Friendship, Life, Plain Speaking, Quote of the Day

The Test of True Friendship: Don’t Be a Doormat

Doormats are valuable objects, but they are not friends.

Wise words, spoken by a fellow Ricochet member on a recent thread about friendship.  They are words I think that Mr. Right would have agreed with.  (He’d probably have appreciated much this individual has to say, just as I do myself).  When talking about relationships, either platonic or romantic, Mr. Right believed that the death-knell of any such was tolled when one of the parties began making demands of the other along the lines of: “If you loved me, you would…..”

As I said myself, just yesterday, on another Ricochet thread:

Fact of the matter is that when one party in a relationship starts treating the other as a participant in some mythical Grail Quest, and setting a series of challenges that must be overcome or submitted to in order to sustain a relationship or to redeem the other’s affections, the party’s over.  Move on.

I’ll confess that it took me far longer to come to this epiphany (seasonal reference, if nothing else) than it might most folks.  I’ve been very lucky in my life in that I’ve not encountered that many dysfunctional people, and that those in my life who were out-of-round were so far off the grid that there really wasn’t anything to be gained by trying to pacify them or by pretending that their antics in any way represented normal behavior.

But the sociopath who appears relatively normal, who infiltrates, gains affection to achieve his own ends, and then turns unaccountably (as it appears to a rational person) batshit insane and embarks on a self–and other–hurtful and destructive rampage?

That was new to me.  Live and learn, girlfriend.  Live and learn.

And so I have.

And the lesson that I’ve taken from it is that true friendship isn’t measured by the levels of agreement between a couple.  It’s measured by the things on which they can disagree, and on which they are still capable of giving each other space to thrive.  Those who find that untenable, those who ghost and gaslight a beloved friend because she’s expressed a contrary opinion?   Those who can’t stop talking about themselves and their (utterly irrelevant) sexual prowess? Those who insist that their “friends” submit and acquiesce to their primacy in every field? Those who resent and diminish every bit of their friends’ achievements because they weren’t theirs, and who mock and ridicule their friends because they can’t stand the light of truth to be shone upon their own very insecure  and fussled boogies?

If you find yourself in a relationship with such a one:  Run away.  Run faster than you ever have in your life.

Those people are not worth having as friends.  You can take that to the bank.

Phew.  Glad I finally figured that out.**  Let the light shine.

**Those of you who haven’t figured it out yet, and are still willingly assuming the doormat position upon command?  You have my prayers and my deepest sympathies.  I hope that your moment of anagnorisis comes (unlike as with Shakespeare) before it’s too late and while you’re still able to recover, as I have recovered (in all senses of the word) myself.  God bless.

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