My husband has told me on numerous occasions that I expect much too much from friends, and that I put myself in a position to be hurt and disappointed. I used to respond to this by saying that I knew what I had to offer as a friend, and that if I didn't feel an equal amount of energy flowing back to me, it was a sign that I needed to move on. I even chastised my husband because he was so forgiving of his best friend, who did some things I would never have put up with. When I got upset and asked why he would stay friends with someone who has been dishonest with him, he said: "Because I know what to expect from certain people, and what not to expect."
That gave me alot to think about.
Was I setting high standards? Was I expecting too much?
I have a friend, we'll call her Linda. Linda knows alot about a particular subject which really interests me and shares this information. We walk our dogs together and swap recipes. I've learned interesting things from her, and she has also shown me very beautiful places surrounding this neighbourhood.
But Linda never asks how I am doing. And when I told her about my miscarriage, she responded with "Oh, that's hard, but you know, animals lose babies all the time, I guess it's a part of nature," and never asked how I was feeling in the days that followed. She spends alot of time complaining about her relationship, or explaining why certain job opportunities wouldn't work before she has even given them a chance.
The old me would have probably ended the friendship, or at least let it slowly simmer away. But the new me focuses on the positive aspects of the relationship. My husband suggested that, instead of looking for everything I want from each individual friend, I should begin appreciating the positive parts of people, and be forgiving, and even compassionate, about the parts which I don't really like.
Here are some pictures from today's walk with the friend I mentioned. It was beautiful, with many little discoveries. And I thought, if I had ended this friendship, I wouldn't have seen these things today.
feeding station for the wild deer and birds
anyone home? a clever mouse built it's home right next to the feeding station
a piece of wasp's nest in a hay bale
the first stinging nettle buds of the year; soon we can eat it in salads and strudels
first lesser celandine of the year, high in vitamin c!
Tell me about your friendships, about what is important to you.
I would love to hear your thoughts.
xoxo country girl