Friday, July 27, 2012

Being Needy

I'm not sure what my general "neediness" level is, but I think it's pretty low. Perhaps my friends will tell me otherwise, but I believe it to be minimal. Maybe I have a skewed sense of what a "normal" amount is. I do know my tolerance level for it is low.

Because I spend a great deal of time in social media, I see a lot of "virtual hand-wringing" from people on the periphery of my life. There is always a problem, often related to someone else in their world, and they need a lot of support from people. This requires their "friends" to tell them repeatedly that they're wonderful and the other person - the villian in this story - is terrible, will see the error of their ways, is unreasonable, will regret this decision later, fill-in-the-blank.

I don't respond because I just want to say, "Get these people out of your life and you'll solve this problem. Go cold turkey. Just stop engaging with people who bring this kind of drama into your life."

Some would say it makes me cold-hearted, but I just could not have anyone close to me who had this much drama in their lives. I can't muster energy for being supportive of disasterous situations that are completely foreseeable. Yes, I know we all have to learn everything. What I've learned is that I'm not good with that. It's just not something I can offer the world.

I would do almost anything for a friend or family member who needed something. But there's no one in my close circles who is "drama prone." When they have a problem, it's a real problem. And I will help them in any way I can.

Maybe this was formed early in life when I watched people be overly dramatic about things that didn't really matter. When girls squealed about how they would die if they didn't get a particular pair of jeans, I looked at them as if they were a different species. In my world, people really did die. It was nothing like getting jeans. So I just automatically wrote off people acting that way as people who couldn't be trusted to make wise decisions.

Was that harsh? Maybe. But it seemed perfectly reasonable to me then and, frankly, it still does. What kind of sense does it make to expend that much energy over something that has no real bearing on your life? How can a person who's that worked up about jeans or exes or any number of other things have the brain power and emotional capacity to make wise choices? Maybe they can manage just fine, but my instinct for self-preservation doesn't allow me to gamble on that sort of wild-card variable.

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Judith Robl said...

The melodrama queens and kings in this world are a symptom of our self-centered society. My thought is "get over it. It's not all about you." And I have to bite my tongue to keep from saying it out loud sometimes. There is enough real drama and death and destruction in this world without manufacturing a tragedy out of a hiccup.

I applaud your take on this.

Patsy Terrell said...

Thanks, Judith. It's purely self-preservation for me to avoid that sort of thing. I knew there had to be others out there. :)