Monday, January 10, 2011

middle school middle agers

I was never popular. I had friends, but that was about it.

Now though, I kinda feel popular. I feel liked and that's really a nice feeling. It makes me want to pull a Sally Fields--"You like me! You really like me!"

I am blessed to have many friendships on many different levels.
Everything from Facebook friends I've never met to close Bosom Friends.
I'm one of those people who has several very close friends. Some people prefer one or two but I'll take as many as I can get. Each one is my best friend and each one is loved as if they were the only one.

I'm a relational person and I love all of these relationships.  But there's a dark side.

Apparently you can take the girl out of Middle School, but you can't take Middle School out of the girl.

I told my friend about a coffee shop I like, so she went to check it out--with another friend. They didn't think I would be able to go, so they didn't even ask. I was hurt and a little angry.

Another time a friend and I met to write, but didn't invite friend number three. So number three was horribly hurt, and little angry.

This friend talks to that friend more than me. That friend had lunch with this friend.
I have a monthly movie-watching date with one friend and other friends are jealous...

I never had to deal with this before.

I didn't know it would be so hard at this age. I had imagined that by midlife we would all be secure and mature and past all this.
But we all want to be liked. We all want to be the favorite. We all want to know that our friendships are sound and firm.

I am working on feeling secure. Letting go. Learning to not feel threatened when my friends have other friendships.

It seems silly to me that I struggle with this, but I know that I am not the only one. It's nice to have yet one more area where we relate. We all go through so many of the same things.
And learning how to handle friendships is a blessing. I wouldn't trade the lessons or the friends for anything in the world.


  1. I understand exactly what you're saying, Kay. It's a tough lesson, one I'm still grappling with.

    This past summer a friend was having a little get together with other friends, and when I asked to be included, she said no. She said I wasn't a part of the planning, and I wasn't going to be included. That rejection hurt so badly I cried. I wouldn't have treated her that way, but...

    What's helped me is to remember this quote: Never confuse thoughtlessness with malice. ~Robert Charles Whitehead

    I'm glad you're my friend, and I value you!

  2. Good grief, Megan. Who indeed needs friends like that? Kay, you have a large number of trustworthy friends, with whom you have many interests in common. Sometimes people want to be my friend but only because I might help them in some way or the other. I have people who can talk to me about personal things, but I have few I can talk to. You and your friends seem to have a particularly good bond. Mom

  3. I'm so glad you're my friend, too, Megan!
    And you're right, mom. I have great friends.

  4. WOW! If I could write the way you do this is what I would have wrote. I still deal w/this. Like you though, I didn't think I would have to when I was "a grown up".
    Megan, I agree w/mom! Who needs friends like that! She sure was rude! I like that quote. I'll have to remember that.

  5. Kay, I still feel that insecurity from time to time. I have lots and lots of friends. Then I have a few very close friends. But it still hurts when I find out that I wasn't included. Joyce Meyers says that you've got to be bigger than minor hurts or you're in danger of being a minor person. (I'm paraphrasing.) That thought has really stuck with me, and I try to remember that even Christ was snubbed.

  6. And I think it helps when we turn the story around. When I go to lunch with just one friend, or even two, it doesn't mean I don't love the ones that I didn't invite.
    Exclusion hurts, but it's not realistic to invite everyone to everything every time.
    So when I look at it that way, I am less hurt by not being included in something.
    Now, if I never got invited, that would be different.

  7. So it's not just me... I go through that insecurity too. I still hear the voices of the girls in Middle School (how ironic!) telling me that they just don't like me hanging around. So when I feel rejected now, those voices come back.

    I like the quote Megan shared and will have to remember that. Sometimes we do personalize things too much, when (as our friend Lucille would say) instead of it saying something about us, it's really about them.

    Now, of course, to remember that!!

    I'm really glad I can count on you as one of my friends! And I would never, ever, intentionally leave you out. Love you!

  8. That's the thing, though, Danica. I want our friendship to be secure enough that even if you did leave me out, I wouldn't be hurt. You know?
    That I would be comfortable enough to be okay with that.

    That's the point I'm trying to reach.
    I'm glad you all are my friends!

  9. I read this again and I see a pattern. Creative people tend to be more sensitive than some others. We are more aware of people's feelings and pick up on (or imagine) nonverbal communication. My resolution for this new year is to not get upset by other people's careless words. Mom

  10. I don't know if it's just creative people. I think probably most women feel this way.
    Of course some people are more apt to pick up on non-verbal cues, but I bet more women are insecure about this than we imagine.


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