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Posts Tagged ‘self-sabotage’

In my last post, Analyzing Friendships after Child Abuse, I shared that I am in the process of analyzing my relationships with my friends. Many of my older friendships are drifting away, and I have a few acquaintances that have stepped up dramatically toward real friendships. I am both overjoyed and scared to death, so I am trying to understand myself – in part so I don’t f@#$ this up.

I am becoming aware of the ways in which I set myself up for disappointment in friendships, which I guess is a form of self-sabotage. For example, I like talking on the telephone with friends. I love sitting down and having a 30 minute conversation or even just having a friend call me to let me know about something that has happened during her day. I also like having friendships where I feel free to call them to tell them about something funny that just happened. I do this with my sister all the time. I will call just to tell her a funny joke I heard on the radio, and she does the same to me. She is always happy to hear from me, as I am from her.

So, why have most of the friendships that I have nurtured in recent years been with women who have issues with the telephone? Some do not like being on the telephone, and so I never feel comfortable calling. When I do call, I feel like I have to have an official “purpose,” like scheduling the next time we are getting together, and then I need to get off the phone as quickly as possible. I don’t like that, so why do I choose friends who are that way?

And then there are the friends who never call me. If I call them, they are happy to chat, but the communication is always one-sided. I will periodically decide to make no effort to contact anyone for a week or two and see who even notices. In most cases, the only time my phone rings during that period of time is when my sister calls me.

There is nothing wrong with being phone aversive. It does not make these people “bad” or anything. However, it is not a good friendship match for me. So, why do I choose these friends?

I think it is a form of self-sabotage. I think that a part of myself does not believe that I deserve to have the type of friendship that I seek, so I nurture friendships that are not good matches for me.

Don’t get me wrong – I love my friends. When I love, I love deeply. I love these friends, even in a bad match. The problem is that my needs are not getting met. I need to understand why I invest so much of myself into friendships that don’t meet my needs when I have other people in my life who want to pursue a deeper friendship that is much closer to what I am seeking. Why do I push those people away?

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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