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Reciprocity 28 February 2016

Posted by uggclogs in Life.

Friendship is a wonderful thing – we all have people in our lives whom we love, care about, and enjoy spending time with. True friends who know who you are (and love you despite this) who build you up and who energise you. 

When you enter your thirties, you start to distill your relationships. You want to surround yourself with positive people who matter to you. And you stop worrying so much about what others think. 

But then there are the relationships where you mean more to them than they do to you. And that can be hard, because although you don’t feel the need to be friends with these people, you also don’t have the need to be nasty or hurt them. 

Perhaps this is more the nature of female friendships, I don’t know. But sometimes, I feel obligated to be there for people I don’t have much of an affinity for. To show up for people who have invited me so many times that it will be rude to turn them down yet again. I don’t dislike them – they are genuine, nice people – but I wouldn’t call them for a coffee if I’d had a spare moment. Often, these are people you were thrown in with at some point, through work or a group or sports. 

I generally assume those relationships will fizzle and disappear, and mostly they do. But sometimes they don’t and you end up spending a Sunday morning away from your family and loved ones, despite not really having much in common with that person. It always feels fake to me, perhaps because I’m trying too hard. 

Maybe I should just keep turning them down. Keep making excuses. But I don’t have the heart to straight up tell them I’m not interested. 

Perhaps this is because I’ve been on the flip side of this coin too often when I was younger – a person you admire or like who you want to be friends with, so you keep turning to them to force a friendship. Back in the days where I still wanted desperately to be liked. These friendships are not genuine, however, and never bring happiness. They are a two-sided chore we should all be done with. 

I resolve to be better at turning people down, and to focus on friendships that are reciprocated. I think that is kinder. 



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