So what did I learn the past 30 days? I learned that many people just do not like me.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have some amazing friends. They are 2-way relationship type friends. They are my meet me half way people. The past 30 days were a test for me. I decided to after reading a quote that said “If they miss you, they’ll call. If they want you, they will say it. If they care, they’ll show it. And if not, they aren’t worth your time.
Now let’s look at some stats. In the last 30 days I got 2 text messages that was sent first and I got zero phone calls that were not spam calls trying to sell me a home security system or something. First let me explain that my crew, my squad, my homies… whatever people call it is not what I am talking about here. I have ongoing conversations with a handful of people like my friend Dianna. We could be texting like 100 a day that ends with a question then go like 2 or 3 days with nothing then all of a sudden there is a text with the answer. That is normally how that goes. I have posted blogs and I have received a lot of views and the one with the most views was about putting my nephew’s cat, Georgie down due to a serious illness. Got over 60 views on that. Now I did post a picture on Instagram of Georgie and I posted the link to the blog on Facebook and got a couple sweet comments but, after over 60 views, I did not get one message of condolence or anything. No “Aww so sorry, hug Max for me”… nothing. Do people really not give a damn about me? Proof is in the stats.
Let’s talk about the types of friends in my life….
2-way friends. I have a few people in my life like Dianna, Melinda, Lyndsay, Maria, Lisa Marie, my boys, Catherine, Brooke and a handful of others. These type of friends are the goal for any friendship. For example, I can text my friend Maria right now and say that we need to hang out and the response would be “let’s do lunch like Thursday and go record shopping”. 2-way friends are the type who, when someone expresses that they would like to spend some time with them, they respond with “when is a good time for you?”
1 of the text messages I got this month was from my friend Brooke who is on the East Coast. She wanted my address. I gave it to her. A few days later I got a card from her telling me that she was thinking about me and wanted to show some love. Who does that? An amazing friend.
1-way friends. I am not listing names but I have many. These types of friends are not the goal because if one person is doing everything to keep the friendship going then it is not worth the time. These types are the ones that respond to the “we need to hang out” statement with an “aww we do” and they leave it at that. No “well let’s make that happen, what’s a good day for you?” 1-way friends don’t show up when the chips are down, but get mad when you don’t show up for them.
Work friends. Now we spend most of our days at work and we make friends there and those friends stay there. There are ones who move into the 2-way or 1-way or just stay as the work friend. Some of my 2-way friends were made at work. There are prior work friends who don't have my cell but they have been posting comments and showing some love like my friends Pat Kroll and Teresa Gray. They are such good people.
Haters. We all have them and at times, we are them. They can disguise themselves in the 2-way, 1-way and work friends but ultimately the mask does get pulled off.
I was told by a former friend that I was a high maintenance friend because of my expectations. My response was simply that my expectations are based on the ones that were set by this particular friend.
I don't get it really. Am I wrong to think that friendships are valuable? That when 2 people decide to be friends and share each others lives in that role, those friendships become valuable? Is it wrong?? The difference between friends and family is that we choose our friends. We pick each other out from the group and say that we are friends. We share stories and emotions. We support and encourage. We take the role of having each other's back. I don't understand why that has to be an issue.
Finding great friends is harder than people may think. Great friends are the ones that are there in the good times and the bad. Most seem to be there only in the good. Like the old saying... a good friend will bail you out of jail. A great friend will be sitting next to you in the cell. I have learned this lesson the hard way over the past years. My stepfather died here in this house. I did CPR. It failed. I failed. That is how I felt and that is how I still feel about it. I let everyone know. I had this expectation. That expectation that was not totally met. I sat in that funeral home waiting for my closest friends to walk in and be there for me. It did not happen. However my friend Duane, who I had seen only once in the past 20 plus years drove up from Killeen to be there with me and my family. My friends Sarah and Natalie had me over to Sarah's that night and made dinner and were there for me. My reassurance in people was saved by them that night. Is that high maintenance? To expect people to drop everything and come running when you are in trouble? Is it wrong to drop everything and listen when someone needs to vent? If it is in that situation then I have a crapload of high maintenance friends out there because I have done that. I have driven miles and miles to be there. I will again. That is what a friend does. This is not a call out on anyone. Just my perspective.
This came up recently with my friend Dianna. Her Grandmother took a turn for the worse and passed away a couple days ago. Their family is very private and during the last days it was family only that was there. It was not appropriate to pop in. But I texted her daily. I know she was not looking at her phone and reading messages. She went dark during this time to devote all of her attention to her grandmother. But when she finally did look at her phone she was able to see that a friend was praying for her and loving her and willing to do what was needed if asked. I wanted her to know that she was not alone. That is what a friend does.
What I ask for in a friend is to live up to the expectation that you set. I am pretty flexible on this but the expectations have to be realistic. I don't think having to takes sides or choose a belief because one friend wants you to do that over another friend is realistic. Nor do I think it is fair. It is like one friend telling me to stop being friends with another friend because they like "Hello Kitty" too much... No one has that authority over me.
Sometimes things come up but it is just as easy to cancel a plan as much as it is to set it. Heck if you fail to show for your doctor's appointment, the doctor will charge you a fee. So to avoid it, we call and cancel or change. No big deal. No harm, no foul. But why is it wrong to expect the same from a friend. Like saying, "let's meet for dinner next week".... "Ok let's do that. You pick the day since I have no schedule issues." "ok I will call or text you tomorrow and let you know." The expectation is now set. One friend is now in charge to call or text about it. Well then there is nothing. No call. No text. Nada... Is it wrong to be bothered by that? For me I think the friend who failed that expectation is not considerate. I don't believe it is high maintenance of me. I think it is the natural reaction to a failed expectation.
I had a friend that wanted to meet for Pho last week. We set a day and time. Well first thing that morning, before I even woke up, she texted me and said she was assigned to train someone for the rest of the week and she needed to postpone. She was considerate to me and my time. Well Friday morning she texted and said that she did not have to train and wanted to see if I wanted to meet that day. She apologized for it being short notice but she wanted to see me. Well I had a thing so I couldn’t do it but she showed me that she did want to see me. That was considerate.
At my last job the biggest complaint from customers was that the set expectation was not made. No follow up that was expected, was completed. Customers got upset and gave bad service scores. Sometimes there are things that come up that keep you from meeting the expectation. The simple solution is communication. Even if that communication comes well after the fact in a form of an apology. Does it fix the missed expectation? No. But it may ease the impact of it.
The issue here is that "oh he will get over it" attitude that I don't like. No, I will not get over it if I am left hanging. Communication of some kind can ease the situation. I don't believe it is high maintenance. I believe it is a basic request. I may be wrong on this but when a friend asks me to drop everything and come running, I do. I guess I am high maintenance like that.
So many times people talk about cleaning out their Facebook friends list of people they really don’t know or people they only met once that they friended. I have been “cleaned out” of some lists myself. I am not sure if I am going to do that but I know I will not waste another moment on inconsiderate people who don’t want to appreciate when someone is willing to give them time. I thought about just changing my number and blocking people from my life. Like they always say “Time is valuable”. I am no angel, that’s for sure. I have not been a good friend at times myself. No one is perfect. I don’t expect perfection from anyone. I expect consideration and honesty. Is that so wrong to expect?
“Choose who you spend time with wisely. Life is too short to waste your valuable time with the wrong people” – Joel Osteen via Twitter