When Your Friendship is Based On Dependency
Let’s say one of your old friends is one of those “needy” types. You know, always wanting to hang out with you, texting and calling you a hundred times a day, etc. Just a very needy person. Let’s say you meet another potential friend and start to do things with that person instead of your old friend. The old friend gets jealous, makes accusations and gets verbally — or even physically — abusive with you. In the end, do you feel guilty enough to give up your new friend? If you do feel guilty, stop it, and don’t blame yourself. You are probably in an abusive friendship. If you are smart, you’ll run from your old “friend” like the wind.
“Family Friendships” Truly Suck
That’s right, I went there. And yes, I will put my hand on that Bible to swear or affirm to the fact! I just don’t believe that family members can make good friends. I admit that it can sometimes happen when, say, everyone is on the same level, especially financially. Other than that, family, siblings, etc, are there simply to dump on you and take advantage when they can.
Although many people try it, you can never “unfriend” or “decouple” a “family-member-friend.” Ever. Why? Chiefly because they’re family for goodness sake.
When that one member falls on hard times and acts like you are the only one who can help out (or makes sure you’re the only one who can help them out), then it can lead to some very trying times. When can you say “no” and not hear about it for the rest of your life? A friend would eventually understand. A sibling, etc, simply wouldn’t. My dad was one of “those” people once. Friendly when he wanted to be, a monster when he didn’t get what he wanted out of our friendship. He always wanted something, his problems became my problems eventually.
There were rumors of a relationship between James Dean and Marlon Brando. The rumor goes that Dean was totally obsessed with Brando, but Brando never, or rarely, returned those affections, although he knew how Dean felt about him.
Instead, he made Dean watch him with other people, denying Dean simply because he was in charge and he could. It was rumored that they had relations, but reportedly Dean would tell his friends that Brando was “completely in charge of our love-making.”
This type of sadomasochistic relationship happens today and is one of the most dangerous and abusive types of so-called friendship.
You know You Should Walk Away, But you Never Really Do Friendship
The Song “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” comes to mind right about now. But what’s the real reason most people find it so difficult to break off a friendship? Is it shame? Embarrassment? Fear? Maybe it’s all of these things. Deep-seated dependency, shared friends, and social responsibilities, etc. That’s the “promise” of an abusive friendship.
What To Do About it?
First of all, it’d be wise to wake up, and open your eyes. It takes two to make a friendship, abusive or not. Be the assertive one for a change, and walk away from any abusive relationship. There are too many resources out there, too many new people to meet, too many potential “real” friends to forge new relationships with. It’s easy to say “be strong,” but you will know when enough is enough. At that time you’ll know what to do.