Sunday, December 5

Being a Mediocre Friend

The last few days have been a constant roller coaster of emotions. Gospel conversations with friends that leave me feeling like I am on top of the world. And then, when I need to be lifted, my guy friends ignore me... and leave me wondering if I'm just totally deficient as a person and a communicator. I rarely ask for help, for people's time, for anything from others. And the moment I get up the nerve to ask, to become vulnerable in a relationship, I lose everything.

I think the reason why my life takes extremes is probably two-fold. There's probably something happening inside my brain that I can't control... some mixture of chemicals that makes me think some days, honestly, that I am manic-depressive. The other is that I probably think too much. I read into everything that people say, do, don't say, and don't do. Who knows - maybe there's a good reason that my friends have seemed to be avoiding me. Maybe they're just really busy and only available during the times I have dates or other plans. Or maybe they don't realize that I need help - I never need anything, so maybe they feel their efforts would be better spent with someone else. Or maybe they just don't want to be friends... which is the thought that is consuming my mind right now. What am I doing wrong in life? What do I need to change? What mortal flaw do I have that makes me an untouchable as soon as I start to actually make good guy friends?

I think I'll ask. I'll ask God in my prayers tonight what I need to change to be a better friend and I'll ask my friends (or at least the guys that have been my friends) when I see or text them next. Already I know at least part of the answer God will give me - loving people isn't about having my needs met, but about helping them to be happy. Something in my character or personality makes it hard for people to be my friend... but that doesn't mean that I need to abandon them just because I feel abandoned and alone. I may be a mediocre friend, but at least I'm trying. And hopefully, someday, the Lord will consecrate my efforts and it will all work out in the end.


  1. There was an article in the New Era quite a few years ago talking about one's sense of self worth. When our sense of self-worth is outside ourselves and is derived from what others think of us, etc, then it is like a tin can that can be kicked around by everyone. When our self-worth is inside ourselves and is derived from the spirit and God's love for us as individuals, then it can't be kicked around by others. We are confident and serene no matter how we are buffeted by external circumstances. Paradoxically, that internal sense of self confidence will tend to attract others, whereas someone that comes across as insecure and needy can cause others to shy away.

  2. I can relate to you here. There are some quite interesting similarities between you and me, another person who struggles with SSA. It makes me wonder more about what traits are common among those with SSA, and whether those issues can be dealt with in order to help the bigger overarching issue be resolved.
    Anyway, as for this post's topic, I've found that I also tend to be oversensitive to how others relate to me (overanalyzing texts, how they said this or that, why did they sit in that seat instead of this one). I'm usually blowing things out of proportion. And remember, sometimes our friends can't understand us perfectly and may not realize how their actions or words are (mis)interpreted. Or maybe they want to help you out but just don't have the energy that day. Basically, cut them and yourself a little slack. This is a challenging issue but it as well as all things can be endured well, and you can grow and become a better friend from the lessons you learn.

  3. As I was reading this I realized that maybe I'm the same way. The feelings that you described I share in. I try but like you said maybe there's something in me that makes me a mediocore friend.

  4. I was friends with a girl once while in school. She was a hard person to be friends with and I'll tell you why. I feel like she was a very talented person, but she was never willing to show she had any weaknesses. I found it very hard to relate to her in situations because she never seemed to struggle the way I did. I don't know if that's at all what your friends feel. but I think it's hard to befriend someone that never acts like they need anyone. I hope that makes sense and I hope you can find a least one good friend you can trust. really that all you need is one.

  5. Anonymous & Katie:

    I'd probably say that my problem is more the one that Katie described than anything... at least that's what my friends say. The other issue is that I expect much more from friends than most people... I'm pretty real with my friends.

    I try to be vulnerable, but it doesn't seem to come very easily to me. And showing my weaknesses isn't something that I do well, either... Most people tell me exactly what Katie said - that there's nothing they feel they can add to my life. I guess part of it is the inner conflict of needing others yet needing to be self-reliant in everything I do. I'm not really sure how to tell people that I need their company... just for the sake of human company because some days I feel so completely alone.

    Ironically, acting like I am self-sufficient seems to make it easier for me to relate with some people... but then they don't understand the real needs I have. So I can either have friends who think I have no problems, or feel like I have problems, and have trouble making friends. Whatever. At least today I feel good. I feel like I have a few friends. And, at least for right now, that's enough to meet my needs so that I can bless the lives of others.


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