What Are Friends For?

Do you ever get that feeling that you’re the needy friend in the relationship? I do, quite often I might add. You see, my depression was pretty much taken care of by my ECT treatment. The thing that didn’t go away, or even get better as a matter of fact, is my anxiety. Particularly my social anxiety. I don’t want to sound like I’m tooting my own horn here, but I am rather observant. Which, combined with my overthinking capabilities, can get me into so rather “sticky” trains of thought.

As a quick related side note, my family has been more or less disfuntional for just about ever. Yet, more recently I feel like it’s kinda falling apart. We don’t eat meals together. We don’t really gather all that much. I mean honestly I rarely ever see either of my siblings, and both of them are just upstairs. It probably has something to do with everyone getting older. My mother is well into her 50’s now, my siblings and I all in our 20’s. It just feels different than the normal dysfunction.

Back to the point, because of this, I’ve been going out to eat more often. However, due to my social anxiety, I find it incredibly difficult to do so by myself. It feels like, to me, that going to a restaurant and eating by myself makes me stand out too much. I almost feel like I shouldn’t be there. Needless to say, it makes me very uncomfortable to dine by myself. So I usually ask my family if they want to join me. Most of the time, it’s a no. But then, if we don’t go out to eat, and nobody cooks dinner, then are we just not going to eat? This happens uncomfortably often in my house. Granted, we are all grown adults, and able to fend for ourselves, but then I run into 2 problems. One, being that I can’t go out to eat by myself due to the wonderful anxiety associated with it. Two, if I make a meal for myself, the rest of the family gets upset that I didn’t cook for everyone. See, the second part I don’t have that much of a problem with. Unlike my two siblings, I was raised to think that if you are going to cook dinner, you cook it for the whole family.

Another quick related side note, I have a lot of these preconceived notions in my head about right and wrong, and how I should act accordingly. The issue is, is that most of these notions, are either self-detrimental, or are there because of my depression.

So, I can’t make dinner for myself, and I can’t go out by myself, where does that leave me? I usually call up my good friend, who lives just down the road. Let’s call him R, for the sake of his privacy, and my own. So, R and I have been friends for about a decade now. I met him through video games, and we quickly hit it off and became good friends irl (in real life). The problem that I’m facing now, is that I feel like I’m putting in a lot more effort into our friendship than he is. I also feel like I’m “The Needy Friend” because I am normally the one who initiates time together. As you can imagine, with my disposition to eating alone, I have been calling him more often than I used to. I mean, I also am a lot less depressed these days, so I am probably just overthinking it.

So, the question, that I am finally getting at, that I have for all of you is: Do you consider what I’m doing, to be okay? Like “normal” I guess? I feel like I call him numerous times a week, and want to hang out, grab a bite, whatever. I have had a lot of time on my hands, because he has been working, and I (until August) am not. So, honestly, would you consider me the needy friend? Hopefully none of you relate to this, because friendship is a glorious thing. Especially close friends, especially when your family is as lacking as mine. So, I basically want your advice TBW fam, what should I do?


And if you have a quick minute, or want to read more by me, check out my home blog Out Of My Mind

Advertisements

9 Replies to “What Are Friends For?”

  1. I guess when we feel lonely and there aren’t many options, we tend to rely a lot on the options we do have. It’s normal in the short term, and friends are there for friends. But maybe you could look at making more social contacts for the long haul. Interest groups, meetups, moving to a group house situation..? I’ve been in your situation at times. Loneliness is a natural feeling and more people experience it than you would think, but we all go around pretending we don’t need anyone.

    1. I do have other friends, but they all live like an hour away (I met them in college). I do think you’re right though, I should look for some more options. Thank you for your advice 🤗

      1. Thanks for sharing. This post made me think of words found in Luke 6:31 where it says – Just as you want men to do to you, do the same way to them.
        This teaching has come to be known as the Golden Rule, you may have heard about it.

        The only way to have real friends is to be an unselfish, giving friend yourself. In other words, to have a friend, be a friend. To be successful, friendship must be more about giving than about getting. We must be prepared to put our friend’s needs ahead of our own preferences and convenience.

  2. I would also talk to your friend. Tell R that you feel this way (if you can) and see if you can come up with something together. Maybe go to R’s house and cook together? I’ve done that with my friends. It’s cheaper than eating out and a great bonding experience. Also, you could avoid your family. I would definitely look for more options, as suggested above, too. Even just weekly groups like tabletop game groups and stuff, where eating is part of the evening. Game stores are a good place to ask. Also, I always found shared housing with friends or just good roommates excellent. It allowed me to socialize when I wanted and stay in my room when I didn’t.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.