Monday, April 28, 2014

Erosion of old friendships

Friends are the family members we choose.  When I give my heart to someone, I consider it a lifetime commitment.  It's not logical.  It's just the way  my heart works.  I should know better by now, but my heart keeps giving itself away.

That's why it troubles me when I find I no longer wish to continue a friendship.

There seem to be two main factors in whether I want to continue a friendship.

One is how the person treats me.  Do they treat me as a friend, as someone they treasure and respect? They need not spend a lot of time with me, but the way they treat me needs to be proportional somehow to the kind of relationship that we have.  If they don't honor the connection that we have, then I may need to turn away from them.

This is difficult.  I still treasure the person, and yet keeping them in my life erodes my self-esteem.

The other is whether I value who the person is.  What I value: people who can live with the fact that not everything can be known, understood, or fixed.  People who let others be what they are rather than trying to reform them.

The second one is easier.  When I am troubled by who a person is, it is clear to me that I know longer wish to be friends with that person.  But still, it troubles me.  What is wrong with me? Did I show poor judgment in choosing this person as a friend to begin with? Am I too much of a perfectionist, failing to accept the person as they are?

It is reassuring, after seeing someone I no longer like, to see people I do like.  I realize that I am not someone who just rejects everyone, someone who cannot accept the fact that everyone has flaws.  I realize that there are clearly identifiable traits that make the difference in who I like and who I don't like.

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