Friendship is like a seesaw, says Conversation Between Friends
One of you is generally up when the other is down and vice versa. That is the real test of friendship; pushing or coaxing your friend out of their funk, or being pulled out of your bad mood – that’s lasted for about three weeks – even when you are quite happy there, being a sulk! The skill of a good friend is to know when to listen and nod and when to speak. When to laugh dryly and when to open a bottle of wine.
Some people like to hibernate when they are feeling down, associating friendship and socializing as something they do when they feel ‘up’. A good friend will know when to drag you to a lively bar andwhen to sit you down and encourage you to do that thing you have been avoiding (make the call, write the letter, fill in the application, form chose your own here).
But if YOU are always the soother, sweeper upper, Kleenex provider and wine uncorker, who cradles you when you are feeling bruised? Sometimes if the friendship see-saw is too out of balance and you are left suspended in the air for too long, you will inevitably start to feel ‘out of balance.’ You have become the ‘dumpee’. Your friend has taken on the role of ‘dumper’ and without you realising it and you have both become stuck in this pattern.
If you are the dumper, you will probably love your friend ‘dumpee’ dearly. Of course you do!! Dumpee knows more things about you than many members of your family and always seems to know just what to say and how to respond to your needs. But what about ‘dumpee’s’ needs? Huh? you say? Oh everything’s OK in their life. I’m the one with all of the problems!!
If you are reading this, you already know which one you are. Or you may have been ‘dumper’ in one friendship and now you are ‘dumpee’!
It’s OK. Friendships are fertile ground for exploring who you are and where you stand in relation to others around you. Your friend will know about the problems at work, with your partner, with your weight, with your children, your parents.
Just try to remember though that wherever you are on the seesaw, your friend is there helping you to find your equilibrium.
And you would do the same for them. Wouldn’t you?
© Suzy Rigg