PYHO: Use Your Words

I’m in a bind in a couple of relationships.  I have found myself on the receiving end of some not so nice behavior.  It hurts my feelings.

When I speak up and ask what’s wrong I’m met with a standard “Oh nothing.” Well, it’s not nothing.  It turns out that there’s been a series of misunderstandings about small  things I could have easily cleared up had I been given the chance.

But I wasn’t.  So instead, I’m left feeling frustrated, sad and angry.

Sad that so much time was wasted in what could’ve been a good relationship.  Frustrated because I wasn’t given a chance to fix it earlier.  Angry because of  expectations placed on my shoulders that I don’t feel I should have to bear.

Unspoken expectations.

I am at a point where I feel that if you’re not willing to communicate with me what you need, then you can’t be upset at me for not fulfilling those needs.

There, I said it.

I’ve been married for close to 5 years.  In those years, my husband has not learned to read my mind, even though he lives with me, breathes the same air I do and lets me hog his side of the bed.  I have learned that I need to speak up if I need something from him.  And vice verse.

Why can’t we do this with friendships?  I feel that if I care about you and invest in you, then I’m going to try and be open and honest.  I know it’s hard.  I know it’s uncomfortable.

But I know the damage that silence can do.

Some of my best relationships have come out of a willingness to be open and say “Hey, this hurt my feelings.  But I still love you, let’s fix this.”  Those relationships have lasted years and are rich and deep and edifying.

I get that being open and honest is scary.  We want to avoid conflict or hurting people’s feelings.  But in some cases, I think lack of communication is far more damaging.

Please understand I’m not saying everyone needs to spill it or wear their hearts on their sleeves.  I’m not condemning people who are guarded.  I’m referring to a couple of relational experiences that I have had recently.

So I’m left in a lurch right now.  Carry on or cut and run?  I’m exhausted.  I need for people to be honest so I can learn from my mistakes, so I can understand what you need from me.  So we can take this friendship to the next level.

But maybe that’s not what they want.  And I’m going to be ok with that and move along and find some new friendships.

I’m a friend worth having.

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  1. Oh! I feel so much like this about a few of my own relationships. I am often left guessing as to whether they have a problem or are upset about something. I hate how much I obsess over these relationships. It is not worth the strain on me!! Or you. I am sure you are a friend worth having!
    Stephanie recently posted..Sister Boots

  2. I think it’s worth the effort for a time… But I have definitely dumped friends who continued to hurt my feelings and belittle me, even after I had brought it up. In the end, I had so many other friendships that were so much healthier. I just couldn’t expend the energy or emotions anymore for one-sided friendships. It’s really hard to do, but I haven’t regretted a single “break-up.”
    Caitlin MidAtlantic recently posted..Definitely Pregnant

    • It’s worth the effort with certain relationships but if it’s a constant frustration it’s probably time to move on.

  3. Communication is so key in every relationship; friendship especially! Not just surface chatter but real, open and honest talk. You have a big decision in front of you; and I know you’ll trust in your heart to make the right one.
    Speaking of friendship, did I read on Twitter that you are going to Bloggy Boot Camp Dallas? I think I read it when I hadn’t yet made the decision, but have recently decided to make the 5 hour drive from San Antonio to attend! Yay for getting to meet in real life!
    gin recently posted..An Open Letter to my Plantar Fascitis

    • Communication is underrated in my opinion!
      I am thinking of going to BBC. Still need to buy my ticket. I’m nervous about it though but seems like several people I “know” are going so I’ll just have to buck up and get my ticket!

  4. You are a friend worth having and if a person won’t agree to be open an communicate then cut your losses and run. You deserve better.
    Life As Wife recently posted..Not Better. Not Worse. Just Different

  5. VERY well put.

    And I gotta agree. Life would be so much easier if it’s just all put out on the table, sorted through, then done with.

    And I’ll be the first to say I’m probabaly guilty of not being totally honest myself all the time. As much as it pains me to say that, it’s probably true.

    But now you have me thinking and have put it in a whole new light for me.
    Carrie recently posted..Being accepted just the way I am isn’t so SCARY after all…

    • I realize that I’m not always forthcoming too, but eventually, if the relationship is important to me, I’ll say something. No use in having any ill will.

  6. You are absolutely right, you are a friend worth having. What I have learned is that some people thrive off of playing games. Silent treatment, passive agressiveness, short snippy answers – it’s the only way they know how to interact. Years ago, I decided I didn’t want people like that in my life so I cut ties. I can honestly say I haven’t looked back because I realized those people weren’t really friends and the only thing I lost by cutting them loose was a lot of hurt and aggravation. To help you decide whether to carry on or cut and run, maybe think about what you’d be giving up if you cut them. Is that loss greater than what you deal with by keeping them? I don’t mean to make it sound so simple. I know it’s not. Relationships are a tricky thing. Good luck and remember it’s okay to put yourself first!
    Sarcasm Goddess recently posted..I’ll Take An Order of Anxiety With a Side of Panic Attack

    • I have been evaluating the benefits of staying versus the value of letting go. It is hard when you think of the past but at the same time, you have to face what the current situation and relationship is. It’s never black and white is it?

  7. You are definitely a friend worth having. If they don’t want that, then that is obviously their loss. I’m sorry you’re going through this now. I wish people could see how great of a friend you really are.
    Kimberly recently posted..Whispers To My Baby

  8. You are 100% a friend worth having!!! Friendships are so hard…. I think that they are (sometimes) so annoyingly passive- aggressive. I hope you are able to find some peace with this soon- regardless of whether you remain in the friendship or not….
    Sara recently posted..Life’s Lessons: Extra Random-ness Edition

  9. I agree some of my best friendships have grown stronger once we talked about how we hurt each other’s feelings. You are worth having and if they don’t see it then they aren’t worth it!
    Natalie recently posted..Zoo Day: Today and a Year Ago

    • Thanks Natalie. It’s funny b/c we think confrontation will scare people away, but when we face it, it seems like relationships get better and deepen.

  10. Yes, you are worth it! Cut your losses. Use that time to better existing friendships. Life is too short to hurt.
    Alison@Mama Wants This recently posted..The Belly

  11. I’m sorry…
    but babe, you know that you’re worth it…
    Not a Perfect Mom recently posted..Steak and Blowjob Day

  12. Sorry you are having to deal with this. Yes, sometimes cutting and letting go is the best choice. So hard at the time, but so worth it in the end.
    Emmy recently posted..To Blog or Not To Blog

  13. You are very much a friend worth having. I’d probably try one more time to clear the air and get a discussion going about what is wrong, and then drop it.

    This- I want to tattoo it to my arm:
    I am at a point where I feel that if you’re not willing to communicate with me what you need, then you can’t be upset at me for not fulfilling those needs.
    Shell recently posted..Pour Your Heart Out: Second Anniversary

  14. I think you should press pause. Sometimes it brings clarity. And yes you are a friend worth having. NEVER forget that and expect anything less in return.
    Stasha recently posted..Dump truck

    • Yes, pushing the pause button and stepping out does provide insight and clarity. I guess it’s so easy to get caught up in the drama so quickly that we do need to back away for a while.

  15. You ARE a friend worth having. But if these person(s) don’t appreciate that, then maybe it is time to cut the ties. I agree with some comments, though, to give it one more chance.
    Missy | Literal Mom recently posted..6 Bloggers Who Make a Difference

    • I kind of feel like the chances have been given multiple times. But still, I hate frayed edges and I don’t want there to be any ill will so I know I can still be kind and offer another chance, but just know not to expect anything and be on guard.

  16. A relationship is an equal give and take. If they can be open and honest and willing to communicate then maybe they’re worth another shot?
    I went through something similar and once it was out in the open, things got considerably better. I know that this is a tough situation for you.
    Go with what your heart says.
    But you are definitely a good friend
    Kimberly recently posted..Odd Conversations Brought To You By The Husband

    • Thanks Kimberly. The key is if they’re willing to be open and honest. But for so long they weren’t and unless things change, I know I can’t keep going like this. 🙁

  17. I think there are enough things in life that you are REQUIRED to work at. Your marriage, your job, parenting, your relationships with your parents, relationships with siblings, and even two sided friendships. I feel that in your case, these friendships are fairly one dimensional in that they have problems they aren’t proactively trying to resolve. If they aren’t trying to solve their own problems by communicating them with the ONE person who could possibly work it out with them, they are just perpetuating it. From what I know about your situations, I think these friends like the drama more than the friendship. I truly think cutting your losses is best. I think if you stop having to work at relationships that don’t work back, you can be an even better friend to those who really value you. I’d rather have two amazing friends than fifteen so-so friends. I think you get so much more from the quality. You are a quality friend and you know it. You don’t need to prove it to those people.

    • Best comment ever! You are so right and I know you get it. Yes, I’d rather have 2 fantastic friends than a bunch of fringe friends. And how you said that I’d have more time to focus on the quality relationships? SO very true. You’re a wise woman.

  18. Friendships should never be more difficult than marriage. If they are, they’re really not friendships at all.
    Julie recently posted..I’d marry you again on the Ides of March

  19. You totally are a friend worth having. Here’s hoping they get that and soon.
    JDaniel4’s Mom recently posted..Quest to Find Answers to His Questions

  20. I had a very, very good friend a few years ago and I wasn’t able to make it to her daughter’s second birthday because I had family coming to visit me that weekend. My friend was upset and instead of talking to me about it, she ignored me and stopped answering the phone when I called. I apologized for not being at the party but she refused to accept it. So, I gave up. I didn’t try and fix the relationship and when she started calling me a few months later, I didn’t want anything to do with her. It sucks that people are like this but it is what it is. Do what is best for you in these situations.
    Jessica recently posted..To Sell Or Not To Sell

    • See, something like that isn’t worth getting so mad about. I’m sure it could have easily been understood if she’d reached out earlier. Little grievances aren’t worth making a huge issue out of.

  21. I think with the amount of responses that everyone has told you…for sure…that you are a friend worth having.
    Just like I told you that that I read you all time but my comments are few and far between but that doesn’t mean I don’t think the world of you or have so much respect for you. I do!!!
    Kir recently posted..The Post Where My Sons Prove They Don’t Know Anything About Sex

  22. I SO feel exactly the same way about a relationship I’ve had with a girlfriend for years. I don’t think it’s really anything I’ve done, but more that she feels we’ve just grown apart? It’s a guess. I’ve addressed it directly, and I don’t get an answer, and things seem great. But, things don’t change.

    What am I supposed to think? It’s hurtful and frustrating at the same time. Then there’s the simple loss of friendship .. loss of someone to talk to. I have other friends, but we used to be the closest of close.

    Thanks for opening up! Honesty IS hard. It’s hard to know what to do.

    For me, instead of fighting for our friendship, I have just lowered my expectations. Sad, but true! I can’t control everything, and I feel like I’ve given it a fair shot. Hopefully someday we can be closer again.

    Hang in there, you’ve got lots of people who care about you!
    Sharon {Grumpy, Sleepy, and Bashful} recently posted..Writer’s Workshop: Disneyland

    • This sounds a lot like my situation–I’ve tried, been told it’s all ok but nothing changes and I still feel slighted and hurt. I feel like the only thing to do just move on.

  23. I love your comparison between marriage and friendship… I have been married almost 11 years and we don’t read each others minds either (at least not very often, lol). What a great point! I think one of the hardest lessons I have learned recently is that not all friendships are meant to last forever, but it doesn’t make the time that they do last any less meaningful… sometimes the only answer is to move on to people who will love and support you the way you need them to in THIS season of your life 🙂 Like I said… hard lesson to learn!
    Branson recently posted..#3in30 Check-In


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  2. […] free neck of the woods here.  Well, mostly drama free.  We won’t talk about IRL friend fiascoes anymore.  Because I’m movin’ on, […]