new city has renewed my worries about finding friends, knowing who to trust and who will flake-out etc.

Trust issues will always get in my way.

With a bottle of port and three glasses, you'd have Nancy-Pants and I to follow you anywhere! ;)

Mona Buonanotte said...

Ah, that old relationship question. Shouldn't we humans have an indicator, like a built-in mood ring, on the palms of our hands or something, so others can see how much we like them by the colours that emerge? Of course, that might also be a bad thing....

alphawoman said...

It is amazing how much we put ourselves down!! Our own worst enemy! From reading your blog for months now, you come across as a very intelligent interesting person. Anyone would be thrilled to learn that they are one of your favorite friends.

QT said...

I can completely relate to this. It especially saddens me when months -or years- go by and I have not heard from someone, and another friend says - "you know, she really liked you, but she didn't think you had the time of day for her." WHAT? When?!

That is the worst - only if you liked said person, of course.

Lucia said...

I get this. I don't expect people to like me either. In many ways, I like to skip the acquaintance phase and jump straight to a few good friends. Really!

WNG said...

I was actually told by someone I knew, but did not consider a close friend, how much I had meant in her life. She didn't know it, but she told me this on one of the worst days of my life. It helped. You never know when your kindness is needed most by others. I say spread it around as much as possible!

Bob said...

I have few friends, but many acquaintances. I guess I set the bar high for me to identify someone as a friend, or me a friend to them. a friend is someone I can tell anything to without worry and someone I would do practically anything for. Right now that means I have two friends (one of which is Laura).

maybe I have a too narrow a definition of what a friend is. I wish I had more.

luckyzmom said...

Intellectually I know we need to be our own favorite first. But, emotionally I have yearned most of my life to feel like someones favorite.

Susanne said...

There are two things I want to add to this:

I often feel sad and confused when somebody whom I consider a friend (and she does consider me a friend) has a bestest girlfriend and/or husband whom I heartily dislike. This often makes me feel as if the bond we feel between each other is more imaginary than real.

My husband has a couple of people who consider him to be their best friends and he considers them to be longtime acquaintances only. Often these people don't have any other friends.

So, my husband's more the type to feel lonely and misunderstood while in the midst of people who want to be his friends (because he is such a nice person). While I'm more the one whom nobody dares to approach.

Like luckyzmom I have longed to be somebody's favorite forever. But then I often have rejected the people who wanted to be closer to me. A little like, "Well, if they like me so much they can't be that marvelous."

Okay, I have to do a bit of thinking now. This whole friend-thing is one of my favorite moping grounds.

Susanne said...

Oh, and I totally forgot to tell you how marvelous you are.

And maybe it's time that we bloggers who seem almost all to be people a little lonely stop seeing ourselves as social misfits.

Just look around you. There are a lot of us.

ms chica said...

I get this. There is an unwritten code regarding acquaintances, friends, family and confidant friends. At the risk of stating the obvious, I have trouble juggling these things too.

My day to day relationships include more family and acquaintances than close friends. Generally when I do things for others the intimacy of the relationship doesn't factor into it. It's often as simple as recognizing that someone else needs to be considered and know they are in the thoughts of others. I don't have an agenda, I'm not trying to actively forge stronger relations. I like relationships to be fluid and natural, not artificial and manipulated.

Regarding long term confident friendships, I haven't told those who were important to me nearly as often as I should. I don't understand why it's so hard.

Marsha said...

All the moving we do has forced me to put myself out there a lot more than I am comfortable with or naturally inclined toward. It really sucks when people don't reciprocate and it really hurts my feelings, but I get over it and it is the only way to expand my horizons.

Maggie said...

I am more likely to want people to like me so much that I think I might scare people away, so I try to keep it to myself - here I am probably fooling myself into thinking it doesn't show. Especially now when I actually need friendship more than I used to. And as I've mentioned before, making friends at work always seemed so much easier than when you don't have that foundation of automatic commonality between you.
But I think I agree with those that say people almost always enjoy being told how much they are appreciated.

Sober Briquette said...

Lately, my feeling is that I am already spread too thin to be the kind of friend I want to be, or "ought to be" to be liked back, which keeps newer potential friends at a distance.

In person I am a quiet observer, so I do not usually place myself in a position of "best" friend. I like to watch the others interact. Sometimes I long for someone to acknowledge me as special to them, but a) we're all spread thin, and b) I can just wait for my family to come home. Most of the time, that's more than enough.

Melanie said...

I treat my friends as I like to be treated. I hope they find me as intriguing as I find them.

expectations suck. let them go.

capacious said...

Your blog is one that I open with happy anticipation. You are one of my favorites. You're smart and funny.

People who are too secure bug me.

Esereth said...

maybe show not tell?

Dick said...

Friends come in all flavors and stripes and they are all valuable. As I get older I find that I like to spend more time with them than I used to. Perhaps that is due to a feeling in the background that time is beginning to run out.

egan said...

You've got to let love rule.

Mother of Invention said...

The space between friends and aquaintances is wide and grey. I have many friends, old, new and the together friends I've made with my husband. I don't think I can tell you anymore who are my best friends...that was more easily delineated in our childhood and youth. Now, I guess it would be the people I/we actually do many things with because I/we really enjoy their company and those with whom we are so close, that we share almost all aspects of our lives. Actually, I do this with many just because I am fairly open and those friends are just as open as I am.
Having had no kids, I have had a lot of time over the years to be the one to cultivate and nurture friendships, and I feel it is always appreciated. I know I am extremely blessed in this regard.

Tink said...

You're definitely one of my favorite bloggers. I know this because when I'm running really late and can only check five blogs, you're one of them. :)

Jennifer said...

You could be inside my head, mulling this subject.

I often find it hard to make friends, and most of the time, if I'm honest with myself, I realize it's because I tend to keep people at arm's length, expecting them not to like me once they get to know me.

It's crazy. But real.

Mrs. Chili said...

I struggle with stuff like this all the time. As a matter of fact, there may be a post about it in the not too distant future....

meno said...

airam, what you say is what i do as well, at least for a while. If i never get anything back, then there is no balance, and that doesn't work for me.

flutter, i like you too, so there back! HA!

lynn, it's looking like i will never outgrow it. But i will say that it matters less and less to me. I just find it all interesting and curious.

schmoopie, yes, i remember some conversation with you about some flak-out behavior on the part of a new friend. One thing i can say with absolute certainty is that neither you nor i are flakes.

mona, might be pretty embarrassing in a dating situation.

alphawoman, it is amazing. Everyone, repeat after me; "I AM BEAUTIFUL, POWERFUL AND SMART!" Thank you for the compliment. It means alot to me that you think so.

qt, missed opportunities, then regrets. Sigh, such is life. I have never been in the situation you describe. That must feel pretty bad.

lucia, i wonder if you and i would like each other, or are we too much alike? In any case, we could skip the bullshit.

wng, that is worth knowing about. I wonder who's day that would not make. Unless said complimentor is a weird stalkerish pereson.

bob, i wonder how hard it would be to make some room for more just by changing the way you think. Of course, i have to ask myself that very same question.

luckyzmom, that is poignant. I don't really allow myself to want to be someone's favorite. What if i wasn't. Pretty cowardly huh? Although i must say that i am my husband's favorite.

susanne, I know what you mean. The unliked spouse/friend is a hard situation. It's almost impossible to move on past that. I love the description of the differences between you and your husband. That might describe me and mine too. But i have better "radar" in picking friends that will not disappoint me than he does. Thank you for the compliment, and if blogging has done nothing else for me (which isn't true) then it is to let me know how many of us there are.

ms. chica, "day to day relationships include more family and acquaintances than close friends" There is a true statement. Although i find it a sad one as well. I also like relationships that do not need to be reinforced very often. That sort of thing comes with confidence. For me it's hard because i don't want to be looked at with that "huh?" look.

marsha, i moved a lot as a child, and i learned this thing that you mention. But it is still not natural to me. I think it shows.

maggie, my husband is like that. Though i will tell you honestly that i did not experience you that way at all. Work is easy because you don't have to organize proximity.

de, i don't know if i have been anyone's best friend since the 5th grade. I think it's a weird label. Being spread too thin for new friends, or old ones too for that matter, is a common experience.

melanie, i treat them like that too. And if someone doesn't treat me like that, i have learned something.

capacious, you have made me smile. Thank you. And secure people just aren't as interesting are they?

esereth, showing is much more my style. But i also like to step out of my comfort zone sometimes too.

dick, my friends are a varied lot, that's for sure. I like it like that. Time is running out, always.

egan, wow dude, that's deep. Did you make that up your own self? :)

tink, wow, i am one of your favorites! That makes me wag my tail. My figurative tail that is. Thank you. Time is indeed the currency of love.

jennifer, i have been thinking about my wall lately. Just a few days ago i realized that it's time to either get used to it, to be okay with it, or to tear it the hell down. Not sure which i will be doing as the wall has served me well, mostly.

mrs.chili, i look forward to reading it. It's interesting and useful to hear people expound on this topic. I mean, hasn't this been an interesting thread?

Mama P said...

You and I are different in this regard. I find it odd if someone DOESN'T like me. I mean, I'm a decent person, I make people laugh... what's not to like? I'm telling you Meno, life on my little island of delusion is much nicer. You must adopt my customs!

urban-urchin said...

I tried to post a comment earlier but it was blocked by my stupid network at my stupid work.

Anyhoo just wanted to add I like you a lot!

meno said...

mamap, i think i would like to live in your world. :)

u-u, thank you, i like you too. Stupid firewalls.