Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hangers On

Why do people hang on to you as a friend? That is an interesting phenomenon that I have witnessed. If anything about my Pick Me post holds true, then people pick you as a friend because they can get something out of you. But what happens when that something is no longer true?

I have a friend who's son used to party a lot at his house. He had a lot of people who hung around because he partied. Once he cleaned up his ways and stopped partying, all of his "so-called friends" stopped coming around. It makes you wonder if they were his friends to begin with.

People change and so do your circle of friends. I have a tendency to want to remain friends with people as long as possible. I realize that so often we move on in our lives and there may be some people who refuse to let go of the past.

I was speaking with a coworker on our commute home who indicated to me that an old friend was coming to visit over the weekend. I was curious as to why they appeared to dread the whole situation to which they said that their friend only talked about the past and wasn't sure how to handle their friendship now that things have changed. This made me wonder if I too am perceived as one of those people that don't "move-on".

Now that I am older, I realize that I have known a lot of people and that many just faded away without me knowing it. I do not take offense at this because it takes two people to have a relationship and if one moves away or no longer is in contact with the other, the relationship dwindles and fades away. Whenever I find someone again I have to be cautious so that I do not dwell on the past. I try to catch up on whatever has transpired since we last met and try and focus on the present. Sometimes I find that our relationship is no longer as strong as it once was and I accept it as that and try and treat them as someone I knew and not someone I am trying to rekindle with.


Barbaloot said...

I usually find myself wondering why people wanted to be friends with me in the first place. I have a couple girl friends that are really gorgeous/popular/fun and I'm always so surprised when it's me that they want to spend time with. That seems really shallow and insecure I suppose...but often girls like that don't want to be friends with other girls. I try to remain close with friends---but it's like you said, sometimes people fade out. Whenever you try to reconnect with a fader, it always feels kinda forced and awkward.

Jillene said...

I had a tendancy to be friends with all of the guys in High School. The girls were all too petty and emotional. Now that I am older I have a lot of girlfriends. I guess because we are all Mommies and have our children in common.

Erin said...

My husband can't understand why I would be interested in going to our class reunions (the 15 year one is in August). He says the past is the past and he kept in touch with anyone he wanted to keep in touch with. I kind of like seeing how people are doing. I know that's not exactly the same as what you are talking about here, but it reminded me of it. But as you know, I lost a friend a couple of years ago, and I suppose it was time, although I didn't want to lose her.

Ms. Salti said...

It's hard not to dwell on the past. I had a friend that I tried keeping in contact with, but she just made being her friend difficult. After nearly 10 years, I gave up. It wasn't worth it anymore. Sure, I miss her, but I have the memories from our fun times together!

Lori said...

I am of the belief that people come in and out of our lives for various seasons. Sometimes the seasons with certain people are short lived for whatever reason...maybe we had something in common for a period of time and then it ended...maybe the doors just never opened for it to go any further...maybe someone moves away and distance was too much to keep the relationship. Sometimes the seasons with certain people last a life time...maybe we continue growing with these people to the next level, which makes them friends that are like family.

Sometimes the reasons behind our friendships can be based only on superficial reasons such as drinking or drugs or partying together or it could be something as innocent as going to the same church or school.

When I quit doing drugs, I lost most of my friends. There were those that stood by me and still accepted me which shows that our friendship was something more than the drugs we did together.

When my young teen daughter got pregnant her junior year of high school I lost friends. When I chose to get a divorce from a man that had abused me for years, I lost friends. When this led to me leaving the church I lost even more friends. I learned who my real friends are. What I am thankful for, is that these tough seasons in my life weeded out all the toxic friends in my life. Those that were left standing beside me were true solid friends. They are still my friends today.

What's interesting is that I was just fine for these toxic friends as long as I was doing for them...as long as I was performing to their expectations. What it came down to is that they had been using me for their benefit and when I could no longer serve them, I was discarded.

Thanks for the food for thought!

SweetPeaSurry said...

I have a plethora of friendly acquaintances, however I only have 4 absolutely bestest of friends. Three of them I met while in highschool and the fourth one just after college. I can count on these peeps and I trust them explicitely! I think that's what friendship is.


Wendyburd1 said...

Great Chris now I think I am a Hanger On!! I keep trying to stay in contact with some of my BFF's from childhood. Especially one. She was such a part of my youth I will never give up the hope that we can reconnect and get the old closeness back....thanks!! Not!! *sniffle*

Unknown said...

I think one of the things in life that we don't acknowledge or talk about is frienships breaking up. I think it's the natural course of things, and no one talks about how to do it or why it's ok. Some friendships will last for a long time and at their base be strong, even if you aren't involved in someone's everyday life. Others, imho are situational and it's ok to let them go as the situation changes. It doesn't make them less special, just different

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