Being a woman of character I value my relationships on a rather deep and very human level. Albeit I may gamble a little too much in humanity, but I like to consider that a “feature” of mine as opposed to a flaw. I work hard at my relationships. Am I giving enough of myself as to avoid appearing aloof, am I open and approachable, do others have trust in me as a confidant based on our transactions.
I compare relationships to the purchase of a vehicle; like any transaction you have the test drive phase where you are warming up to what you like, weighing the pros and cons. Then feeling out the creature features, do the seats heat my puckered ass to taste, how is the response, braking, parking, overall size and capacity. What are the flaws, kinks, reputational risk? What is the portrayed imagery and status exultation of ownership.
Considerably so I would refer to myself as an economical luxury vehicle. Capable of great touring, response, capacity for emotional comfort. Grounded navigation, plush aesthetics, I digress. Admittedly, my defect is transparency. Imagine a navigation system when recalculating your route told you what a putz you were for not turning shortly after the the heads-up display said turn in 50 feet. Free-spoken thought causes those to cringe, on occasion the free speaker is ostracized for communicating the obvious. Truth is misconceived under the attractive feel good veil of rectal smoke inhalation.
We want immediate satisfaction, in return we sometimes have to provide satisfaction for the evolution of an upward relationship, personal and professional. Hence the eternal circle jerk; you stroke mine, I stroke yours. But what happens when you find yourself masturbating in the relationship. Twice the effort and no return on your investment.
Where did the affair go awry? Why do I feel this person was not as emotionally vested as me? Suddenly your investment feels like a Pon’zi scheme, or worse, a terrible case of the blue balls and the only one who got off on this merry-go-round was the other party. You’ve been had.
I recently was reeling from a similar moment. Just a few weeks ago I found myself crying like a child with emotions I could not understand. Why was I angry? Why was this upsetting me? What the hell? Until I took a moment and realized how I was suddenly more vested than my counterpart. A friendship I called dear, was no more than a colleague seeking coaching, feedback, self-indulgence for competitive advantage. I suddenly became second-hand. My “friend” no longer considered me vogue, I was no longer quantified into her picturesque cube of “friendship” and, sadly, I no longer carried that new car smell.
I found I was merely an acquaintance who provided enough insightful feedback for upward mobility. One facet of my persona hijacked, capitalized upon for status elite and then advertised as her own. While The Mister assures me this was not intentional and more or less coveting of a great feature she could not have. I still feel like I got screwed. In the end I wonder why I commit to relationships with people, why I empower them, what am I doing wrong in this association? Why can’t friends be friends without feeling like a business transaction?