Is it worth it?

Relationships. How much should you really invest in them? Are all of them worth it?

No, I’m not getting divorced or anything, but there are some burning bridges behind me. I’ve lived a mostly sheltered life free of conflict, but there’s been a few incidents and confrontations over the years that really, really put me off people and much of their bullshit in general . . . No, I’m not trying to do the cool introvert-y thing where I ‘hate’ people because I’m so much better than them. I just genuinely can’t seem to invest in people I don’t care about. Subsequently, the list of people I care about is short and growing shorter.

To a degree, people! Do a degree!

To a degree, people! Do a degree!

Sometimes I will get invited to events that are more or less ‘all access’, which means a lot of people are gonna be there. I’m not in any way obligated to go, therefore I don’t care about ‘showing face’ or being nice to the person who invited me. He invited thirty people, which means my absence will go mostly unnoticed. (I’m a pretty cool dude, If I do say so myself, but parties do just fine without me.) This happens often at work, because there’s an unspoken rule that you invite everyone if you’re throwing a work-related party. I’ve had many chats with colleagues who’d prefer not to go, but attend anyway, because . . . Hell, I don’t even know.

Couldn’t it be because the person having the party likes you, and therefore wants you to come?

Maybe, but that’s irrelevant, because I don’t care about him. (Calm down, I have a point.) This, in my mind, generally means we don’t know each other all that well, so he can’t possibly be all that offended by my absence. And if he is offended, why the hell is that a good reason to go?! Life is short, people, if you’re going to do something, do it because you want to, not because someone else wants you to. If you do that, you’ll end up regretting it anyway.

I’ve also had a few different jobs that I’ve quit, or that have been temporary positions, and I’ve mostly just slipped out on my last day, because I don’t want those long, sweeping (and ultimately false) conversations with people. I’ve been criticized for this by many friends (proper friends) because giving a little bit of yourself whether you want to or not is all a part of adult life. That’s true, to a degree, but when one of my bosses is a fucking class A shitbag, I reserve the right to not listen to that speech. Shouldn’t I stand up for myself? Being an adult isn’t the same as being a pushover, it’s about choosing the relationships you want. Fuck the rest of them! Yes, it’s an awful feeling when someone doesn’t like you; but isn’t it a little refreshing as well? That means you don’t have to make an effort either. Don’t like me? That’s too bad, you’re missing out, then. Pushing to know someone who clearly has no interest in you – then suddenly being offended and upset because you put in more effort than they do – is ridiculous! A relationship is not an effort-competition, it’s a bond between two people that makes you want to make an effort. Whoever Mandy Hale is, she hit the nail on the head:

Healthy relationships

You might be inclined to tell me that this is all obvious, but still these types of relationships persevere. Not only among colleagues and social functions, but between friends and family as well. I know many people who are contacted by relatives and friends and exposed to thinly veiled bile: ‘I’m the one calling you again, huh? Well, you know where we live, so maybe we’ll actually see you someday.’ Well, you know where I live, too, dipshit! What’s your fucking point?

In closing, let’s turn the coin on its head, shall we? Let’s follow Mandy’s great example above: A good friend doesn’t care how long it’s been. A good friend calls you if he misses you. He doesn’t wait for you to call first, even if it has been a while. And it’s friends like that who absolutely ruins it for the rest, I’ve come to realize. Because in comparison, the rest just aren’t worth it. When you see how a relationship can be, it’s hard to make time for all those needy and uneventful ones described above. Like I mentioned, I might be considered a bad friend by some, especially when it comes to initiative, but that’s just the thing with friends like these; they often make me feel like the needy one. But when I feel like I haven’t heard from them in a while, though, I don’t berate them; I ask if they want to hang!

And that’s the linchpin, isn’t it? The giving or taking of energy.

You gotta give to receive, and once you receive, you give more etc. It’s a cycle that works wonders with the right people, but turns into a downward spiral with the wrong ones. Because the wrong people will rob you of your energy, and then you feel exhausted and cranky, so you’ll act kinda grumpy towards them, and then they take more energy, because you’re being mean and . . . seriously, who needs relationships like that? You’re doing the other person a kindness by cutting him or her out as well, because you’re not providing much energy in your current state. Just think about it: In these ‘self-actualizing’ times – where time is a commodity, and we’re supposed to be superheroes that do cross-fit and play enriching videogames and have two degrees and change work every two years and have kids – do we really have time for people that suck the energy and life-force right out of us?

No! We don’t! They’re not worth it! Cut them out of your life!

Sincerely – Bishop

 

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4 thoughts on “Is it worth it?

  1. I totally agree! Especially the part with sucking energy out of each other. Because of exactly this reason I even cut the contact to my mother, some years ago. We had no contact for almost 3 years. She did not really meet my second child (not talking about my third) before last summer, when I slowly allowed her to have contact again. I know no limits when it comes to cut people out who just drain your energy. And as you say, it is often for the best for both!

    • Wow… I’m sorry to hear that. I don’t know if we’ve talked about this, but my relationship with my parents is extremely strained as well. As evident in this post: https://robertbishop.net/2014/07/15/to-my-dear-parents/ It’s extra hard when it comes to family, mostly because of all these conventions that exist. You’re supposed to love them unconditionally, even though they treat you like shit, and so forth.Cutting them out is hard and brave. I hope everything is better now. 🙂

      • I read the post about parents. Sad. Let’s hope we do not become like our parents! I am aware that this is entirely possible. I might become a shit parent at some point. You never know. Right now, I believe I am quite okay. I am yelling often when they do shit or annoy me, but I am also doing a lot of things with my kids. I think I am average. I want to keep that. 🙂

      • Yeah… I’m going to make a real effort to be the very opposite of those two. Even if I turn out to be some sort of sociopath (very likely) who can’t connect with anything my kid does; at least I can give him encouraging words, and feign interest in whatever he does. He’s a free little dude, and I’ll support him no matter what. 🙂

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