Friends in Doorways

 

“If you want to come into my life, door is open. If you want to leave my life, door is open. Just one request. Don’t stand in the door, you’re blocking traffic”

Cliche and overused, I know, but it does make sense of how I live my life. Cliches are cliche for a reason right? Some people think I’m cold because of the way I cut people out. I guess you could look at it that way, but I let people in just as fast.

Some people find it difficult to let people in. They try to find common ground, similar tastes in music or sport and want to have a matching sense of humour to base a friendship on. I don’t really think like that. Okay yes, my closest friends laugh at the same things as me (or in the case of my best friend, she sits there without judgement while I laugh at my own jokes and vice versa) or enjoy sitting at the bar for hours chatting like I do, but I don’t hold that as a standard. I have friends that I have very little in common with on the surface. It’s only through getting to know them better that I’ve realised we have a similar outlook on life. If people need company or have no one else to hang out with, then I’m your girl. Call me your friend. I’ve moved around a lot so I know what it’s like to have no one to go for a drink with after work. I don’t want people to feel isolated, and I enjoy meeting new people and learning about the different sides of life. Wins for everyone. 

On the other hand, I’m not interested in holding a place for people who prove themselves as toxic and poisonous. I recently had my eyes opened to the way a particular friend treats people. This friend was always very kind to me, he comes across generous and chivalrous but certain things never sat right with me about him. I shared with him a story of sexual assault once and, although on the surface he was supportive, he made several comments about how that incident was my fault. Even before then he would make comments about how I was immoral or weak, all shrouded in a smile to make it seem like a joke. What opened my eyes to this was a message he sent to another friend. A totally accusatory, derogatory and malicious message which he then asked that she didn’t show anyone. People like this have no space in my life. The poison of their issues seep into my mind. And that’s without even considering the drama people like this bring. Another cliched phrase comes to mind, “If people are nice to you but not nice to the waiter, they’re not nice.”

Of course, I make mistakes in my judgement of character and have ended up with several people like this in my life. Maybe because I’ve moved around so much, it makes it easier to let go. I think the main reason I make it look easy is because of the value I hold for myself. I don’t wish the people I’ve cut off any unhappiness. I only wish better for myself. I’m not the girl who has to fix everyone to prove herself anymore. I know I have inherent value because I breathe, and I think most of the people I’ve cut off haven’t yet reached that conclusion about themselves yet. That kind of thinking bleeds into every corner of your life if you let it. So sometimes I have to put my foot down and refuse. It’s called having boundaries, and I’m not cold for having them. Until then, my doors always open.

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