Your deposits into a friendship do not always yield a return on this side of heaven. Stop expecting a pay back and keeping track! Give out of the kindness of your heart or don’t give at all. If you have poured into a friendship a great deal and you feel slighted, it’s not always because you are being slighted. I’m not one for the lop-sided relationships at all, and that is not what I’m referring to. What I am talking about is when you give and give and then your friend doesn’t return favors or gifts in the way that you would like and you become upset. You experience feelings of being taken advantage of, taken for granted or being used. It’s easy to run with these feelings and make up in your mind that the person you thought was a true friend isn’t a friend at all, but I’m suggesting that you don’t always take this approach. Sometimes because your pain is so severe and your hurt is so devastating you never take in account that you may be:
2) have unrealistic expectations, or
3) you were only giving to get and now that you’re not getting your pissed off.
Have you ever met someone who refuses your help, services, advice, gifts or anything that you were trying to offer them in love? You tried to shower them with all sorts of things but it seems as though they have a wall up blocking your advances. At first you may feel like what is wrong with this person, but if that person has experienced a lot of situations where people are only extra nice or extra caring or giving because they want something in return, when you offer something they would rather opt out than have you expecting a return that they may not know about or may not be able to act upon. I want to add that an extreme case of this isn’t healthy either. I think that each person should assess each situation and determine how they should give and receive. People with walls up are not mean they are more guarded because they’ve been hurt. But staying extremely guarded and refusing loving things from loving people is not the way to go.
Here’s what you can expect in a true friendship; you can expect to be disappointed, let down, upset, and even angry. What you should not tolerate is being taken advantage of, taken for granted, or being used. But the only way that you can make an accurate determination of these things is if you are in a healthy place and mindset in regards to the true definition of friendship.
Many people have chosen to discontinue their friendship with me because I didn’t meet their expectations. Some said it verbally and some with just their absence. In some way shape or form I must have disappointed them to the point where they felt as though the fight for the friendships wasn’t worth the fight. I love friendship and I will always work towards maintaining it (when led by God), but what I will not do is spend countless hours trying to show and prove who I am and what we have. That is the energy that I 100% reserve for marriage. I don’t even exhaust that much energy into proving my love to my own son. I have told him and shown him throughout his 18 years, he had best just believe it. And that is not to say that I don’t still show him, but if he tries to base my love off of certain actions and not look at the overall picture then I have to roll my eyes and keep it moving.
So to all the people who are ranting and raving, gossiping, and venting about a person who you thought was your friend yet now they haven’t pulled through for whatever reason, maybe you should check your motives and expectations. Maybe see a counselor or a wise older person who will have a neutral mindset and can give you a different perspective.
Let me tell you how I roll. Someone can give me $500 and I will take it gladly, but that does not give them the right to call me any hour of the night and expect for me to have a listening ear. That does not mean that I did not appreciate the gift of $500, it just means I have boundaries. That does not mean that I don’t love them or care about them, it just means that I have boundaries. Boundaries are to protect both parties in the relationship, not harm anyone. Now if someone wants to pay me for my time, than we can discuss that and that $500 gift can be a payment. Then we agree upon some days and times to use that up. But I do not and will not accept gifts and feel the burden of always being, giving, and doing for a friend. That should not be the reason of them giving. A gift is giving out of love and expecting nothing in return. Investments and purchases have a return. God gave us the gift of salvation for free and expected nothing in return, that is why our works can’t earn anything from Him. But it is out of that love that we have for Him that we offer up our gifts, because faith without works is dead.
So what I’m trying to say is that friendship is a two-way street and you should both be giving and receiving. Just don’t expect a lemon to ever give you grape juice, that’s unrealistic!
Thank you for reading and if you have any comments, questions, or anything to add to this post please fill free.