Why I no longer twist like a pretzel

October 6, 2021

twist-like-a-pretzelThere was a day when I’d knock myself out trying to make a friendship or relationship work. Twist like a pretzel. Oh, the life contortions I was willing to make, the rationalizations that seemed so logical.  The willingness to take less and less in return.

And then one day, I got that all the rationalizations in the world couldn’t change reality. I could close my eyes to, I could pretend that I was getting back enough of what I needed, but those things never worked for very long.

Reality does bite.

It’s amazing, now, when I think back, at how much I was willing to bend, even at the risk of breaking. What happens when we bend our bodies to the point of breaking? It hurts, doesn’t it? Well, our hearts and minds also hurt when we bend without support. We feel less-than, when we are getting less than what we give.

We’ve all heard so much wisdom over the years:

  • We teach others how to treat us.
  • Actions speak louder than words.
  • Words are from the lips, actions are from the heart.
  • If your actions don’t live up to your words you have nothing to say.
  • You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.
  • When someone tells you who they are, believe them the first time.

You’ve heard all of these, right? Or at least some?

Yeah, me, too. But it’s taken me a long time to put them into action.

Because I’ve always had a ” reason”. Ahem…an excuse. That’s what they were. Excuses.

Things are different now. People I care about do get a bunch of chances. A finite number.

And then, I’m done.

My door will remain open should they choose to knock. I’ll always answer it with a welcoming smile. But they have to knock.

I’m done pushing my way into anyone’s life and so should you. So should we all. Twisting like a pretzel is uncomfortable.

I’m reminded of someone who always expected me to make the first move. And then the second, and the third. Acknowledging me all along the way for how much they appreciated it. And then one day I realized that if they appreciated it so much, maybe they could make a move first.

I wasn’t surprised when nothing happened. And you probably aren’t, either. Because it was always all about them and never about us.

These are the things I think about when the sun is at a certain point in the sky and I’ve had just enough of what’s going on in the world.
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18 comments on “Why I no longer twist like a pretzel
  1. Betty says:

    I can’t agree with you more. I spent a good part of my life twisting. I do my best not to do that anymore.

  2. Marilyn mcdonald Siddle says:

    So well written and sounds so much like me. Keep hanging on for what???I am getting stronger with my boundaries and emotional health,but, still try a little too much . Working on it daily!! thanks.

  3. Diane says:

    Years ago, I had a friend. Good friend, I kept telling myself. I didn’t realize just how much I was twisting to keep up the friendship until I was talking to my Husby and complaining about how much she hurt me with her more and intense cutting remarks.
    He said the relationship was toxic and I would be happier without it. It had never even crossed my mind! But he was absolutely right. I stopped returning her calls. Never invited her over. Finally, the ‘friendship’ just disappeared. I’ve been a happier person ever since.
    And I learned the lessons I needed to. Now I twist less.
    And enjoy more.
    Loved this, Carol!!!

  4. Your post resonates deeply. I never was a fan of drama or uphill battles (uphill anything because I am lazy), so I think I began navigating (through, past) difficult relationships before I understood what I was doing. I’m now at a point where my life is full of people I want to make time for, very few (are there any) that I prefer to avoid.

  5. Beth Havey says:

    Great post and I will sleep better tonight, knowing you are not DONE WITH ME, Beth

    PS Joking on the square, but so much truth in your words.

  6. Laurie Stone says:

    Couldn’t agree more. I’m done with one-way relationships. And actions do speak louder than words — our own and others.

  7. Shari says:

    Oddly enough, the people I spent the most time trying to twist to be accepted were my in-laws and it didn’t do any good. We choose our friends, and I choose to be with people with whom I can be me. Great post!

  8. Paula Kiger says:

    So much yes to this, Carol.

  9. Lauren says:

    Love this! I am sick of twisting like a pretzel for people who are not there for me. It’s not a one-way street. I needed to read this. Thank you.

  10. This also relates to the way we engage in that dance of intimacy … marriage.

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