Mama M: Taken for Granted
Dear Mama M,
What do I do if I have a friend who I feel is often taking me for granted? I don’t want to confront her because I don’t want to hurt her feelings, and I don’t want to make a big deal out of it or risk losing the friendship. Maybe I am wrong for feeling this way, but it does make me feel bad much of the time, and I don’t really know what to do. Any advice?
Sincerely, Totally Taken for Granted
Dear Totally Taken for Granted (TTfG-not to be confused with TGIF),
I am so very glad that you asked!! Believe it or not, I have given this topic a lot of thought. Sometimes friends have different ways of looking at things and sometimes friends are frenemies. What does your heart tell you about this friend? If they are full of crap, self-centered, and un-loving then perhaps it is time to ease on down the road. But, if you feel like there is a chance to learn and grow here then you are very lucky sugar.
Your discomfort may be your best guide to getting what you want in your friendship. You use the word “confront” which does not sound like any fun honey! Maybe compassionate feedback is a better way to think about it. If this is a true friend worth having, they want to know how you feel even if they don’t agree with you.
A few words about being taken for granted. I have an unpopular opinion of being taken for granted. I think love should be taken for granted. To me that means that we know it will always be there. Most love is conditional. But, I want people to take love for granted. To know it is always there. I may not like what people do or say, or not do and say, but if I know the love is not dependent on what I do, then it is the kind of love that can handle a little friction...a little truth…and will expand as you expand it.
It is hard to know what makes you feel bad. Is it your expectations? Is it your belief that telling your friend how you feel will “hurt her feelings” or make you lose the friendship altogether? Sweetie, nobody wants you to feel bad, unless perhaps you. So many of us are conditioned to just feel bad, about everything.
Another unpopular opinion I have is that we are mostly having relationships with ourselves through or projections onto others. We suffer a great deal with the stories we tell ourselves. Take a look at www.livingcompassion.org if you get a minute.
If you want to end your suffering, you can. If you want better friendships you have to start with making a decision inside yourself to be compassionate with yourself, treat yourself well. When you clarify the compassion you are willing to extend to yourself, it will show up in all of your relationships. Take the risk to take your love for yourself for granted sweetie. Take risks with the people you love. I think this is the only way to truth.
Lovingly, Mama M