The Pollyanna girl…

I like it when people care how other people feel.

I like it when they don’t save up things to hurt other people with, or to zing them for a personal win.

I like it when they care. It makes them easier to trust. 

There’s so much now to make us leery of people, and when we do put our real selves out there and get smacked in the face it’s always a shock. It is for me because I never learn – I’m that Pollyanna girl who thinks friends mean what they say and they wouldn’t be hurtful on purpose, so my reactions aren’t 100% honest because I’m never ready. I find myself trying to cover the awkwardness instead of asking “How long have you been saving that to catch me off-guard with? And does it make you as happy as you sound, knowing that other people are unhappy because of what you just told me? It feels kind of mean.” 

I’m a dreamer. I just want everybody to be happy and have a good life – is that so much to ask? I know that my squishy bleeding heart is a sitting duck for abuse but I can’t worry about that and I can’t stop caring in order to forestall pain, so I end up isolating myself more and more, which is no kind of answer either, except that it works for me. Silence is an old friend and I’m not at all afraid of my own thoughts. It’s the willingness of the world out there to inflict pain that bothers me. 

Tell me – based on personal experience, is friendship with skin on overrated?

 

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ozantm
    Dec 06, 2018 @ 17:47:30

    Friendship with skin on is a necessity. Sure it hurts sometimes, but what relationship doesn’t step on your toes every now and then. Remember you can be as guilty, unknowingly, of the same fault. Guess being alone isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Been there and in a lot of ways still doing that. I would trade it for a real live person to talk to and not a computer screen. Hurts and faults be damned.

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    • Judy Smith
      Dec 06, 2018 @ 21:00:43

      I have no trouble believing that I’ve committed countless offenses. And as prickly as I am, it’s undoubtedly best that I commune mostly with my computer screen until after the other shoe drops.

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  2. Mark Zimmerman
    Dec 06, 2018 @ 17:24:32

    Right there with you – I never learn. I am, at 57, finally more comfortable than not with me. I have few real friends (four) and we are tight. So far I’m the only one that ever hurt someone in one of those relationships, and my friend saw that I couldn’t help it, so we’re still cool. There is a wider circle of people I like quite a lot, Those are the folks that blindside me, but I can’t be a cynic, don’t have it in me. I always expect the best.

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    Reply

    • Judy Smith
      Dec 07, 2018 @ 08:13:31

      We’re kindred spirits, Mark, which I’ve known from your beautiful writing and your art. At 71, an age I’m in love with, I’ve experienced a lifetime of friendships, and the ones I would never part with are Kim and a tiny handful of people related to me by DNA. I think I got taken to the woodshed up there by someone I may or may not know for being an introvert (aspiring hermit), but it took me a long time to get here to ME and I’ve stopped apologizing for this rather amazing creature I turned out to be. I hope you’ll be forever done with that too – it’s painfully unproductive and it gives duller spirits a niche through which to needle you. I’m fairly certain you and my 48-yr-old son, an oncology RN – 2nd career – would have much to talk about. Life’s so short – thus we’re Playing for TIME here – there are no leftover minutes for following someone else’s script, or for being anything less than genuine. You’re one of the Good Guys – you can walk around every day, doing your work, expressing your art, loving your wife, appreciating your incredible surroundings – in that solid knowledge. “I get to be one of the Good Guys.” We both know not everybody would, even if they could get the hang of it – they don’t have the heart. Thank you for making my day better, Mark, which you do every time you show up on my feed somewhere. That’s a friend, so I already have more than I thought! 💙

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