Now the reason for writing this gloomy, bleak and cynical Blog (so unlike me), is to try save you some time in realising who people really are….a Public Service Announcement if you will. Yes, there are better and worse, nicer and nastier and many different types of people, but the common thread running through many people in your life, is that they don’t really want what’s best for you, and they don’t truly ‘have your back”. Sorry, but if it looks like a cat and meows like a cat…..well…..”here kitty kitty”.
So, on realising this, the key is to sift through all your people, and realise who actually does want what’s best for you. Either discard those that don’t, or if that is not possible, just be aware of who you are dealing with, and behave accordingly. Alternatively, you can be all kumbaya, and believe that everyone just wants the best for you…….said me so wishing I was all kumbaya!!
I must say I really did, for most of my naive little existence, truly believe that if someone was making a concerted or regular effort to inquire about my life, they were doing so because they had wanted to hear that my life was rainbows and sparkles. I kind of reasoned (understandably), if they didn’t care they wouldn’t ask….. period.
I get that everyone has their own lives, and their own issues, and very rarely actually give a rat’s a** about what is happening in other peoples’ lives. That is fine. To be brutally honest, that is human. That is how I operate at least. I just need to know that my people are generally fine, and that nothing earth shattering has happened, or is going to happen to them. I do not need to know the finer details, and do not need to be kept in the loop about the normal day to day ups ‘n downs. If I am not told, I certainly will not ask, and I am certainly not going to be waiting in the wings to feed off bad news that has occurred to some or other person, or more disturbingly a friend of mine. That would just make me vermin, surely?
I also get that, if we are really honest with ourselves, we are all a little verminesque. When we hear that someone else’s life is less than perfect on some or other front, do we not all appreciate our lives and ourselves that much more? Obviously we can then pat ourselves on our backs, congratulate ourselves for getting this thing called life right, and move on with our imperfect lives.
But surely no one spends their days waiting to hear the bad news about other peoples’ lives…..or do they??? Well, the short answer is ”yes”, but that would not a Blog make. So here is the slightly lengthier answer…….
I have come to realise, and it becomes more apparent to me as life goes on, that there are very few people who genuinely have your back, want what’s best for you and are happy for you when your life is going swimmingly.
I have seen this so clearly in my situation, where being a single mother, people have waited in anticipation for over 15 years to see the fruits of my failure. Oh, in the beginning, I was awe struck by peoples” concern and interest. But after a while, I realised that for the most part, that ”interested” and ”concerned” behaviour, was in fact condescending, and that they were actually on their tip toes, with binoculars, looking ahead into my future to see where and when it was all going to fall apart.
I would probably have had the same attitude if I had not been a single mother, as on my worst days I sometimes question if my pear-shaped moments would have ended differently, had I not been a single mother.
But I digress, the fact remains that there are hungry people lurking in the cracks ready to spring up as soon as they hear bad news. It’s almost as if they feed off it….. thrive off it……you know…..all vermin like!!
Realising this quite late in life, a lot of things that had happened in my past started falling into place. What initially opened my eyes to this a few years ago, was when a ”good” friend of mine…..always the first one on the phone if there had been mutterings that things might not be going splendidly…..became very scarce when things appeared to be running smoothly. Please do not interpret this as me feeling all lonely and rejected because someone has not been phoning me…..hell no….that is my definition of bliss. However, I ”tolerated” her private calls, as I believed that her concern was genuine, and that perhaps she had felt that I had needed her shoulder to cry on, or to have a sounding board. Oh bless…how special is she, I would always think, hoping the next call would not be too soon in the future.
Sure, you are probably thinking about what a prize b**** I am for believing otherwise. But know this, I have the genuine people in my life…….. those are the quiet people, the people who make a call or text me just to say ”hiya”, as they know or suspect that I am going through something, the people who do not need to know what, why or when…. they need no finer details (that they can rush off and discuss with others, or use to make themselves feel better about themselves). No, these are the people who just quietly let me know that they have my back. Me, I am those people too!
So things cooled down between myself and this ”friend” a while ago, initiated by me I admit, as it just takes one ”see” for me never to be able to ”unsee”. However, once ”seen” I do sometimes think maybe I had been wrong, but whatttaya know….the gut never lies.
I never heard from her privately for a few years. We were still in regular contact, as we are part of the same group of friends, but that was just surface and inauthentic (my pet hate). However, whenever the pear shaped police alerted her, I would get “the call”. To make it even more irritating, the tone was one of sympathy and concern. Thank all cute puppies and kittens, the pear shaped Police were mostly misinformed, but still….
Now the obvious question to me was what the f*** is this woman phoning me for when we haven’t had a private conversation for yonks? And then, unfortunately, the only fraction of naivety that was left in my bones quickly slipped away.
Then of course I became an absolute master at judging whether people were being sincere about expressing concern or interest, or whether they were not… And moved on with my little jaded existence.
Recently such behaviour happened in such a cluster, that it was almost comical. A friend of mine, who is not active on Facebook, decided to clean out her kitchen cupboards. She asked if I would mind trying to sell these items for her on Facebook. So there I went, listing a gazillion little pieces of cutlery and crockery in an attempt to assist her.
Within the hour, ”ping”……I received a What’s App message from a ”friend” who had relocated 3 years ago, and who I had only been in contact with twice since then…..and only because both times she had reason to believe that my sky might have been falling. Just a ”hi, this has happened in my life in the last three years….blah blah……and how about yours?” I was so pleased to hear from her, and told her about the non eventful previous three years in my life….and then….crickets.
To be honest, I did not connect the dots at that stage, and had still doubted my scepticism about the two previous times she had contacted me.
Shortly thereafter…. ”ping”…….I received a private message on Facebook from another friend from the distant past. You know, one of those people that you even forgot you had as a friend on Facebook. There she was, private messaging me to ask me if everything was okay. She thought I was selling all my belongings because I was in some kind of trouble, or was leaving the country.
Only when I heard the third ”ping”, and it was ”my person” sending me a message in jest about my posts, that I put two and two together.
So to the vermin I say….worry less about what is going wrong in my life, and more about why you need to to know what is going wrong in my life!!
If I was prepared to risk making my children all bitter and twisted like me, I would probably tell them to trust no-one, rely on no-one and seek comfort from no-one. I would tell them, they are on their own in the world, and whatever comes after that is a bonus.
But becoming bitter and twisted like me doesn’t just happen overnight!! Nope….it is all a lengthy process which they will unfortunately have to learn for themselves. Cos ain’t no sprogs of mine going to be any kind of kumbaya in life!!