Women, Friendship and Being Self-Centered

So, I don’t know if anyone else in the blogosphere can relate to this, but…I think I made a mistake giving out my blog link to some of the people I know in my personal life. For one, it can keep you from writing about any and everything that comes to mind because you don’t want to hurt anyone or make anyone upset. Plus, I gave the link to my “ex” way back when, for what reason I no longer know, and now I regret that because I don’t think it’s right that she has access to what’s going on with me and I don’t have that same access to her life at all. I actually don’t think she reads my blog anymore, but that’s not the point. It’s very symbolic of the relationship we had. She always had all of me and I always had only part of her, regardless of how much she thinks she shared with and gave to me. All the things she never would tell me, the trust she never completely gave me, the chance that she never wanted to give or take with me to see how far things could go, the decisions she would make about me/us that seemed to include everyone and their thoughts/input but me/mine, etc. And now I have none of her while she still can know things about me if she so chooses. It was always either one-sided or lopsided, and somehow I’m still the one giving more and getting less.

Well, tonight I’m not going to worry, because I realized that I just don’t care much about anyone but me these days. At work, Lazy Tech is the typical extrovert, i.e. likes to fill the silence with talk about absolutely nothing, and I just cannot bring myself to pretend to care or listen out of politeness in case he gets offended. Much like at my other jobs, I zone out while other people speak, and people at my “new” job are starting to discover that as I finally got the “in her own world” comment last week that I have often gotten elsewhere. I just don’t care about my co-workers.

But that’s becoming true with my friends, too, and it’s time to admit it, however some of my friends might feel about the admission. My “friends.” I’ve been thinking a lot about friends lately, specifically my friendships with women. As I’ve written before here, friendships with guys are different. At least for me, there’s just not the same closeness and the same expectations don’t exist.

Look, I want good friends–I do. But I am just tired of selfishness. When I was growing up, the two biggest issues with female friends once you hit a certain age were being dumped for a guy and your female friends contacting you to go on and on about themselves and then suddenly have to go when it’s time for you to talk. Being in my 30s, the dumped-for-a-guy thing has completely run its course with the majority of my female friends to some degree. The other ones who are left seem to be of the “let’s talk about me” variety, and that’s precisely why I can no longer bring myself to care much about our friendships. Read my last post, and you will see some of the issues I have in my life. I don’t really need or want to sit and listen to someone else free-flow, especially when I’m not going to get reciprocity.

All of my female friendships have changed drastically at this point, and there’s no going back. We all have busier, complicated lives now, and it’s hard to not be self-absorbed, I know. But just as my friends are now self-absorbed, I need to be the same way. I have had issues with some of my friends becoming so self-centered and I guess I still do have issues with that simply because I can’t quite imagine being that way, but it makes me realize that I need to be that way, too, especially if none of them are going to be there for me. Still, it causes a rift that is just never going to be repaired, sorry to say.

I mentioned my “ex” before, and, this applies to her, too, because she was also my best friend there for a while. When she not only wanted to end the romantic side but also the friendship, I did tell her she was self-centered. She essentially said yes but that there’s nothing wrong with that. To me, a big part of the reason why she was/is self-centered is because, as mentioned above, she would often consult with everyone about what’s “best for” me, about our relationship, about the turn it should take and then inform me what she decided based on what everyone else said as well as what she felt would help her. But it was always also for my best interest, you understand. No, she didn’t talk to me about my best interest and when she did she’d basically ignore/discount what I said, so how could it have been for me at all? It was for her. It was all about her.

If breaking off the romantic relationship is best for her, even if it’s not what I wanted–which it wasn’t–then that’s one thing. But I never would have said I valued the friendship and will continue to think of someone as a friend in the same breath that I was breaking it off. If I’m breaking off a friendship, it’s because I no longer value it. It might not be the easiest or most comfortable thing in the world to be friends with an ex at first, but if I cared about the friendship I would try. Who’s to say she didn’t care about it?

The irony is she’s probably the only “friend” I’d want to hear anything about…and that is, again, likely because I never do. My other “friends” still text me, email me, IM me or include me on Facebook, so I know what’s going on with them, whether I particularly want to know or not. At the same time, with my “ex” I also know we could have a conversation and it’s not going to be predominantly about her like it is with my other friends. She’d ask about my job, she’d ask about my health, etc, and would have actual thoughts and comments about them, and it wouldn’t be out of a sense of politeness or obligation (hey–I never said she didn’t care about me, but one of us cares more than the other one does). That’s why, while whatever is left of a possible friendship between us is still very much damaged, I can still bring myself to care more than I can with my other “friends.”

Man, when I really sit and think about it, it’s funny how when we’re younger we look at adults in adulthood and think that’s the life. We think they have it all and can do whatever they want. Now I just feel like everything is so much harder and there’s always something that I’m losing (friends, girlfriends, free time) or in danger of losing (i.e. parents, jobs, health). We actually have more than just youth and looks when we’re younger, you know?

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4 thoughts on “Women, Friendship and Being Self-Centered

  1. traveller says:

    We certainly do. And the beauty of it all is that it’s all downhill from there:)
    Having said that, I was talking to a (young) guy about growing old.
    Oh it’s much better than being young, he said. You have time and you don’t have doubts anymore. So I suppose we are now experiencing the opposite. We don’t have time but we have doubts:)

  2. […] Story tellers: Dirty Thirty Modern Ideals Where Art Thou Leannepaige Mr. Single Bells Life Overrated Finding Mr. Wrong…I Mean Mr. Right Love and Games Secret Vulnerability Perpetual […]

  3. Elle says:

    I stumbled upon your post a few months too late, but I want you to know that I can relate, and commiserate with you. Being self-absorbed is one of those tricky traps—you never know that you’re already being that way unless 1) you make a conscious decision to step back and take a look at yourself every once in a while, and/or 2) a brave friend will be caring and sensitive enough to call your attention to it.

    Sigh. Growing up can really suck sometimes.

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