All my life, I've never had any trouble making friends. Don't get me wrong, I was a nerd, but I've always made friends easily.
I've had all types of friends, as well.
My fliratious nature has awarded me many a male friend in my day, one of whom eventually became my husband.
My fierce loyalty, has provided me with many long term friends. You know, friends whom I have known for 25+ years.
The friendly/outgoing side of me has acquainted me with lots of interesting people, and has occasionally thrust me into some uncomfortable situations.
While I adore my friends, the law of averages implies that in an ocean full of really terrific friends (y'all know who you are...), you will on occasion come across a stinker or two.
When I was in middle school, I had a "friend" who hated me. Well, more accurately, she hated me MOST of the time. Round about October 8th, she would declare me her "best friend", and hold on tight, just long enough to get a birthday present from me on October 10th. Once she had what she wanted, the teasing and utter torture would resume. She did this same thing for Christmas and Valentine's Day as well, for several years.
My mom pointed out how wrong this was on several occasions, but when you're in middle school...your mom doesn't know anything, so I ignored her.
To this day, I am still a people pleaser, and it drives Roon CRAZY.
Probably because he can see something that I can't.
Usually, he gets quietly exasperated, just shaking his head or rolling his eyes when he doesn't agree with the way I'm allowing a friend to treat me.
Over the past several months, I have had several interactions with a "friend" I refer to as "Toxic". (If you're a real life friend of mine reading this...don't worry, I don't think it's you, or someone you know)
This person is a taker. They take your time, they take your energy, they take your generosity, but they never leave anything behind.
Have you ever had a friend like that?
After every interaction I would have with them, I would walk away feeling defeated. Feeling "less than".
One evening, after our most recent encounter, I was talking to Roon, and as I started to cry, he put his foot down.
Now, if you know Roon, you know that he is just about the most easy going man in the entire world. He would do anything for anybody, and RARELY gets upset.
But he was LIVID.
"I don't want you doing anything else for that person." He said. "In fact, if you volunteer to do one more thing for them, I am not going to be mad at them anymore, and I'll be mad at YOU!"
And I know he means it.
So, I'm respecting his wishes. The people pleaser in me is screaming to be heard, but I love my husband, and I basically only tolerate the other individual.
The whole experience has made me question myself, and how I treat others.
On the bright side, every time I encounter a "stinker" in my vast ocean of friends, I learn from it, and it makes me a better friend.
And that makes it all worth it.