“R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Find out what it means to me” – Aretha Franklin
I read a post the other day where the author discussed relationships and one of the overriding factors to the continuance of them in her eyes was respect.
I had already been thinking over the last week or so of friends who have come and gone from my life and the post made me think of a friendship I had had that had started to break down and although I’d wished it hadn’t I believed had reached (maybe even gone past) a terminal phase – now in my case it couldn’t have been through a lack of respect, well at least I don’t think so.
I mean I totally respected them, because of not just who they were but also what they brought to me, what they meant to me. Through choice, I wouldn’t have done anything to hurt or annoy them, for me I’d acted as far as I was concerned always with the best possible intention and yet the friendship had still started to falter – I wonder now was it a case that they had lost respect for me and if so how… but more importantly why ?
I don’t think it was because of who I was, maybe it was more what I thought or how I acted but because, as time progressed I rarely got to talk to them, anything from me was just a pure guess, I didn’t know if or when I was guilty of doing the wrong thing. I was just very confused by why it had gone so wrong. I tore myself apart because I felt so bad for me and for what I’d unconsciously done to them but I also felt so bad making them have to choose to give up on a friendship they at least previously wanted – that made me feel even worse.
The post I read went on to say that the authors own friendship also relied on people not just listening but actually hearing what was going on.
The problem I had was just a lack of communication full stop…it is impossible to listen never mind hear when nothings being said. I didn’t understand but when I tried to discuss things my requests fell on deaf ears. My only recourse was to make assumptions but these only appeared to make the situation worse for both of us. My every attempt to rectify the situation caused what appeared a greater rift – less communication, more assumption so the vicious cycle made things worse.
I tried ( to try to protect my own sanity and remaining sense of dignity) really hard but couldn’t just let go – I realised I didn’t want too, as for me it was just too important because they meant too much, but much as it may have been the best thing I couldn’t just keep quiet, how would that look, it would be as if I had lied about my real feelings and actually didn’t care that I never spoke to them again which was completely the opposite to what I really wanted.
Time and distance was an issue that cropped up more than anything (or rather a lack of time) but to be honest I still don’t know that was the real reason because if the friendship really meant anything to them then there would have been a solution or at least a conversation surrounding how it could best be worked out – for my part I really wanted through choice to keep the friendship alive however didn’t know how that could be achieved. For me time itself was never the issue, knowledge or rather the lack of knowledge surrounding it, my lack of understanding why it was so, why it had become the focus was the issue.
The post I read finished with an admission that the author was working on fixing an aspect of her own life to ensure her friendships didn’t break down as much, that she believed it was her that took the easy route and got out of things when it got a bit complicated.
I know the hurt losing a good friend can cause, the guilt felt even though there may not be anything to feel guilty about and don’t think I’m alone with those feelings. If there ever was any feeling between the two then maybe both suffer equally as much by the parting. Both friends hurt each other so much.
As for me if either were the case I just wish I could have known how to show and in return be shown a little more respect, maybe then through a bit more listening and hearing we could have continued being friends – I hope for me in the unlikely event I ever get to speak to them again that’s exactly what happens – good friends don’t come along often enough.
Generally my life is great, I have a wonderful family and I never tire of their company, I don’t actually need anyone else but what the post reminded me was actually that I never really stopped missing my friend and don’t think I ever will – I’ll never stop wanting them back as a friend, there’s always going to be a space in my life, a hole that will be there when they’re not.