Wednesday, June 6, 2007

A curse or a gift?

Ok, I had a great conversation with a dear friend last night. During the conversation, the topic of relationships surfaced. Not long ago another one of my friends posted something similar to this topic in her blog. Between between the two, I got to thinking...

I am not going to lie. I am a talker. I have lots to say. My nickname was Jabber Jaws when I was younger. Sad to say, I have not really outgrown that a whole lot and if you know Lil' Bug, she is following closely in my footsteps! It is no surprise, really, that The Professor is the quiet one in our family. He and I have talked about that alot over the past 14 years. We are comfortable with our roles in the family. He definitely has a voice, but he only speaks when necessary. I speak just to speak! :)

So, with that said, it surprises me that so many people tell me so much. I mean, who knew I stopped talking long enough to listen? HA! Anyway, it has been this way since I was young...people would meet me and almost immediately, they felt compelled to tell me their deepest, darkest secrets. I never understood why. I still don't fully understand it, but I a couple of theories I will share with you in a little bit.

Most people who know me know that if they ask, I will not say a word to anyone. There is one exception to that, however. I will not lie to The Designer. I mean, I will not keep anything from him, if he were to ever ask. There are things people have told me that I don't plan to tell him (they do not impact him and he probably wouldn't care anyway), but if, for some reason, he were to ever come out and ask me something specific, I would not lie to him. I respect him and our marriage too much to lie to him.

Ok, I digress, back on track! People have told me some very interesting things over the years. Some I find comical, others I find scary and most are somewhere in between. People can sense pretty quickly that I am a sincere, honest, trustworthy person. I think the reason I struggle with that is because I have a hard time trusting other people. It is not because those people aren't trustworthy most of the time. It really stems from my past, I know, but it exists, nonetheless. So, if I can not confide some of my deepest fears, greatest joys, my sadness's, my confusion and all of that, why do they feel so comfortable telling me? I wonder if they think I share everything with them? Or, I wonder if they know that I keep many, many things to myself and only share those things with a VERY select few? I just don't know. I do not mean to be secretive. I don't do it on purpose, really. I just don't feel like most people would honestly care about what is going on (I mean REALLY going on) in my life. Does that sound harsh? Maybe it is. Maybe I don't give people enough credit. But, most of the time when people ask me, "How are you today?" I honestly don't think they really want to know. They are expecting to get the "Good, thanks. Any you?" response. So, that is what I give them. There is an exception to this and those of you that I am close with, you know who you are!

Another thought occurred to me last night, while I was talking about this with my friend. The thought was, maybe people don't realize how unbalanced it really is. I have always been there for people. That is important to me. But, if others are always expecting me to be there for them and I never call upon them to be a supportive friend to me, they get used to it and that is sort of just how things go. They don't mean to be rude, inconsiderate or hurtful, but that is really all they know because I have allowed it to continue that way for so long. So, if this scenario really is the case, the only way to "fix" it and not feel so overwhelmed about it would be to address it with each person individually. Seriously, I going to do that? Not likely. That seems like a lot of work and I have really gotten good at playing my role in life.

A third thought regarding this topic also popped into my mind. God created me this way. He created me to be a good listening ear, the good friend everyone trusts and likes. He created me to be honest, loving, empathetic, sympathetic, caring, understanding. All of that was on purpose; he had a reason for it. So, when I feel overwhelmed by all the "secrets" people have shared with me, I think of God and give thanks, for he is good!. He wanted me this way for a reason. He is perfect and makes no mistakes. I am not a mistake.

As you can see, I really don't have a clear thought on this whole topic. I do know that there have been a few events recently that have rocked my world (both good and bad) and it saddened me to think that although I am the friend everyone turns to when they need to vent, share, etc. I had a very select few I could do the same with. I will try to open up more. I am getting better at taking down some of my walls. But, I can't make any promises.


nush said...

Angie, i appreciate your honesty in your post! You are a good listener, however, I think you share more than you think! Part of why i believe people feel comfortable sharing with you is because I bleieve you live a some what transparent lifestyle. A person does not need to share every detail about their life to be considered transparent. He/she only needs to live, expressing the understanding that they live life only in God's grace. They are not perfect by any means on their own, but only by the blood of Christ! I believe you believe and live by this truth. To me, that along with all of your other qualities, makes you worth sharing with! I love you! And once again, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Sherri said...

I completely understand what you are saying. There are only a few friendships in my own life that are two-way where we lean on each other and share everything. However, I have several one-way relationships where they share everything while I listen and tell them nothing.

I agree with Nusha. You (and probably I) share more than you think with people. Yes, you do guard your dearest secrets (like any wise person should) to tell only those closest to you, but generally you live honestly and straightforward. Course I don't know you that well, that is just what I've picked up from you :)

I'm forgiven said...

You have so many friends because you make yourself friendly, but I can also understand the feeling of "nobody knows ME!" I guess that's why our "few good friends" mean the most. To have one or two good friends that you can share with is a HUGE blessing for you... but to have listening ears is a HUGE blessing for others. LOVE

Angie said...

Nusha, Sherri & Anita....I love you three! You all rock and I will forever cherish our friendship! I am so happy God has our paths cross in such various ways. He certainly knows what he is doing. Actually this sounds like a great blog post. I will have to get on that in the next few days! :)

Going Back to Square One said...

I'm with ya.