Am I A Good Friend?

Am I A Good Friend?

This is one of those blog posts that makes me feel quite nervous. I’m worried because I don’t know how it will come across. But I made a decision a while back to be more open on my blog and write whatever I feel like writing. Some days I will be funny (or at least try to be) with a podcast or a video. Sometimes I talk about places I’ve been and things I’ve seen. Sometimes, I will write whatever is on my mind and be honest with myself. Today is one such day as lately I’ve been wondering if I am a good friend.

Ok, Ok…

Ok, I know how this may sound. Am I being self-pitying or melodramatic? Am I in a mood with anyone in particular or angry?

Nope.

Am I feeling a bit down?

Yep.

But I’m not ‘feeling down’ in a way that I would usually feel. And I’m trying to think of a way to describe, and so far I’ve come up short. I guess the most understandable way I can describe it is I’m wondering if I am doing enough in my friendships.

My reason for thinking this way are based on things that have happened recently. Things that are worrying to me and somethings that could well be in my head.

World Class Overthinker

I will make this disclaimer now – I tend to overthink things at times. That being then case, it is quite possible that some of my thoughts about this stem from spending too long focusing on an issue that may not be there. But, I know I overthink and have dealt with it a lot better over the past few years. With that in mind, when I do think thoughts like this, I always analyse if it’s just me or if there is a genuine problem.

For many years I spent my life overthinking and worrying what people thought of me. It is something that held me back in the past and stopped me from being happy. I don’t want this to be a post about the inner workings of my brain, but I’m always seeking approval from others to a level that is likely unhealthy. I seeked it out so much in my past and often to the detriment of my own sanity.

That shouldn’t really come as a shock as I’m sure many performers would fall under the same bracket. Any artist or performer does what they do because they love it and feel a need to do it but we all want that recognition. We all want validation that we are liked for whatever it is we do.

To put it bluntly, I sadly, have always assumed a lot of people don’t actually like me that much. Or people do like me, but don’t feel that close to me.

Lacking Friendship Skills

As far back as my pre-teen years, I have found it quite challenging to form and maintain friendships. Being the world-class overthinker that I am, I’ve wondered why this is. I think it comes down to two reasons. Firstly, I spent a lot of time in hospital as a child and so didn’t learn those friendship skills you learn at that early age. When I wasn’t in the hospital I was at home covered in plaster or had some sort of mental brace over my legs to try to heal the problem I had with my hips (that’s for a blog at another time, but as Shakira says, ‘The hips don’t lie’)

This factor ties in with my second reason; I felt pretty much lonely a lot and don’t have the confidence to feel that people have warm thoughts about me. Again I must stress that I hope this doesn’t come across as self-pity – I know I am lucky in many ways and with many things. I enjoy many privileges in my life and been very lucky in lots of ways. We all have aspects of our personality that could be better or that we would like to improve, this is mine.

I Could Do More

If I’m honest with myself I could do more, of course I could. I could reach out more, contact more and recently I’ve been wondering why I don’t. The reason comes down to the same thing, I don’t feel confident enough that people actually feel the need to stay in touch with me. If I send a message to see how a friend is doing and the message goes unanswered for days or weeks, I naturally assume the worst. In the past I would agonise over the lack of reply for weeks. I tend to tell myself that I handle the lack or replies better than I used to but I still react badly, but do so in a different way.

I’ve also been pumping out a lot of work recently with blogs and podcasts yet the silence from them has largely been deafening. This leads to me wondering if the stuff I put out is weak or no good and they can’t bring themselves to tell me. Does this mean they don’t feel comfortable to give me critical feedback?

Am I Bad At Being A Friend?

Before starting this post I read a few articles about friendships and a few things stuck out. One article mentioned about being judgemental. It claims, rightly, that being judgemental towards a friend that may have done something ‘unsavoury’ means that the one passing judgement probably isn’t a good friend. I tried to think back to any times where I could have been judgemental towards any of my friends and I can’t think of any. The article claims that being judgemental to friends would result in those same friends never sharing anything with you again…is this what has happened or is it merely something to do with being ‘blokes’ and not wanting to share?

Another article discussed being ‘competitive’ with friends and the detrimental effect it could have on friendships, but I genuinely don’t feel that way about any friends. There are moments in my past while trying to make my way in comedy that I felt my confidence get a kick because someone was doing well or had good news, but I never felt like I wanted them to fail.

So Why Am I Writing This?

The short answer is, ‘I don’t know’. I guess being far away and out of the loop/circle feels a bit of a stress at times. It can sometimes feel that some friendships are heading into the realm of ‘out of sight out of mind’ at a time when I want to have more contact with people. With the world the way is and divisions seemingly opening up on a monthly basis, it’s more important now than ever to surround ourselves with the people that matter.

Maybe writing this post will help me clear my head about it all and help me realise that my biggest ‘enemy’ is my own paranoia. So am I a good friend? Judging by this post, I’m not entirely sure but I think it is an important question to ask ourselves from time to time.

I don’t often write like this so if you’re new here and would like something light-hearted – Things To Do In Lockdown

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Rivergirl says:

    I think friendships and blogging are similar in some ways. You tend to get out what you put in, at least at first. Until you can develop a loyal following… like me!…. it’s necessary to visit and interact on a regular basis. That way you spread yourself around and develop interest. Friendships are the same, socialization and continued communication are key.
    That being said I hope my regular snarky comments don’t cause you any anxiety. You know I love you, right?
    In a totally platonic across the world type of way…
    😉

    1. I totally get what you’re saying and I agree. When it comes to blog I know I don’t put enough effort into interacting (which is probably a confidence issue). I can handle that ok because I know I don’t put in that effort. But with friends I am certainly putting in much more effort than many of the people I’m trying to communicate with are. I’m just a bit frustrated by it and my default setting is to think it’s all my fault.

      1. Rivergirl says:

        Perhaps you’re choosing the wrong friends? Find a tribe of like minded weirdos as I do.
        😉

  2. What Rivergirl said, but also, some people are just not good at keeping in touch, no matter how much they may like you, and the busyness of life can add to that.

    1. Yeah I understand what you’re saying and I’ve been guilty of it in the past. Problem is, it’s been very one way in certain instances recently and it gets tiring.

  3. I think we all suffer these sorts of self-doubts at some stage in our lives. There is no easy answer to this one and it is a call only you can make. How much do you value the friendship? And is it worth the effort? Is Yes, you just need to hang in there and keep reaching out. If No, then it is time be grown-up about it all and understand that your ‘friend’ has moved on and away from you. If your efforts are genuine, they will be appreciated and reciprocated, perhaps even by someone new. As I get older I realise friendship is more about quality than quantity. Take care, Mel

    1. Thank you. I’m feeling better about it than I was when I wrote this. I think the issue is amplified because I’m far away and therefore putting to much emphasis on trying to maintain contact with people. I’ve felt certain people slipping away but as you say, people move on. It certainly is about quality rather than quantity, and I certainly have quality. How are things with you? Hope you are well x

      1. Yes, all good in Aus. Trying to learn new work rhythms and routines and life returns to a new normal. What a test this has been for all of us? And perhaps the shake up we needed to shed any complacency we assumed! Mel

      2. Ah trying to get into new routines – the bane of my life 😂

  4. I’ll join any pity party if you join mine. 😉

    1. Anything to do with ‘party’ is ok with me 😀

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