Monday, March 1, 2010

On Loneliness and Letting People In

Letting people into your life has been a curious subject for me for quite some time. I guess that’s what living in New York does to you, when you learn to trust no one and maintain your distance. So you get your carefully guarded space where you can breathe and think safely just to find yourself longing to fill it with people all over again. You think: I will be highly selective this time. But you end up setting such high impossible to meet standards – no one seems good enough to earn your trust and loyalty.

But then fate has some mercy on you and sends you someone who you naturally connect with immediately. You breathe in and out the same way, think similar thoughts and have a lot in common. So without further hesitation you let them in, which makes you really happy for a while… But good things can only last that long. Not that much time will pass before they get close enough to start hurting you.

I have two kinds of scenario how it happens. My newly made female friends switch rather quickly from discussing topics of mutual interests which were the foundation of our friendship in the first place to focusing on their personal problems. I know I am a good listener and people trust me with their most intimate stories. I have genuine interest and compassion for others’ lives; I will throw myself into the solution finding process and give the best possible advice I can find. But where does it leave me? Once the shift in the relationship happens, it’s very hard to turn things around. So I get to play the role of a listener and whenever I make an attempt to bring up a “piece” of my life, it get’s ignored in such a bold way that it almost shocks me. So I find myself in those one-sided relationships which begin to burden me in a way, that I start avoiding those suddenly–too-selfish friends for the sake of keeping my own sanity. It’s like they are discarding all the junk from their lives – and I am such a convenient dump place for them.

With my male friends things are usually much easier … unless they suddenly develop a crush on me. And it once again sparks the popular debate if friendship is possible between men and women. The development takes a very dramatic turn: because they know me so well, they sort of believe they own a piece of me. I try to remain on friendly terms – it is a disaster. I end the relationship and limit communication to occasional polite “how are you?” – another disaster when so much hostility is suddenly aimed at me.

I am friendly and outspoken, I used to make friends easily. Why do I suddenly have to alienate myself now to avoid the hurt? What do I need to do differently to avoid shutting people out shortly after letting them in? Can the curse be broken so that the emptiness goes away? Where does the meaning of true friendship lie?


  1. Oh Aysel.
    This sounds familiar.
    I have noticed that conversation based relationships always go that way. Because in the end those are based on listening and it usually was me too who listened.
    Once a stroke of genius hit me, why not have different intention and that is doing something with others that I love doing. At least that was not one sided but fun for everybody, kayaking, walking, badminton. That worked a treat.
    I believe that lasting relationships are based on doing things together not just conversations.
    The same with men. John and I got on so well because we loved doing things together and from there we ended up living together. When you do things you get to see the person in action and that makes all the difference.
    Love Wilma

  2. Hi Wilma! "Stroke of genius" indeed - that's the thinking out of the box I lack! I think you just accurately identified the core of my problem - conversation based relationships. That's why it's so good to have a second opinion instead of sending my mind on the same circles over and over. But you are right, I got so focused on having meaningful conversations - I put everything else aside as secondary. I have so much rethinking to do! Thank you for giving me a direction to explore. Your positive attitude already made me feel better and stopped me from sinking into the darkness of self-pity and disappointment.

  3. Hi Aysel,
    I do enjoy contributing like this, offering a second opinion you can do something with.
    I can see why you value different opinions as I love those as well.
    I am very fortunate as this is what happens on WomenLikeMe and it is fantastic.
    We all benefit so much as indeed otherwise we just keep going around in circles in our heads.
    I am so glad you feel better, relationships are important aren't they?
    Lots of love, Wilma


inside out - Free Blogger Templates, Free Wordpress Themes - by Templates para novo blogger HD TV Watch Shows Online. Unblock through myspace proxy unblock, Songs by Christian Guitar Chords