This is likely to be an angry post. I (kind of ) apologize in advance, but, there you go.
It has been a Matt-truism for decades that I've long been a very sensitive person. No point in going into all the possible reasons why at this juncture. It's simply a part of who I am, although I try every day to keep it in check, to not let it overrule my better nature. Yet, decades later, I seem to find myself back at square one when it comes to sensitivity in regards to interactions with people. It's a deflating, pathetic, lonely, maddening feeling.
A constant theme of my life has been that I seem to reach out to people more often than they reach out to me. This has proved frustrating on numerous occasions. Indeed, when I've called certain friends onto the carpet for this, the typical reaction has been, "Well, I always just expect you to be the one to make contact." This. Is. Maddening. And I'm done with it. Done.
Not that it helps when my outreach efforts are often hampered by less-than-enthusiastic responses to my overtures of friendship. Within the past few months, some of my "friends" have partaken of the following:
- invite, then de-invite me to a bachelor party, simply because I'm gay
- not returning texts for several days, or at all
- not returning e-mails for several days, or at all
- declining to hang out because they needed to do grocery shopping (this is barely a step above, 'I've got to clip my toenails')
- being rude to me about things on several occasions, culminating in telling me that something I do creatively "sucks," and then acting surprised when I get up and leave, backtracking to say that they were "joking" (who jokes like that with a friend who's been good to them?)
- simply not calling, texting, or stopping by
- getting upset with me and putting forth the silent treatment, for things that they do, themselves
- telling me how they're too busy with "work" to hang out, yet also talk about the upcoming social plans they've made
- not asking me how I'm doing, etc., after I've asked the same of them (and subsquently listened to -- or read -- their brief on how their life is, or isn't, going)
- a general lack of communication overall
Another thing that I've noticed is how, for whatever reason, people don't really come to me for advice anymore. Now, that may sound egotistical, or it may prompt the question: Why would you expect people to come to you for advice? Well, it's because people used to. But over the last decade? Not so much. Perhaps my advice proved to be bad. Perhaps it proved useless. Perhaps folks just don't give a damn about what I have to say? But they certainly seek out other friends for advice, I know that. NOTE: I still sometimes offer advice, albeit of the unsolicited variety.
I dunno. Ashley says that I expect too much of people. Perhaps he's right. But then is that something to be ashamed of? And why is it that folks seem willing to devote so much of their time and energy to their jobs, yet when it comes to their friends, it's like they don't care? That's been a meme going around with some of my friends on Facebook recently. They talk about how their job does this & that to stress them out and put them outside of their comfort zone so, basically, their friends just need to understand this, and give them space.
You know what? I'm tired of understanding. I'm tired of being there for people. I'm tired of being the one to call (or text) most of the time (if not all of the time, in certain cases). I'm tired of being taken for granted and ignored. And it ends. Now. From here on out, I will no longer be calling, texting, or communicating with people. The ball will be in their court. Heck, given the way some of them act, it will likely come as a relief.