Building relationships and starting new friendships in my adult years has been hard. Every person’s “normal” setting is different. I expected that if a new acquaintance is cross cultural to my own but even with the same culture, it is different.
I find myself trying to prove that I am worthy of that persons friendship. I know better but, in hindsight, I see how I was hoping my openness, character, and reliability would clear a path for me. Oh how wrong I was. If you would have told me this scenario and asked me to give my opinion, I would tell you what I am about to pen now. If a person is willing to disregard you the second you are not able to show up, pick up, bring something, talk to, or otherwise perform as a “friend” should, they were not interested in investing in a friendship with you in the first place. You were all in and they were spectating.
I found myself having to say no to two events I really wanted to attend that burgeoning friendship had invited me to. Because we were still bonding, it was important for me to attend but, I couldn’t. What makes this hard is I verbally made tentative commitments. (I had to run it pass my husband first, make sure my girls would be with him or a grandparent, make sure I had the money and a clear calendar). Those whose family functions differently or has a different marital status may not readily understand that. I don’t hold that against them nor do I expect for them to “come up” to understand but I do not expect nor receive that I am the greasy wheel. When the red flags pop up in the form of no response, talking over or around my statements, or placating smiles, I am on alert that this person isn’t for me.
I will still remain open to getting to know that person but I will do so with the wisdom of a serpent. I have to remember not to look for anything in return. Not kindness, not patience, not goodness, nothing. I go out with seeds for sowing but have no expectation of where it might return. The moment I forget that, I’m in trouble. And that is where I found myself today. I poured my heart out in explanation as to why I was unable to attend an event. I was hoping for understanding. I got silence. A response came later and was very kind but the emotional turmoil I put myself through had already run its course.
I have to stay open to new but stand firm in what I know.