Friday, November 18, 2011

Being the Friend Who Cares More

Disclaimer: I wasn't trying to hate on the friend mentioned below or anything. All friends fight. I was trying to talk about my own issues and how that fight made me think of this.

The friend who cares more. They're the friend who always pushes to schedule the playdates (later called "hang outs", of course), the one who always gives in, the one who tries so damn hard to please the other person, the one who analyzes every move they make in fear of judgment... There always is that friend even if they both deny that's truly the case.

That's, I realize, what's I've always been. That's always been my goddamn problem. It's why I let myself get stepped on or ignored in a group or why I do things I don't want to do. And today, I realize, I'm through with that. I'm not trying to make this a self-pity party post but I'm simply musing and slightly ranting.

I suppose I should inform the reader of the origins of this story. One looking back could say that it was today when I was stressed out because I fought my best friend. I do think the more logical explanation is that it really started out in fifth grade. I was the girl who was always left out of things and even occasionally teased. I suppose that left me with an inferiority complex that I haven't fully dealt with until I had to once again in eighth grade.

The friend who always cares is the one who always takes the burden for everything. By everything I mean, everything. In defense for all of the people I took burdens for it's not like I was usually asked. Nope, I just take it anyway. I take the blame from everything from breaking into lockers with people (I only did ones already rigged so it wasn't like there was anything valuable in there) from apologizing for things I didn't actually feel I did (like just recently). Sometimes taking the burden for things isn't actually required but I mentally do it. Kind of like, Oh, of course she couldn't come with me at lunch. I shouldn't have asked her to come. Taking the burden for everything means getting stomped on and not communicating your needs to the other person.

The friend who cares more is setting herself up for rejection. Sometimes people can only give so much. No matter how much you give in, you will always be disappointed that they don't care as much back. And, quite frankly, that sucks. Usually, the friend who cares more stays quiet. This makes it worse because they stuff the disapointment inside of them until it becomes something only felt in their subconscious. Sometimes, as I found out in the case I will mention below, it leads to later resentment of that individual.

Most of all, the friend who cares is the one that has the least power in the friendship and probably has their senses the most distorted. In the past, I was manipulated by someone who I thought was a friend. Now, I realize that I was more of a pet and accessory than anything else and that while she might have cared about me once, at some point this waned. Now, being as I never talked to her about this, I cannot be for sure what she was thinking but I'm getting this from all of the evidence and from looking at it in hindsight. Like I said before, it wouldn't be something I would go into fully but my being the friend who cared more hurt me a lot in the end. However, that was probably the more dire of my case.

Now today and Wednesday, same thing... Basically, she wanted me to wait up for her/ get her later even though she was doing her homework and holding me up. She made this big deal about me not doing so and I got stressed out over it the rest of the day (even though we have a locker on the same part of the building and she does know where I was). I suppose since it was on a bus, over the phone and since I was already nervous over my upcoming debate, I didn't tell her how I felt. Instead I only apologized. I won't go into full details about what happened (I haven't talked to her yet and she wouldn't to say her side of the story on this blog) but now that I've cooled down I am planning on talking to her. Basically, I felt and feel, like she expects things out of me that she isn't willing to give in return and that she's taking out some of her school stress on me. If I don't talk to her about this, something similar will happen and the resentment I'm feeling now will only fester. I do, however, thank her for leading her to these epiphanies about myself which extend farther than her own actions towards me.

Perhaps this is my distorted perception of things. This could possibly be a matter of which friend has better social skills or which friend has more self-confidence. I always felt I had to make them want to care because they wouldn't otherwise. Like when I'm meeting someone I have to work so hard to put up this casual persona so I don't look stupid. Most of all, I can't let on how much I desperately want to be friends with them. I feel as if I don't do things right, I'll be that weird girl who says all the wrong things and butts into everyone's conversation. Yet, at the same time, I don't want to be just that girl in the background. I'm constantly afraid of doing the wrong things around people and I absolutely scrutinize the hell out of my interactions with afterwards.

When I told my mom that (with reference to the girl I talked to at debate who I am now sitting at lunch with), she rolled her eyes and said of course it's not like that. That them not being the one to initiate further contact or hangouts doesn't mean they don't care. That oftentimes they're nervous or just don't how to do it. That they want me to be the one to do it first.

Along with scrutinizing myself, I scrutinize other people. A lot of times I even do this well most of the time (with the exceptions of the times that my views are clouded. That's a notable exception). I think that the girl I'm hanging out might be like I am in this regard and that she might even see me as the friend who cares less. That her case may have been exactly like what I described above. And that, in the most terrible sort of ways (terrible because I know it's so mean to wish my ailments on people), excites me and puts me at ease a little bit.

Being the friend who cares more sucks. There's no other way to put it. It's better than being "the friend nobody likes" (as Dane Cook so aptly put it) or the one with no friends but it still sucks.

Maybe a reasonable goal to set would be having my friends care as much about me as I care about them. But until then...

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