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Lopsided “Friendships” August 26, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Happiness, Humor, People.
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Friendships are rarely one-sided, but they are often lopsided.

If they are one-sided, they end.  If we aren’t getting “something” out of the relationship, we find better things to do with our time (unless we are masochists).

Of course, if we are masochists, we are getting “something” out of the relationship.

So, we’re back to my initial proposition . . .

Friendships are often lop-sided, with one person calling the shots, and the other going along for the ride (because they are getting “something” out of the relationship).

I had a friend once (notice intentional use of past tense) who liked to call all the shots ~ deciding when we got together, where we went, what we did, etc.

Since we often did interesting things, I went along for the ride.

Until I opened my eyes a bit further and asked whether our “friendship” was really worth preserving if I always had to do what she wanted me to do.

I started to test the waters, by being a bit more out-spoken about my desires.  My comments fell on deaf ears.

She wasn’t interested in a friendship based on give and take.  She wanted to dish it out and expected me to take it.  She wanted to take me for granted and push me around.

An example?

At the time of her choosing, we would meet for lunch at a restaurant . . . also of her choosing.  Once ensconced at a table, she would smile and say, with a conspiratorial grin and imperious wave, “Let’s have a glass of wine, shall we?”

She enjoyed the image of “Ladies Who Lunch” ~ maintaining proper decorum while sipping their respective glasses of wine.  That type of lunch suited her image of sophisticated class with a bit of “naughty” tossed into the mix.

One day, instead of going along with her suggestion, I ordered nachos and a beer.

Her expression soured.

She did NOT want to have lunch with someone eating nachos and swigging beer.  She frowned, “Wouldn’t you rather have a nice glass of wine?”

I smiled, “No, thanks.  I’m in the mood for a beer.”

IMGP3282b

My order ruined her lunch.

She was more concerned with  what other diners thought of her as they glanced her way than she was in allowing me to order what I wanted to eat and drink.

That decided it for me.  We  drifted apart.

Friends accept each other as they are . . . without trying to shove each other into glass slippers that don’t fit.

No rules.  Just write!

What about you?  Any similar experiences to share?  Do tell!

Here, let me pour you a glass of wine!

Related posts:  From Cyber Friends to Fast Friends * 7 Reasons to Press “Unsubscribe * Whose Shoes Are They Anyway? * Live Your Life

Comments»

1. SidevieW - August 26, 2011

eek, how exhausting making everyone behave the way you want them to!

nrhatch - August 26, 2011

She didn’t have to work very hard to “bend me to her will” . . . until I opened my eyes and saw that’s what she had been doing.

Then I resisted.
She persisted.
We parted ways.

2. Jackie - August 26, 2011

Love my nachos and beer – it’s who I am and if it’s not acceptable to someone, that person needs to find a wine-sipping friend. You made the right choice.

nrhatch - August 26, 2011

I like wine . . . and beer . . . and mixed drinks . . . and champagne.

Most of all, especially when I go out to eat, I enjoy ordering what I want . . . not what someone else thinks I should want. 😀

3. Christine Grote - August 26, 2011

True friends are hard to find.

nrhatch - August 26, 2011

I used to have tons of “friends” but they rarely rose to the level of true friends. They were people to hang out with and share a laugh or a meal.

In contrast, BFF is my best bud. I can tell him anything. He accepts me as I am. And he always lets me choose my adult beverage of choice.

Perhaps it’s because of the cyber space between us, but I feel incredibly “real” here on the internet. Readers come and go, they ebb and flow, so I don’t try to frame my posts to suit any one person or type of person.

And the support has been overwhelming. A true delight. Sure, there have been a few “disagreeable moments,” but the positivity has definitely outweighed the occasional negative remark.

And there are any number of cyber friends that I would love to sit down with over a bottle of wine, or a spot of tea, and chat until the wee hours of the morning.

Include yourself in that group! 😀

4. jeanne - August 26, 2011

My very best friend growing up was exactly like that…her way or no way. So I went my way and found new friends that enjoy being my friend for who I am and what I bring to the relationship, whether its nachos or escargot.

nrhatch - August 26, 2011

Good for you, Jeanne.

Being true to who we are and what we want is more important than “going along to get along” with someone who doesn’t bother to factor our wants and needs into the friendship equation.

I would never end a strong friendship for the single issue outlined in this post . . . there were plenty of other issues between us that I could have used to highlight how lopsided our relationship had become.

She, of course, is not to blame ~ she is who she is. I was the one who kept choosing to “go along for the ride” while allowing her to “call all the shots.”

I don’t blame myself either ~ who I was was who I was. When I changed, and became more mindful of the “clutter” in my life, I realized that our relationship had to change or come to an end.

It ended, and I continued to evolve from “who I was” to “who I am.” It all led me to THIS door. 😀

5. Linda - August 26, 2011

It’s a shame teenagers can’t learn this lesson early on. Why don’t they teach these kind of things in school?

nrhatch - August 26, 2011

We would ALL benefit if schools touched upon issues like inner peace, harmony, acceptance, etc.

We would have far fewer bullies walking around.

6. crumbl - August 26, 2011

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, and they got the a** print when I licked them to the curb,

7. crumbl - August 26, 2011

KICKED them … fumble fingers … I don’t lick anyone’s a**

nrhatch - August 26, 2011

I debated fixing the typo and deleting your 2nd comment.
But I can’t.

It’s too funny! 😆

crumbl - August 26, 2011

See, peachy? That’s why I love ya … even when I’m controversial, you get it. 🙂

nrhatch - August 26, 2011

😀

8. kateshrewsday - August 26, 2011

I’m with you there, Nancy…life is too short to spend time with those who want us to change.

nrhatch - August 26, 2011

Especially when the goal is not for us to change to make us happier . . . but is instead aimed at making THEM happier. 😀

Writing this post brought back other times when she attempted to superimpose her desires over my own in matters that didn’t really concern her:

* Where I should invest my IRA (with her brother, of course)
* What goals I should set for myself (being happy is not a goal!)
* That I should “tone it done” when sharing divergent beliefs
* Once, she actually said, “Don’t undermine my authority!” 😛

Definitely a lopsided friendship that kept me off kilter rather than on an even keel. Now we’re miles apart and are not likely to sit down over a bottle of wine (or beer) again. And that’s OK.

9. misswhiplash - August 26, 2011

It would be a brave person to try bullying you Nancy ?

All my friendships have been long distance so the give and take part does not really enter into it.

My longest friendship is with my friend Carole who I have known for about 44 years. We have been young Mums together, divorcees together, and Mums to grown up daughters together even though I am a lot older. And Grandmothers together
We have never had a disagreement, and never a cross or nasty word. Always peace and light
But is that because we are long distance and would it be different if we lived near to each other.I am not sure but I would hope that it would be the same as it is now

nrhatch - August 26, 2011

Friendships like that are so lovely, Patrecia!

I have had some warm and wonderful friends every place that we’ve lived . . . but most of them faded as BFF and I moved around from state to state. We’d keep in touch for a time, and then “life” would get in the way.

I’m impressed when people manage to keep long distance relationships going. And I hope that you will have a chance to sit down with Carole, face to face, over a slice of that decadent Swiss Roll you enjoy! 😀

10. Linda - August 26, 2011

So happy that my daughter finally stepped up and parted ways (sort of ) with a life long friend who had a few issues in this way. It makes her sad but she did it!

nrhatch - August 26, 2011

If your daughter feels that the friendship is worth saving, she could try talking to her friend about the issues.

I tried that. Numerous times. It didn’t work. In the end, I took the “easy way” out . . .

I stopped going along for the ride every time she asked. If the activity appealed to me, I went. If not, I said, “That doesn’t appeal to me.” When she realized that I wasn’t sitting by the phone with bated breath (waiting to be part of the Dynamic Duo ~ Robin to her Batman), fewer invitations were issued.

And I stopped playing games with her.

She had a tendency to agree to meet me somewhere and then call at the last minute to ask me to change plans ~ for example, to help her prepare for a party or family gathering to which I wasn’t invited.

I used to go with the flow, switch gears, head over there, and sip wine while helping her get ready. I stopped doing that and started saying, “No. If you want to see me, stick with the agreed upon plan.”

Since HER plans were always more important than the plans WE had made, our visits grew farther and farther apart and eventually stopped all together ~ especially once her kids grew up and she no longer needed FREE babysitting services from me.

Actually, her kids are probably the only reason we stayed friends as long as we did. I had FUN hanging around with them ~ much more fun than “Ladies Who Lunch.” 😛

11. barb19 - August 26, 2011

You did the right thing Nancy. We have to be true to ourselves, otherwise, what’s the point?
A few years ago I “cleaned up” my friendships because of the lopsidedness of some of them. Like you, I came to realize there was a problem and addressed it. Take me or leave me, but don’t try to change me; I am what I am.
So now I only have one or two good friends; we all accept each other for who we are, and it makes life a lot easier – and more interesting!

nrhatch - August 26, 2011

That’s interesting that you “cleaned up” your friendships. I did the same.

After reading the book, Simplify Your Life, I realized that hanging on to CLUTTER we didn’t need (including stale relationships) was not a good use of the limited space in our lives. Over time, I weeded out attachments to people, places, and things, that no longer “added” dimension to my life.

After doing so, I gained clarity and had more time for priorities that really mattered to me.

No big scenes . . . just a simple “letting go.”

12. brainrants - August 26, 2011

Clearly the correct choice. I could not be friends with anyone who “couldn’t” drink beer. I mean really, WTF?

nrhatch - August 26, 2011

Oh, she could drink beer . . . just not in public at a ladies lunch. 😉

13. SuziCate - August 26, 2011

There was a time I would have conformed to who people wanted me to be…then I became “ME”, lost a few friends…not really, I learned the difference between friends and acquaintances. I say take me as I am or leave me the heck alone. BTW, I love beer and nachos!!!!! Like wine ,too! I’m beginning to sound like a boozer! And even if I do it’s ok, ‘cuz I’m not going to spend time worrying about what others think of me!

nrhatch - August 26, 2011

Big difference that ~ friends vs. acquaintances.

Beer, Wine, Cocktails . . . all good. You know I applaud your drinking habits! 😆

We’re keeping an eye on the weather for you! Fingers crossed.

14. joannereturns - August 27, 2011

And now, let’s all pour a tall cold one and cheers to our fearless leader…! ;-D

nrhatch - August 27, 2011

*clink* 😀

15. Tilly Bud - August 27, 2011

I have a friend who is self-absorbed and talks over me all the time. But she is kind and thoughtful in so many other ways that I tolerate it. Few of us are one thing or the other.

But you are right to drop friends who are not really friends. It’s just a waste of your time otherwise.

nrhatch - August 27, 2011

I would never end a strong friendship for the single issue outlined in this post . . .

Friends accept each other as they are. Sans judgment.

That’s the point of the post . . . she didn’t accept me. She wanted me to be who she wanted me to be.

When I became more mindful of the “clutter” in my life, I realized that our relationship had to change or come to an end.

I resisted. She persisted. We parted ways. No regrets.

16. Alannah Murphy - August 27, 2011

Yay for this post Nancy. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. When I was younger, I was so damaged that I was drawn towards nasty women who disguised themselves as “friends” but these “friends” were selfish, mean, and only wanted things in their own terms. I didn’t know any better since I’d suffered at the hands of my mother who did the same to me.

As I got older, and more self-aware, I started seeing this horrible pattern and slowly but surely, I dumped every single one of these “friends”

Toxic relationships are the worst poison…

nrhatch - August 27, 2011

Good for you, Alannah.

Toxic relationships make us feel WORSE about ourselves due to the constant judgments, comparisons, and condescension from “holier than thou” or “better than thou” pretend friends.

True friends let us see that we are ENOUGH as we are.

BTW ~ If you come to FL, let’s get together for a . . . beverage of your choosing. 😛

17. Tilly Bud - August 28, 2011

I don’t mind answering, but it has to be down here because there’s no ‘reply’ button.

It did strike a chord because judging people (mostly about the small things, but that’s no excuse) is a habit I’ve worked hard to eliminate over the years.

I was sure you had someone in mind. My ego isn’t big enough to think it was me but a niggle of fear prompted me to ask anyway. I’d rather have a fault pointed out so that I can fix it.

Tilly Bud - August 28, 2011

I somehow managed to answer in the wrong post – that’ll teach me to open multiple windows!

nrhatch - August 28, 2011

Check the last comment on the other post . . . Chad graciously agreed to be its inspiration and I saw no reason to debate the issue with him since the excised portions of his comments did remind me of “Church Ladies” I’ve known in my life. 😛

My Ego judges people all the time . . .

But I recognize that those thoughts are OPINION, not FACT and that they are based on my limited perspective. So I let them go pretty quickly and allow the people I know and like to start with a “clean slate” each day.

In short, I rarely harbor resentment or hang on to bad feelings.

Also, since they are OPINION, not FACT, I rarely share my Ego’s skewed judgments by pointing fingers and naming names. I’ve never been one for gossiping around the water cooler.

On occasion, when I see generic behavior in people that is not advancing the ball for them, I write about the behavior ~ usually without naming names because it is behavior shared by many or it wouldn’t be worthy of note.

But I spend very little time analyzing visitors to SLTW to see who is wearing which cap ~ who they are is their responsibility, not mine.

Keep questioning WHO you are, Tilly. When we know WHO we are, we know HOW to live . . . without looking over our shoulder to see who approves and who disapproves.

Cheers!

Tilly Bud - August 28, 2011

😀

18. ElizOF - August 28, 2011

Her loss really… 🙂

nrhatch - August 28, 2011

Aww . . . thanks, E!

Sometimes, when there is a “parting of ways,” I expect that the person was placed in our path to teach us something that we needed to know to grow.

Once we have learned the lesson, they fade away to make room for our next “teacher.”

19. Lisa Wields Words - November 18, 2012

I’d love to have lunch with you, Nancy. You can have your beer and I just might get myself a rootbeer float. Thanks for sharing this with me today.

nrhatch - November 18, 2012

Ooh . . . I might have a rootbeer float too! And fries. 😀

Here’s to creating reciprocal friendships that help us to recharge and renew our batteries, instead of depleting our reserves.


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