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Words of wisdom that I read the other day


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I love this.  Also for me anyway I have to remind myself. Quality over quantity.  A few close friends is more than enough.  Pursuing lukewarm interactions or trying to maintain a friendship that is over or faded isn’t worth the emotional or time investment.  
There certainly is space for acquaintances but I find it helpful in my life to differentiate between those and friends.  Big difference IMO. 

thanks again for posting. 

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7 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

  Pursuing lukewarm interactions or trying to maintain a friendship that is over or faded isn’t worth the emotional or time investment.  
 

I think lots of people confuse actual friendships and you being a friend to someone, but they aren't to you.

Key difference: efforts.

If it's not going both ways, and you're the one constantly phoning, or messaging, or putting in the efforts, that's not your friend.

Honestly, it's taken me many years to finally see this. I think I used to justify other people not contacting me, and was okay that I put in all the efforts, but it does start to feel bad after a while.

The way you summed it up, Batya, is perfect! 

Definitely quality over quantity.

When the chips are down, you want to know who is going to be there and who is actually your friend.

 

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Thanks!! So my sister and I discuss this a lot.  She’s content with only a few good friends.  Doesn’t like mingling or socializing. She is a lovely , personable, compassionate human being it’s just not her preference.  So she will challenge me if I’m frustrated about a flaky friend as to why I put up with it.  Why do I need to be in touch  with so many? I’m glad she does this.  It re-centers me.  
also its complicated.  Because there will always be periods of time where one person is putting in more effort particularly if the other person is going through a lot.  
But I think if you (general you ) pay attention to your gut it won’t be about keeping score.  But rather that sense that the one sidedness is temporary and the person has genuine intentions of being a friend to you. So you saying you had to learn when to stop investing is so normal.  Because it’s not always clear. 

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44 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

Because there will always be periods of time where one person is putting in more effort particularly if the other person is going through a lot.  

Absolutely. It's good to be able to distinguish between those that are not making efforts due to stress, or struggle and those that have just lost interest....for sure! 

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Just now, SherrySher said:

Absolutely. It's good to be able to distinguish between those that are not making efforts due to stress, or struggle and those that have just lost interest....for sure! 

Yes and it’s tricky sometimes I find !  But knowing yourself and knowing how to tap into that “hmm this is just not right” is important and sometimes elusive.  Thanks again for sharing this !

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When I was a teen it was vital for me to be in the middle of everything and everyone like many teens are.  I was so afraid of missing out on something!

Now, I dont give a rat's patootie!  I have enough acquaintances and not many actual friends and that is ok.  I dont need to see or know or deal with all that goes on around me.  I am content with me.  I love my big property in the woods and am very happy here.  I dont feel a need to get out there all that much.  I am very sociable but I am fine with my own company.  

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I really had this driven home when my mom was ill and after her death. There were people I considered friends, and family who I thought were part of my support group, who were just brutal in their indifference. I never expect people to drop their lives for me, but I didn't expect some of the coldness I saw in some people either. There were a few family members who threw a fit over my moms funeral date for God's sake, because it came too close to a baby shower. Yeah, that's not what I consider my family these days. 

It was then that I really decided to be more careful in who I give my time, energy, resources. I just don't want to waste precious finite energies on those who do not really care, when I could be giving it to someone who does and will appreciate it. 

 

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12 hours ago, melancholy123 said:

When I was a teen it was vital for me to be in the middle of everything and everyone like many teens are.  I was so afraid of missing out on something!

Now, I dont give a rat's patootie!  I have enough acquaintances and not many actual friends and that is ok.  I dont need to see or know or deal with all that goes on around me.  I am content with me.  I love my big property in the woods and am very happy here.  I dont feel a need to get out there all that much.  I am very sociable but I am fine with my own company.  

Oh I was the same as you -did you do that thing where if you didn't have plans for a friday or saturday night you hunted all over to make sure you had plans (not so easy with landlines/no internet in my day) - and then the temptation to dump one plan for a cooler/more popular plan?  Sigh.  Gotta run - I think everyone is headed to Whole Foods this morning and I don't want to miss out - I even put a little gel in my hair and no scrunchie!!!!! LOL (yes going to WF, yes it feels like a mini vacation in my current situation)

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10 hours ago, itsallgrand said:

I really had this driven home when my mom was ill and after her death. There were people I considered friends, and family who I thought were part of my support group, who were just brutal in their indifference. I never expect people to drop their lives for me, but I didn't expect some of the coldness I saw in some people either. There were a few family members who threw a fit over my moms funeral date for God's sake, because it came too close to a baby shower. Yeah, that's not what I consider my family these days. 

It was then that I really decided to be more careful in who I give my time, energy, resources. I just don't want to waste precious finite energies on those who do not really care, when I could be giving it to someone who does and will appreciate it. 

 

I am so sorry.  This happened to my husband with who he thought was a really good friend when my mother in law/his mom died.  It was so hurtful.  He stopped interacting with this person (and we had gone to his father's funeral).  Fast forward 7 years -to last year.  I was still connected on FB to this person.  And learned he'd died -early 50s.  Not covid from all we knew.  I wrote to his sister to express our condolences. My husband was so conflicted -did he do the right thing in stopping contact?? They were high school friends!  I told him he should not feel guilty -how the friend acted during that awful time (and yes this person knew my inlaws, had been hosted by them, etc) justified my husband keeping his distance.

Again I am so sorry you were treated this way but I see the silver lining too -your insights.

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1 hour ago, Batya33 said:

Oh I was the same as you -did you do that thing where if you didn't have plans for a friday or saturday night you hunted all over to make sure you had plans (not so easy with landlines/no internet in my day) - and then the temptation to dump one plan for a cooler/more popular plan?  

Yes I did that a few times!  I had general crew I hung with and there ws usually something going on somewhere and we'd go to whatever it was!  So glad to be past that stuff!

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3 hours ago, Batya33 said:

I am so sorry.  This happened to my husband with who he thought was a really good friend when my mother in law/his mom died.  It was so hurtful.  He stopped interacting with this person (and we had gone to his father's funeral).  Fast forward 7 years -to last year.  I was still connected on FB to this person.  And learned he'd died -early 50s.  Not covid from all we knew.  I wrote to his sister to express our condolences. My husband was so conflicted -did he do the right thing in stopping contact?? They were high school friends!  I told him he should not feel guilty -how the friend acted during that awful time (and yes this person knew my inlaws, had been hosted by them, etc) justified my husband keeping his distance.

Again I am so sorry you were treated this way but I see the silver lining too -your insights.

Ohh your poor husband! It's so good he had you there to help him work through those feelings. ❤️

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3 minutes ago, itsallgrand said:

Ohh your poor husband! It's so good he had you there to help him work through those feelings. ❤️

I tried but given how this friend treated him (and given his sort of MO in general) I was very supportive of him distancing himself from him.  But we were all shocked when he suddenly died -he certainly lived large in many ways- and of course it's so normal to question again whether you did the right thing.  Thanks and I am sorry those "friends" were not there for you.  Also do you notice how when those situations happen there are people who show up for you you never would have expected?  I love that.

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9 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

I tried but given how this friend treated him (and given his sort of MO in general) I was very supportive of him distancing himself from him.  But we were all shocked when he suddenly died -he certainly lived large in many ways- and of course it's so normal to question again whether you did the right thing.  Thanks and I am sorry those "friends" were not there for you.  Also do you notice how when those situations happen there are people who show up for you you never would have expected?  I love that.

Yes!! I was just thinking that about those who show up for you in those times who you never expected. And that too, it stays with you. I'll never forget those who did that. I had a friend who I hadn't seen in close to ten years show up. I didn't expect her to, considering we weren't really part of each other's lives for so long. But it meant a lot to see her! Same with an aunt on my father's side, who I barely see due to distance. She showed up when I was mourning and took over my kitchen with cooking healthy meals for my freezer. It was a comfort and meant so much. 

 

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16 hours ago, itsallgrand said:

I really had this driven home when my mom was ill and after her death. There were people I considered friends, and family who I thought were part of my support group, who were just brutal in their indifference. I never expect people to drop their lives for me, but I didn't expect some of the coldness I saw in some people either. There were a few family members who threw a fit over my moms funeral date for God's sake, because it came too close to a baby shower. Yeah, that's not what I consider my family these days. 

It was then that I really decided to be more careful in who I give my time, energy, resources. I just don't want to waste precious finite energies on those who do not really care, when I could be giving it to someone who does and will appreciate it. 

 

I'm very sorry, itsallgrand.  You have since learned the difference between sincere, real, genuine friends vs. a bunch of "Good Time Charlies,"  fair weather friends, pretentious, charming, fakes and phonies.  This world is full of them.  It was definitely a wake up call for you and unfortunately, I too had to learn this harsh lesson the hard way.  I'm sorry for your sobering reality check. 

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22 hours ago, SherrySher said:

Thank you, SherrySher.  I agree.

I'm at a point in my life where I react the same exact way I've been treated.  If I'm treated with indifference and apathy, I return the favor and do the same.  If some people treat me lukewarmly or with their forced civility, again, I'm the same exact way towards them.  I no longer go out of my way to be extra kind to anyone only to become sorely disappointed due to their lackluster attention to me. 

If a person is selfless and gracious towards me, I can afford to give them the same courtesy. 

If I don't matter much to certain people, then I treat them as if I'm standing in line to pay for my groceries.  I'm polite yet keep them at a safe distance. 

I no longer place such high expectations in people.  My mother taught me to "expect the WORST in others ALWAYS."  I didn't follow her advice when I was younger but nowadays I most definitely follow her wise mantra.  Then when some people actually treat me with kindness and respect, I'm pleasantly surprised and reciprocate with good, cautious manners.  It works for my mental survival.

What goes around comes around.

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I agree in that its best to watch out for yourself because people may try and take advantage, befriend you for the wrong reasons, waste your time, be unreliable, have other motivations..

Speaking about wisdom, I think we should try and be those elements we wish we would like to see in the world. I personally wish everyone treated everyone with love, kindness, understanding, no matter if they are a coworker or some stranger on the street.

But at the same time, if someone is not reciprocating or unreliable, then I think its best to focus more on our inner circle / group of friends or family that are good for us and our well-being.

 

 

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I read somewhere that average human maybe has 2-3 true friends. And I can agree to that. People who will keep contact no matter how far are you, hang around, stay with you no matter if you have ups or downs etc. Rest are more situational like people you go out, work buddies etc. And if we go further we have just acquaintances. Sadly most people fall into later categories.

Would also like to add people who would write you off as soon as you dont do something for them. My friend wanted me to sign some political thing(he made some local party so needs signatures of supports and members). I said that I couldnt do it because I already signed that for my brother-in-law but will be happy to take him to my mom so she can sign his. So we did that. He still got mad at me. Saw him and his fiance yesterday in town on the other side of the street and waived and wanted to approach to say "Hello". He just yelled how some guy is waiting for him and took off. I am sure he will cool off, we are friends for over 20 years, I helped him numerous times through life as he did also for me. But I never considered him good friend exactly because that kind of behavior.

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5 hours ago, Kwothe28 said:

Would also like to add people who would write you off as soon as you don't do something for them.

I've had so-called "friends" who only associated with me when they wanted something and as soon as I was no longer beneficial to them, I was permanently ghosted. 

I've known a person (an extended family member) who was very close to me just like a friend ever since we were children.  Then this person became a sociopath.  Fortunately, I escaped this sociopath's grip.  Since I was no longer "needed" to benefit them, the next step was estrangement. 

Always beware.

 

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On 7/30/2021 at 10:21 AM, melancholy123 said:

Now, I dont give a rat's patootie!  I have enough acquaintances and not many actual friends and that is ok.  I dont need to see or know or deal with all that goes on around me.  I am content with me.  I love my big property in the woods and am very happy here.  I dont feel a need to get out there all that much.  I am very sociable but I am fine with my own company.  

^ Ditto!!  You must be my long lost identical twin. 😊

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This topic addresses the reason why I caution about 'insta-intimacy' and automatic trust.

It applies to friendships as well as romance.

Sure, it feels great to hit it off with someone. But on a scale of 1 to 10, I tend to set my internal trust meter to a neutral 5 with new people, and I observe over t.i.m.e.

People will show you what they are made of. Talk is cheap. Whenever a person's words don't align with their behavior, I tend to withdraw my trust and relegate the person to 'interesting acquaintance' territory.

I don't advocate dropping acquaintances cold. We're each capable of forming different kinds and degrees of relationships to meet different needs. If I sense that someone's investment in me is purely transactional, I figure out whether the transaction brings something to that table that 'I' want.

Most people do NOT match our 'best friend' ideals. That doesn't make them a villain, but it signals a need to avoid pretzeling to cater to what we 'wish' were true about that person.

I've grown less romantic and more pragmatic as I age. I don't paint anyone with a saintly brush, so I'm rarely disappointed when someone shows me their limits.

Caution tempers a desire to dive in and expect a lot just because we want to deliver a lot. Avoid that trap, and then there's no reason to view oneself as harmed by anyone who doesn't step up to the 'great friend' plate.

Most people are NOT ideal. Most people do NOT behave as we would wish, and so we can avoid the sting of an unmatched investment by trading an 'all in' position for careful observation and reasonable expectations.

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13 hours ago, catfeeder said:

People will show you what they are made of. Talk is cheap. Whenever a person's words don't align with their behavior, I tend to withdraw my trust and relegate the person to 'interesting acquaintance' territory.

So a number of times I remain surprised when a seemingly well intentioned, smart, thoughtful person flakes.  Here is a prime example - someone on one of my facebook groups needed help with a challenging situation with her young son.  We had interacted before and private messaged before.  We did so on this situation and discovered we have a lot in common.  She said she'd love to speak by phone and I agreed.  She wrote to me that we should actually schedule a time to talk given our teleworking/childcare.  We did.  She wrote "I will text you on Thursday afternoon before I call".  It was Sunday. 

She never did -this was weeks ago.  I actually made sure that she put the ball in her court.  No, I refuse to follow up or text her, etc - why? Because she is the one who really needs the help and because this has now happened to me multiple times with the person who actually sets up an appointment to talk (or, pre-covid, to meet) - and flakes.  If she messages me again I won't hold it against her at all especially if she acknowledges but no I'm not chasing or putting more effort into it.  

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1 hour ago, Batya33 said:

If she messages me again I won't hold it against her at all especially if she acknowledges but no I'm not chasing or putting more effort into it.  

Right, and great example. Sometimes people who need help the most chicken out, and so helping is not really the best basis for forming a friendship. There are also high odds that relationships starting with one person helping out another will see an eventual ghosting from the one was helped.

Dr. Joy Browne, "Charity feels better for the giver than the receiver..."

I agree with your take, especially if your paths cross with this woman again. A convenient case of amnesia can give her a pass and allow her to try again with you under more favorable circumstances.

If not, nothing has been lost.

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6 minutes ago, catfeeder said:

Right, and great example. Sometimes people who need help the most chicken out, and so helping is not really the best basis for forming a friendship. There are also high odds that relationships starting with one person helping out another will see an eventual ghosting from the one was helped.

Dr. Joy Browne, "Charity feels better for the giver than the receiver..."

I agree with your take, especially if your paths cross with this woman again. A convenient case of amnesia can give her a pass and allow her to try again with you under more favorable circumstances.

If not, nothing has been lost.

So, yes, but I think in her case we were going to chat in general too but yes I get it.  

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