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?