You spend as much time in their company as they do in yours. You are both involved in the same conversations. You shared the same moments but, the friendship is as invigorating as a see-saw ride between an elephant and a mouse….
Actually, that would be funny, the mouse would go flying when the Elephant sat down but that would destroy the point of my illustration. Let’s say Elephant and a mouse and pretend it is wearing a seatbelt.
Inevitably the moment you realise that someone is more important to you, than you are to them, it wounds you.
It hurts because you put time and effort into being a freaking amazing friend…Maybe I should I stop speaking in the second person?
I have been thinking about this for a while. After doing what I do best (over analyse every aspect of the problem) I decided to get angry and throw it in the ‘too hard’ ‘too busy’ ‘don’t care’ basket.
Of course it took that, to see the big neon ‘DUH’ on the wall.
My friend’s care factor or lack of interest in my life has nothing to do with me not being a ‘likeable’ person. If I wasn’t likeable my friends wouldn’t feel like they could confide in me.
The problem is that sometimes in a ship of two there is one that asks all the questions and the other, instead of reciprocating interest, volunteer’s information.
For example, I could tell you all the dumb stuff like how my friend takes her coffee and what my friend did on the weekend, but I can also tell you little known facts. Like the reason her hands shake when she is anywhere near a circus or a kid’s party. I can list her pet peeves. I can tell you all about her worst date. I know she is close to her family and which one of her sibling makes her feel like a shadow. I even know where she stands on moral, political and hypothetical topics.
However I “worry” about her because if my friend were to be kidnapped and tortured for information about ME, I have no doubt I’d be one friend down.
She knows about as much as anyone with WiFi knows about me.
Personally the more time I spend with someone who I click with, the more I want to know, its basic human nature.
I honestly want to hear what my friends did on the weekend.
If we are friends, I want to know if you are upset and why. I want to hear what made you laugh so hard you spat out your drink. Why do you bite your nails and how the book you just read made you feel. I want to know your story.
Why? I already know all there is to know about me, so I am genuinely interested in other people. I don’t know that there is anything more interesting (or amusing) than people and the erratic nature of human behaviour.
If you think about what happens when you start gathering all this information about someone it becomes *face palm* obvious. Your passing baseline interest develops into genuine feelings of concern.
Why? Simply because you care about people you know. Like a well written book, regardless if the character is good or bad, once you know their story, you are drawn in to read more.
Ever noticed how people always try to humanize themselves when they have been kidnapped or when facing a court of law?
It’s because they want the people/person judging them to identify with them. To care enough to give a second thought of how their actions could hurt the otherwise stranger in front of them. So they give them information, their name, talk about their family, anything to form a human connection.
Why? Because it’s easier to hurt someone you don’t know.
So you see, I realised I am the elephant on the see-saw. I am bursting with ‘personal’ knowledge that humanizes that stupid mouse.
*Sucker punch* <—-right there.
The good news is that once you can see yourself through the eyes of the retard strapped on the other side of the see-saw, it hurts less.
When they forget to ask about things that are important to you or when they are inconsiderate. It’s ok because now you understand. How can you expect them to care about someone they know nothing about?
Is it fair? No, but it’s hard to call someone out on that.
The first thing most people say is ‘Hey, how are you?’ and for whatever reason we are hard-wired to not answer that question honestly, the script always reads ‘great thanks’ or ‘good thanks’
What I am saying is the ‘Hey, how are you?’ doesn’t count as a get to know your friend conversation.
I can go and buy a chicken and brie sandwich and have the same level of interest from the cashier.
The questions then becomes, how much of your time are you willing to waste on a plane with one wing?
In all honesty, in my particular situation I don’t find myself caring any less and I will continue to be their friend. (I am stupid that way).
The ‘why’ has helped me understand my role, I am no longer offended. Besides when you expect nothing, you are never disappointed.
You are thinking I should tell my friend that to have a friend you need to be one?
I thought about that but decided it’s not worth it. If someone is not inclined to value someone like me then who is really losing out here?
Certainly not me, besides I do get something out of the ‘friendship’. My friend makes me laugh and I love to laugh.
Like I’ll laugh when her kidnapper asks her to fill out a trashy magazine’s ‘How do YOU rate as a friend?’ quiz. Good luck with that buddy! 😉
Who is to say that I am not the idiot mouse in the same scenario but with a different elephant?
No two friendships are alike but all friendships are a choice. What is rare, is to find people who care enough to take the time to really get to know you. That can see through your façade and accept you. That straps you on to a see-saw so you don’t get hurt even though it would be far more amusing seeing you flying through the air, with mirrored aviators on.
Those people are the ones you should hold on to with two hands.
Is there an elephant and a mouse in your friendship? If yes, which one are you?
Lots of love,