Lately, I have been feeling overwhelmed by the amount of requests I have received from people who consider themselves, and whom I would consider friends, asking me to go out of my way to get or do something for them – use some leverage or connection I have developed to assist them (I am not talking about co-workers or my fellow geek community members). I have no problem with these requests for the most part. However, in the past few weeks it seems like more and more of these requests are coming from friends that I haven’t had regular contact with in quite some time. People have lives and life often gets in the way. I understand and accept these facts. The situations I refer to are those requests being presented without any of the pleasantries a friendship affords and the prompt disappearance shortly after the other person has gained whatever favor they asked.
“Does no one love me for myself alone?”
Admittedly, there is more to the story and to my current mindset. Unfortunately, I cannot address all of these issues at once. So let’s stick to the problem at hand.
I work hard to learn new skills and, thankfully, am blessed with an inquisitive mind and a major drive to be the best at what I do. Having been there before, I can appreciate how difficult it can be to find answers and master certain skill sets, Therefore, I am very glad to help friends and strangers alike, whenever possible. I try to be active in multiple forums and often offer assistance to others. However, I am faced with others who feel my assistance or influence is in some way owed to them. In some instances, they feel I should put my reputation on the line to assist them in furthering their goals. Sadly, I have been burned in the past by such situation. I doubt I am alone in that. The goal here is to limit the damage. For me, that means a hard look at who I consider a friend. Let the culling begin.
The blame is not entirely on the other person. I recognize I am full of faults and shortcomings of my own. Seriously, I read these words as I type them. I know how it sounds. As 2013 is my year to work through issues which limit my potential and encroach on my sanity, I am going beyond taking a serious look at the people I surround myself with. I am evaluating my own contributions to my relationships – asking myself “what value do I add?” In cases where my contribution is found wanting asking a question that is arguably more important – “do I wish to change for the sake of this relationship?” I will be honest, I have maintained relationships strictly for the sake of being polite. Who does that help? Relationships aren’t about quantity, they are truly about quality. If I have no vested interest in you and what is happening in your life, nor you in me and mine, why are we wasting one another’s time and energy – time and energy which could be better applied in other, more meaningful, relationships?