The title of this blog was a favorite line of Telly Savalas on “Kojack,” an old TV series. Do you ever stop to wonder why someone likes you or why you like them? Are you drawn to certain types of personalities or people with the same behavior patterns? Do you find that you have the same behavior patterns as people you choose as friends?
Having grown up in a very tightly knit family I had a somewhat different point of view about community than at least some other kids had. At least so it seemed. My childhood was somewhat idyllic in many ways.
Until I went to school after this happy childhood, I had no idea that there were other kids who grew up with hardships, dysfunctional parents, or even sickness other than the normal illnesses that kids get. I had no idea that there were mean kids.
The weirdest thing may have been that I had no idea that some kids wouldn’t like me! My family loved me. I loved everybody else, so why wouldn’t everybody else love me? I was a happy, kind, intelligent, playful, awkward kid.
It was hurtful to me when other kids were mean to someone, including me! I could not then nor now understand nor tolerate cruelty, exclusion, ostracizing and meanness. My family teased each other but we rarely tried to actually hurt the other siblings’ feelings.
In school I managed to make some friends with whom I ate lunch and hung out with on the playground. As I went up a few grades I was the brunt of some teasing and harsh comments because I was smart and so enthusiastic about learning that I studied and made good grades. The other kids didn’t like me sometimes because I “broke the grade curve” on some tests. Well, I wasn’t sure where their feelings were coming from but tried to let it go.
Then in fifth and sixth grade I became plump. I was not thin and athletic like some of the other girls. This factor against me and the resultant inability to run as fast as the other kids was amplified by my mysterious inability to hit the softball with a bat. Well that mystery was solved when I found out I was nearsighted and couldn’t see the ball well enough to aim properly to hit it. Glasses helped some but I had never played softball or kick ball before.
Although some kids liked me enough to be nice, I did find other friends more like myself, whom I could call friends. I always had my siblings and family activities to provide a balance in my life. But I still felt like I never fit in perfectly in social settings.
Fast forward to my late teens. I was better liked and grew taller and grew to be comfortable in my own skin. But it was still important to me that people like me. This continued even into my adult years. In some ways this attitude made me a perfect set up for a victim for some to take advantage of me.
So to get to the point. Who loves you, Baby? Why do they love you?
Aside from my family I have at least two, very dear friends whom I know would love me no matter what I said or did. They know I feel the same way about them. Hopefully everyone has a friend like these two.
So all of this started me thinking about friendship. How do others make and choose their friends? I wrote a blog post that was published on Candid Slice: https://joyful2beeblogs.com/2016/09/03/having-trouble-picking-friends/
I am sure everyone has at least one good friend. So how do you and your friends spend time together? Can you share day to day problems? Can you ask for their advice without feeling their judgement? Can you come to them when you feel upset about your marriage or some other personal problem and feel their concern and support?
Do you have friends that you feel you have to compete with over what you wear or your housekeeping skills; your children’s grades being the best; the beauty of your home; the kind of work you or your spouse does?
If there is a feeling of competition, is it actual or is it coming from your own insecurity?
Over the years I have had many kinds of friends. I tended to attract friends who were in need of friends for a while, since I, being a rescuer, “needed to be needed,” I rescued the new “kids on the block.” But in retrospect I wonder now if I was just continuing my pattern of thinking that since I needed rescuing, only others in the same boat would want to share my company. https://joyful2beeblogs.com/2017/08/25/rescue-the-rescuer/
Perhaps I felt like I had little or nothing to offer to new friends? I don’t know. But I did finally and thankfully realize that I had a lot to offer in a friendship.
Evidently confidence and motivation are two important factors in making and choosing friends.
It is good to examine our relationships sometimes to figure out why we choose people for friends,as well as girl and boyfriends and spouses.
Do you ever have similar thoughts?
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