Dependent? Or Dilemma?

I’m a bonafide good girl. Sure, I have my moments, but doesn’t everyone? Point blank- I firmly believe if you are kind and you stick to being your genuinely weird self, all the right people and opportunities will be attracted towards you.

Although, I’m only 21 (I know, CLEARLY lots of experience)- I have had more than my fair share of friendship drama. It’s only natural and we all face it. But, over the past couple years I have noticed that I had put much more effort in certain friendships than what other friends were and quite honestly it gets exhausting!

I adore my friends (both former and current). They show you parts of yourself that you never thought you knew, and even during tough times it is nice to have someone to hear you out. Some people understand this and some people don’t. I never like using a “costs benefits” approach to any friendship or relationship dynamic because I only felt like it applied to buying a car or a house. But alas, if you feel as though a friendship isn’t a friendship…then maybe some introspection can push you to make the right decision (whatever that decision may be!).

I was known as the “mom friend”, and this type of friend acts much like a mother would- care for their friends, making sure everyone is having a good time, and drops many things to make sure that their friends are squared away (although, being the “mom friend” simply does not do actual motherhood justice you get my jist…). I was her and I still am to an extent. But, it got to a point where I wasn’t looked at as friend- I was looked at as driver, or homework helper, or money machine.

It was nice being known as dependent. Everyone sees that you have your- pardon my French, everyone sees you have your shit together and it’s nice to have that appreciation. But, with anything there will always be a happy medium. Dependency became a dilemma and it feed a cycle to letting some friends walk all over me.

Does this sound a lot like you?

  • Your Problems are not Problems: You had a bad day at work. You need to vent, so you tell your friend. The friend listens for a solid two seconds but turns it around and makes it about their issues or worse…they take jabs at you when you are feeling down, making fun of the fact you should not feel this way.
  • Your job is not being a friend: We all like helping people out, it’s great. But is there a friend who really only hangs out with you because you have the car? Money from your job? Or you have the answers to an assignment? You’re not being a friend you are always doing their dirty work.
  • Plans, Plans, and more plans: They invite you to stuff and it’s awesome to have fun right?! But, it’s always conveniently located for them. They don’t have to drive two hours, but you? You bet your sweet ass you drive those two hours through traffic to hang out with them. Even if you expressed you simply can’t (even though you want to because happy hour…), they meet you with an attitude or a snarky “why”?
  • Invitations don’t matter: It’s time to invite them to hang out with you. You showed up too many of their hangouts, they will show up for yours. Nope. They don’t, it’s too hard for them to make plans on their own watch. Jeez why can’t you understand that?!
  • Value: If you have to ask yourself- “Do I feel valued?”, then it’s probably time to take a nice realistic look at this friendship.

I like being there for friends. I do. But sometimes, we are simply too busy with what we have to do- the bills are not going to pay themselves, the dog is not going to walk itself, and homework can’t be magically done without one glance. It’s not selfish to say no or set boundaries if they have been crossed multiple times.

Being able to be dependent is a wonderful trait. I think we all wish more people were like that, but don’t let your dependent feed your dilemma. I had put myself in downright uncomfortable situations, and that’s when I realized I HAD TO PUT MY FOOT DOWN (even if I was wearing heels)! This is hard because nobody likes conflict, but 9/10 times if they were a true friend they would understand where you were coming from and you guys would come to a compromise.

So how do you conquer this? You think then proceed. You think about the friendship in depth- are you guys bringing the best out of one another? Are you putting way more effort into this and being met with inappropriate behavior? Is thanks in their vocabulary?

It’s best to take some time to think, if you are too impulsive- it can blow up in your face. Trust me. Then once you feel comfortable enough, go ahead and talk with your friend. It’s not going to be easy. But it is worth it. Or you just don’t feed this behavior- say no more often, then they could get the idea, and then when you are ready to have a conversation with them you can.

The worst that can happen? Well you may lose a friend and it will be hard. But, then you pull yourself back and realize- “Oh wow, if they wanted to be friends they would try and understand. I’m a kick ass person and I may have lost a friend but I gained a sense of self and I’ll meet many more people in life. C’est la freaking vie!”.

Okay maybe it won’t be like that, but you need to remind yourself you were strong enough to do this. So, you’re dependent, maybe a little too nice, and a smidge too kind for words. But I know one thing is for sure- you are also independent to say when enough is enough and I have to say kudos to you.

Good luck.

From the Bonafide Good Girl,

Sam

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