Right I may sound like a bit of a martyr here but stay with me on this one as my thoughts unravel. Also to clarify this is not about one specific person and is so is not about you! I am just attempting to make changes in my life for the better and reflecting on events past. I am hoping that by expressing this in an open and honest blog that other women could relate to it and I would then perhaps not feel so mad and alone!
I love humankind. I have always had lots of friends. I have a big social circle of friends in many areas of life. I talk to people. I am interested in other human beings. I have always worked in social care and have always said this is because I am nosey about other folk’s lives. In the dance world I love the big social networks it gives you. Social networking like Facebook just gives me a virtual world to befriend and chat to folks. Yes in general I love people.
I offer support to friends when needed and have many lovely friends who offer it back when I ask for support too. Lots of beautiful, wonderful, intelligent women and indeed some wonderful men surround me always happy to listen, debate and offer words of wisdom and support.
Now here is the thing I am a problem solver. Especially other peoples! Nothing seems to suit me more than sorting out a problem. The more I reflect on my life and relationships I seem to have recurring theme. I like to support the underdog! Falling out with others and feel the world has done you wrong and I will be your friend and stand up for your injustice! Lonely and isolated I will introduce to my world and find you friends! Folk who are distressed, hurt lack social skills just hang around with me and I will give you support and strength!
Just writing this is exhausting me! I am wondering why at the moment I seem to be like a magnet for the needy? There I have said it. I do it constantly. My mother used to call them my little lame ducks!
I need to work this out in order to move forward to make change. So let me try and clarify what it is:
-Folk with needs are drawn to me as to start with I think I have an open heart and am very open handed.
– I am not convinced that I do know how to say No and often when I try to it is way too late.
– I believe I have a lack of personal boundaries
-My life experience has made me strong. I am not as strong as some folk think but I do give off an aura of confidence and strong woman behaviour. Some folk seem to tap into this. They want the strong friend to hold them up and meet their needs.
Despite being an intelligent reasonably savvy woman I never see what is happening until it is too late. I start to feel used and confused. Generally the pattern is I get very distressed and end up pouring out my woes to my fabulous lovely friends who quite frankly I feel have probably had enough of me and my constant stream of needy friends!
I am very open hearted and what I give out I seek in return. I am often having an open dialogue about how I am feeling, seeking help with a problem or indeed just pondering my woes. Good close friends know this about me and will share the dialogue offering support and wise guidance. But this can be misguided and result in my distress. I do this with my “new close friend”. Reflecting now as I write I realise this generally follows the same pattern. I share my thoughts and feelings and the “new close friend” recoil from me and my “neediness”. It seems that we have a role to play in this friendship and mine is to be the happy strong woman who helps them. This friendship is not a two way street.
Also something else happens. It is always the same. This friend starts getting pissy with me and my life. The very reason they were drawn to me in first place my strengths , my friendly nature, my social networks , mu successes all seem to become a point of bitterness and resentment.
Gosh writing this down this is really not very nice stuff. I do it over and over again. I am fifty next year and it has got to stop. I thought I had improved over time. Having children has helped as my overwhelming protection towards them has stopped me from pulling in the extreme needy. What I am wondering is why I feel this compulsion to rescue folk or indeed why I have so little boundaries? Mind you waking up to this realisation and this moment of reflection I am beginning to think the compulsion is over. I do not want to do it anymore.
So having got that put of my system how to move on and make change? Ideally I would like to stop attracting these folk to me but this is a bit of an unknown to me. So what I am considering is:
– Working hard on personal boundaries.
– Saying No
So time to look around at my lovely close friends and spot the ones that do both these things well. I need to observe how they do it without being hard nasty and hard hearted. I can say No without being a Meany can’t I?