How to be friends

How to be friends. This is something that I thought I knew how to do. The last year upon the last five years has got me seriously doubting this... It turns out I most likely know nothing.

I recently got on the Lifeboat boat, they've been asking interesting questions and writing interesting stories about friendship. There's a lot packed into their Lifeboat Practices... there's some real gold in there. There are also some harsh truths they've unearthed, truths that make me realize at least I'm not alone in my struggles.

But my question is this: What do you do when the people who you think are your people don't show up, don't respond (nevermind reciprocate), can't bring themselves to show any vulnerability even after years, aren't there for you when you need them, disappear on you (or worse yet, backstab you), and generally treat you as disposable as a kleenex?

It's not that I haven't tried. I've tried, with the bits and scraps of energy that I have. I've been more reliable, I've made more first moves, I've reached out, listened, been there, initiated, put myself out on a limb... and it's sad to say, I haven't much to show for it.

There are a couple people who have (despite being unfortunately too far away to see on a regular basis) over the course of the last year, brought back what bits of faith I have in "friendship". Who've made me feel like I'm not crazy, not a bad person - and I do know this deep down, but it's really nice to have it reinforced. 

But honestly, I'm at my wits end. At some point, something's gotta give. 

All I'm asking for are some kindred spirits who we can hang and enjoy life with. Loyal, kind folks who want to build something important and lasting. Is that really so far fetched?

Comments you know! :-)

I don't have an answer...
But wish I did.

These days I find it particularly hard to reach out myself. So when I do, and am met with silence, or worse, actively omitted or disregarded, it hurts a lot. Especially from those I thought I was closest too.

Thanks for the comment. It utterly baffles me - you are one of the friendliest and most considerate people I know. The fact that you have these kinds of experiences is both sad, but also reinforces my hope that if I think you're great and this happens to you, maybe it's not happening to me because I'm a shitty person! (Is that weird? I think it makes sense!) I'm just glad that maybe in the relatively near future I'll get to see more of you! :)



Thank you :-) Likewise, you are kind, friendly, thoughtful, and generous! You are a truly wonderful friend, and I'm so glad that we've gotten closer.

I think it likely happens to everyone. I think that I internalize the experience more and *feel* it more... I also question if I've changed - it hasn't always been like this, I haven't always felt like this. I suspect that in part it's related to my daily life - since I work alone, from home, any interaction I have is planned. And perhaps because I don't have those daily interactions, I feel the consequences more acutely when things go awry (for whatever reason).

I also struggle with finding a sense of community, I miss a sense of belonging to "something". Most of the friends I'm close to aren't connected to each other, or there's groups that I'm just on the periphery of, and not quite part of...

If we don't connect this week, I'm in town again on the 19th...or maybe we can be spontaneous, and if there's a day you're feeling up to it, text me and I'll just come hang out!


I totally hear that on wondering what has changed - definitely part of it is just not having all that casual interaction... but it's not just that either. And I do think I feel it more too, but for me I think it's because I used to feel very confident/comfortable about my friend situation, then felt like the rug got pulled out from under me. It's been a long time now since I've had that easy being part of something feeling. I have a bunch of disjointed friends for the most part too, and it makes big gatherings challenging...

Will message you about plans, I put the 19th in the calendar so I remember. ;) I'm super glad we've gotten back in touch too - thank goodness we kept running into each other!


Add new comment