“You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”
Are you the kind of friend who is always there for another? Who will call to check in, send an email or a card? Do you remember birthdays and special occasions?
This post is for you.
Here’s the scenario:
You’ve got a friend. Maybe you feel that participation in the friendship is a little lopsided. They say all the right things. But you get in touch and they don’t respond.
Maybe you’re not exactly asking for a response, but friendship is a two-way street. Reciprocity is assumed.
In your heart of hearts, you know that he or she isn’t there for you, not the way you are for them. That the friendship is not equal.
When this would happen to me in the past, I would continue to act as if it were a real friendship. I’d stay in touch even in the face of silence on the other side.
I don’t do that any more.
The other day someone who hadn’t been in touch or even responsive in a long while emailed me something they’d done. No note, just the accomplishment.
I was tempted to pick up the phone.
Another friend emailed to say something had happened and they would be in touch the next day.
It’s been two months.
I haven’t picked up the phone. Or emailed.
My life is busy.
I only want people in it who are reciprocal.
Who will be there for me the way I am for them.
Friendships can be like delicate flowers or hardy desert plants. Doesn’t matter which, they still need sunlight and a bit of nurturing.
Expecting reciprocity is a gift I’ve given myself, knowing that at the very least I deserve what I give.
And the absence of that, well, it may have been real once. It just isn’t, anymore.