Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The most unsatisfying social ever

I just had a friend over for coffee (well, actually we had tea) and pancakes (have I told you I make good pancakes?).

It was very unsatisfying and I just figured out why - we spoke about her the entire time.

Oh, except for right at the beginning when I let her in because I told her the kids had just gone to sleep and told her a little bit of the drama.

Okay, I'll tell you too.

D usually arrives at 6 or just thereafter but these days because the babies are so cute, he's been leaving on time and getting home about 5 minutes before 6.

The babies are now used to it and will not sleep til he is home and they have played.

Today he went to get nappies on the way home and didn't get home til 6:30.

I'd just gone back in to quieten them again as they were jumping around like crazy people when we all heard the gate.

K pops up, saying, "Daddy?" and C starts wailing, "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!" as if I'm keeping him prisoner.

I hauled him out of his cot (I can't stand the screaming, remember?) and took him to D who was just coming through the door.

Tears streaming down his face, he leapt into D's very full arms.

So they played for another 15 mins with Daddy and then went to sleep.... 45 minutes later than actual bed time.

Anyway, don't you hate that?

I just hate when conversations are one-sided. In fact, it's one of my pet peeves.

I asked D when he got home from gym, "am I really the most boring person ever?" He says no :)

Then, still talking about connecting...

Last week I read The Most Fantastic Blog Post Ever (I won't link because I commented under my whole, full name) about social media.

Julia, I will send it to you though :)

The one thing that stood out to me was this - the reason some of us squander time on Facebook/ Twitter/ blogs (for me, it's blogs) is because something is happening in our real lives .

We may be avoiding something. We may be feeling insecure and need validation from others.

And then, this one was for me...we may be trying to find connection because we're not connecting with others enough during the day.

That bit jumped out at me and bit me on the bum.

That is exactly me - I am not getting all I need in terms of connection (one of my top 5 values is connection) so I try to fill this void through my crazy obsession with blogging, commenting on blogs, etc.

If you don't comment, I suppose you have a deep need to be a voyeur in someone's life :)

Hmmm - does that resonate with anyone?

And about my friend, what would you do?

Just leave it and accept that this is a one-sided conversation, or what? It does happen often.

Thing is, she is good about being there for you if you need something. If I need her, she will be there.
  • When the babies were still little, she brought us food one night because we were so tired.
  • For my first media thing (magazine story), she was there helping me with hair/ make-up/ clothes, etc.
  • She collects mail when we're on holiday.
She's just a bit selfish where conversation is concerned :)

Please tell me about some of your friendship issues!


  1. There are some friends who are just like that and I've cut them out of my life. I don't have time to ignore myself. I love myself! I surround myself with people who are just as interested in me as I am in them...unless they're going through something major...then my caring side shines through.

    Now I want to know about the FB post too (although I'm spending less and less time on there lately).

  2. My guess is that she doesn't realize she's only talking about herself. It sounds like she has a good heart...maybe you can make a concerted effort to direct the conversation back to you. It may seem a little forced at first, but maybe it will help her realize that she wants (I'm assuming) to hear your perspective, too.

    And on the onelin connection thing, I think another piece of it is that you can really pick and choose your friends online, so to speak. I have found this great community of women; mostly moms who have children of a similar age to mine; many professionals, some of whom are taking time off to be home with their kiddos; many of whom have similar values to mine; etc. I think that's why it's so easy to feel connected, because we've each carved out our little niche.

    And I'd love to read that article, too! :)

  3. I've just finished writing a blog post with the words "sometimes I think that what we want more than happiness is connection" in it. So yes, it resonates with me! Iv'e found it very odd to go a month without blogging (I've written but not posted!) because i do get a lot of connection from that. Stepping back from it makes me realise just how much, and it's kinda scary. Do'nt step back from your real life friend - people who bring food around are way, way too rare.

  4. One of the most wonderful things about friendships, is that they all offer up something different in my life. I have the friends I can rely on to be there for me whenever I need them, the ones I can cry with, the ones I can vent to, the ones who are great at picking out wonderful accessories when shopping, etc. It is what I cherish about them. The differences in their personalities and the filling the gaps in my quality of friendships. Your friend sounds amazing at helping you out and being there for you. Maybe you are the friend she feels most comfortable with talking to. That is a HUGE honor. I would look at the positive side of this friendship. The only friend who should fill most of the gaps, should be D. He is your other half. =) Cherish the friendship and it's complexity. If you need to talk, just pick a different friend to have tea with. =) (Just don't pick a different friend to go to Scotland with! That would totally hurt my feelings! LOL)

  5. The whole trying to find a connection totally makes sense to me. I really don't have much interaction with adults outside of the internet.

  6. That's me! I love to interact with the outside world now that I am cooped up with the babies. I often feel bad about rambling in response emails but it's so nice to have a conversation that isn't Dad, da da, dad...

    It's funny that you mention your friend as my best friend has exactly this problem. She is very needed and constantly talking about herself and never wants to end our outtings. This is one of the reasons I dread heading out with her, but we have such an amazing connection. She's definitely a 3 a.m. friend.

    I try to limit our meetings to times where I can tolerate her and have the time to spare. If I can or should be doing something more productive then I usually do that. At the same time, she knows that I am a homebody so she doesn't take offense. Would your friend but offended if you cut your meetings short or actually confronted her? You see and do so much, can't you make it a point to interject and add in your own stories and conversation? I often feel that no one wants to hear about my daily laundry, baking, book reading and farm playing routines...

  7. Those kinds of conversations ARE so unsatisfying - that's such a great word for it. Maybe she's just a bad conversationalist. Although I think bad conversationalists tend to steer the conversation away from themselves, so who knows.

    That article sounds interesting. Now I want to read it too!

  8. One sided conversations as so frustrating but I am too good of a person to say anything about it, to the other person. I will just sit there and listen and talk about "the other person."

  9. Thanks for the link.
    I have a friend like that too. I am too nice to point out that she is way too self-absorbed. I don't want to break up with her either. She is very good to me and is a staatmaker. I can always depend on her and I guess I do get something out of the friendship.
    Tough one.

  10. I'm sure I spend so much time on blogs for the very same reason! Especially since I have so few people I can relate to at work. They are nice people, just in different stages of life and they can't empathize with my daily struggles very well (nor can I with theirs).
    As for your friend, I don't think there's any one right answer. If I were the same situation, I'd probably let it go and focus on the positives she brings to the relationship. But that's just my personality - the one-sided thing doesn't bother me that much. I say do what will make you happy. :)

  11. I was wondering why I didn't recognize this and I realised I hadn't "found" you at the time


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