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On Neediness and Friendship

Are you a busy person who feels "pressure" by a friend who always wants to see you/talk long on the phone? Or, maybe you're a person who feels neglected by someone you love who doesn't make time for you. This is a little blurb about "neediness". I have a situation right now...

If it's possible to live on both sides of this fence, I clearly do.

Right now, I have a friend who is seething mad at me. I forgot to return a phone call recently, but that's not all... I said I'd come visit her over the holidays (she lives 2 hours away) and I just never made the effort. I sayyyyy I'll be better to her, and I'm not. We have been friends for over a quarter of a century.

She said she can't take it any more. She doesn't need friends like me. And on some level, I'm feeling... "great.... move along..." It was feeling obligatory anyway and I don't have time for chit chat. But inside me, her criticism stings because she speaks some certain truths about my own selfishness and lack of concern.

On the other side of the fence, there is a friend whom I not only love and cherish, but feel such a powerful need for connection that I feel a void when there are spaces between our conversation for even longer than a day. And I know that this person constantly feels pressure and has even stated it. I always want more time, longer conversation, to run to my friend and tell my big news or whatever is on my mind. Not sure there is the shared needed on this friend's part... so there's a sadness for the lack of alignment of heads and of needs.

I am reminded of my failed marriage in which I spent so many years pursuing my husband's emotional affection and that sense of bond and hand holding and trust and communication. He wasn't capable and we ended up living separate existences in the same house. The rejection I felt then (and still feel a bit long after it's been over... ) makes me realize some areas of my life I need to fix with greater self-esteem and self-love... hard things. Nobody arrives on a white horse to be a best friend or a partner... not at this advanced age and with everyone having so much baggage, seems.

Friends are important and it's necessary to make room for relationships and be fluid and flexible with them as they change over time.

I'm coming to terms with who I am and the friends in my world. Despite occasional setbacks I have become my own person since the divorce (and I like her). However, there is truly an awareness I have no one to count on with regularity. Friends are borrowed treasured blessings who don't live with you... expectations must be minimized.

What kind of a friend am I? I'm the friend you can call when you are troubled. I will fight for my friends to help them see their power when they are lost. I can hug and adore my friends and laugh with them.

But I suck at remembering birthdays, returning phone calls, remembering who wrote the last email. And I piss off a great many people by putting work first or staying far away, especially when I am going through some life crisis and want to be alone. And then there are most beloved friends I feel needy for... and need to work on keeping the perspective.

Does this discussion relate to you at all? What do you do to manage neediness and friendship?


Roger D. Curry said...

If friendship is a set of books that runs a credit/debit balance that one can always determine, it ain't a friendship.

And now for the hokey metaphor: (Oh, this is appropriate for a Floridian!) Take a handful of dry sand, as much as you can hold. Now, squeeze. The harder you squeeze, the less sand you have.

Obiwan the Hillbilly

mavis sidebottom said...

PMS time so soon :D

doreenmary said...

Alex, either I am an open book or you are keeping a 28 day calendar of my cycle. WOW!

doreenmary said...

Roger. Love the metaphor!

Jilly said...

doreen, some friendships are forever and some end. i'm sure blame goes both ways and what use is it to beat a dead horse? if you're afraid that you're annoying your current friend, ask her. if she says yes, find a way to broaded your circle, if she says no, take a midol and put it away for next month.


doreenmary said...


I'll have a cafe mocha vodka midol latte to go, please.


Spidey said...

mmmmm you made me want some espresso vodka.

i am most likely a horrible friend as i don't remember birthdays either and i am totally absorbed by bigjoe whom i consider my best friend. i really don't have time for another person. i have moved so many times in my life, i don't feel the need for a long term friend attachment to another woman. i am totally okay with being by myself. i am not anti-social as i do go out on occasion with people, mostly from work. i don't talk on the phone with anyone nor do i confide any personal info. about 8 years ago i did become close with a lady who i considered my bestfriend at the time. however i became tired of her tales of woe. while i tried to listen and give advise when asked, i became weary of the never ending drama. we parted ways. i have become much closer to my daughter now that she is married and has more in commen with me. i guess she is my other bestfriend now.

mavis sidebottom said...

the older I get the more I love my friends and appreciate them. they all came up for my birthday last week sometimes we dont speak for months but as soon as we all get in the same room its like a bunch of 12 year ols and when i am sad they are always there tellign me to hit the gin god bless them :D
Doreen everytime you get PMS you post a deep and meaningful blog about what a bad person you are aand how you will try to be better

mavis sidebottom said...

or maybe I just assume you avepms and you are in fact 8 months pregnant and just hormonal ;)

doreenmary said...

Spidey, I remember reading your story somewhere (here? at your own blog?)... how you'd met bigjoe. It is an enviable, soulful friendship that makes me smile.

I know one thing, over the years you have consistently been my friend. I have purged here and self-flagellated... you never minced words, nor did you ever hold back a simple word or two of kindness.

I call you,friend... I've said this before, if you were here or I were there, we'd be real life buds.


doreenmary said...

Miss Alex,

You are the snarkiest coolest blogging friend from another part of the world whom I adore! To think years ago of our mean-spirited banters (both ways) and having arrived here as friends.. wow.

You're a bright spot!


doreenmary said...

Miss Jillybeans,

You are an old wise soul inside the body of a young woman. You are a friend who is cherished. You've sent me artwork and handmade cards filled with confetti, and yet we've never met. Thank you for posting.

I adore you.


doreenmary said...

Friend Roger,

I will write you offline because no "Leave Comment" box on blogger is big enough for dissecting your deep recent thoughts. We are like-minded, perhaps because we suffer similar afflictions as those who wear hearts on our sleeves. More soon.


Jilly said...

doreen, if you'd like a valentine, send your address to


Tee said...

Hey, Doreen--
Although it saddens us to realize that some things (or people) do not always stay forever in our lives as we would like...time continues to propel us forward. Your friend sounds as though she cherishes your friendship. However, my belief is that a true friend is a friend forever, regardless how much time has passed in regard to one on one conversation or in-person contact; true friendship is timeless. I have friends whom I haven't seen or heard from in years--doesn't make me pissy at them. Some people are better at little things such as remembering birthdays and making phone calls than others. OK, maybe you're not one of those. She should know this and accept you for the person you are. Perhaps it best you and your friend come to some kind of amicable understanding when it comes to how you both remain friends. Hope it all works for you. Your long lost friend, Tee : )