Friendship and the Expectation of Support (Part I)

tarra_kgOn June 13th, I hung out with my friend, Tarra. We ate fried green tomatoes, crab cakes, and lobster brie omelets. We discussed our deceased mothers and newly found biological families.

Tarra is a singer and actress. She’d just finished a show and needed rest. I was preparing for the Atlanta reading and needed to calm myself prior to attending. So, we also spent time at the beach, running through opened doors and moving with the ocean’s waves.

Somewhere during the day, she confided that she was thinking about who wasn’t at her shows, who didn’t support, who didn’t reach out. She knew she should focus on who was there, who did support, and who made time for her. She admitted this was something she should work on.

I agreed. But I also added, “It’s hard.”

Two days later, we had the Atlanta book reading. Even though it was an awesome event, not one close friend reached out to ask how it was, not even Tarra. Please do not misunderstand what I’m saying. Friends did contact me. They texted to tell me about the terrible and wonderful happenings in their life’s bubble. They just didn’t ask about this very important gathering I’d been talking about for months.

Like Tarra, I began to think about all the close friends I have and why they wouldn’t simply text and say, how was the reading?* I started to text each one and ask him or her personally, but quickly tossed that idea. I really don’t like to ask people to be who I want them to be. I’d much rather simply be aligned in thought, action, and behavior. Plus, I knew it was something I needed to work on, not them.

After processing my emotions for several days, I came to a few conclusions. The first is, like my friend, I needed to focus on who was supportive and who showed care that day.

The first is my husband, Dwight. He is always there in some way. Even when he can’t physically be present, he calls, jokes with me to lighten my mood, and wishes me well. He texts or calls after every event and asks me how it went and how I felt about the outcome. I appreciate that.

img_0801The second is the group of women who made the event possible. Bree spent her time, money, and energy planning a successful reading. The other three women traveled from other cities and states to share themselves with strangers. In my point of view, this is miraculous, and it’s definitely not something they had to do.

The third are people who attended. I didn’t do a head count, but at least 40 people came. Included in the audience was my stepmother, stepsister, a former Georgia College student and her mother, and a blogger I’d met for the first time (shout out to Yecheilyah).

Though my feelings were initially hurt, reminding myself that I did have support that day has shifted my energy about the situation.

That’s my first conclusion: focus on who shows up in ways you value.

I’ll share my second conclusion tomorrow.

*Since writing this but before publishing it, someone I consider a friend did text me and ask about the reading 🙂

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65 thoughts on “Friendship and the Expectation of Support (Part I)

  1. I can relate with this sometimes those who you thought you can count on can fail you at times that’s why it’s so good to focus on the positives like who’s there and who has supported you ❤️. I am one who also has to work on this thank you so much for this post

    Stay blessed ✨💕

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another wonderful blog topic! We are so proud of your success! As the giver and/or receiver of support, we sometimes ‘fall short of the glory’ by being so into our own lives/situations and not specifically finding time to voice our pride and/or ask friends about significant happenings in their lives. I too am guilty of this and ask my friends regularly to forgive me. This might sound crazy, but I also expect my friends to tell me EVERYTHING when we do talk because I genuinely care and want to know…even if I don’t ask (sometimes I just don’t remember). Another poster stated that different friends are there to provide different types of support at different times…and you know I believe that to my core🤣😂…Can’t wait til we meet up so we can talk about the past, present, and future! 🤗🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know I love you to pieces. But I had to pause chile when not a single soul said a word 🙄 I was like I can’t cut errbody off so let me think for a minute lol see you soon 💞

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  3. I get it Doc. I thought that about my blog… I used to be upset that my friends and family didn’t read it. But now I don’t care. I learned that if I put something out there people can partake…or not. That was a hard lesson for me but I’m good now.
    You got the right idea; focus on who has supported you❤️🙏🏽

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you hear me. I had kinda learned it with the blog too, but it’s like these lessons keep resurfacing til you really get it lol and thank you for asking about it during our video! I really appreciated it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙏🏽Girl you know I was gonna ask you about it especially after I had to listen to all them kids playing cartoon theme songs at the recital on the night of your event. LOL!!!
        I wish I could have come but you know we discussed that privately in advance.
        Anyway, I was reading parts 2 and 3 and I have to say how much I love Eckhart Tolle and his teachings about ego so I’m glad you meditated on that and it brought some insight.
        But you know ego is there on all sides, whether we expect certain behaviors from others or whether we are the person who cannot give or the one who consciously withholds. In my life I’ve played each roles as have many of us.
        Awesome posts Doc. Very thought provoking !❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Just to add my perspective (but not defense) over that period of time leading up to it, I had checked in on you like normal- saying hi etc…I hadn’t been aware of the reading being a focal point so had probably covered every topic under the sun but the reading. My point being this question…could this be a case of friends not being aware of the significance of this one thing over other areas of your life? Had I known, I’d have sent a gazillion msgs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Because we’ve already discussed this privately, I won’t go into much detail for a reply. But I will say this publicly, each friend has his or her own reason for not asking me about this, and whatever the reason, I’m fine with it (now) because I’ve processed what this means for me; however, it’s not necessarily about the “significance,” but rather, knowing that this is going on, and then being interested enough to ask about it.

      For example, if a friend knows I’ve written a book, then in my opinion, a natural question of interest might be, “How’s the book going?” or something like that. It doesn’t have to be a focal point, necessarily.

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  5. Wow. Kathy, this is so powerful––and what an incredible awareness to focus on what you value. I appreciate you and the way you process your reactions and learn from them!

    And, may I say….I LOVE THAT YOU DID THIS READING xoxoxo . You are amazing and an inspiration to women everywhere (and to me personally).

    Blessings to all who attended.
    With Love,
    Debbie

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m glad you family was there to support you, but I understand your disappointment about your close friends. It is hard when they don’t support us in something that is so terribly important to us, and we can’t help but feel a little rejected and resentful. (I remember when I first started my blog, I sort of automatically assumed that all my close friends would read it. Some of them did. A lot of them didn’t. It’s just a blog, but it was a huge step in my mind.) Still, I came to the same conclusion you did: it’s better to focus on those who do support us, especially when some of them were people we never dreamed would show up! (I have people who didn’t speak to me in high school regularly read and comment on my posts.) Sometimes others just don’t act the way we expect them to!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ugh! Don’t get me started on the blog responses lol I had a similar expectation and response as you. Although I know it’s an example, blogging really did show me all the things you’ve mentioned and that I’ve discussed here. But it’s like I keep having to re-learn this idea of not having expectations of people I care about.

      Thanks for this comment Ann!

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  7. Thanks, Kathy. This is a really important subject. It is indeed easier said than done to manage our expectations and not set ourselves up to feel let down. I’ll look forward to your other conclusions.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a relative post. I’ve been there. It seems among my little circle, the older I’ve gotten the less support is given. Also being in what I like to call the “creative realm” being a writer and entrepreneur is very different from what most of my friends. Expectations for me and my friends as far as support for my works kind of went out the window awhile ago. I understand what you’re saying about a shift in focus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you can relate Nicole. I think it does fall under the category of “a creative’s woes.” I’m slowly beginning to release expectations from those I consider close.

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  9. Yes to everything everyone said. It definitely takes a difficult shift to truly not expect your friends to be there, not expect others to act as you would for them and just appreciate who shows up.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Some of my friends text or turn up when expected. And some refuse to do either. Strangely they are also the ones who are by my side when I really need support – a wedding or a death in the family. So I’ve just learnt to look for different qualities in different friends 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. what an honest, wonderful post, Kathy — it’s just all of us being human — & I imagine I’m not alone in shifting focus depending on how happy I am overall. lower expectations seems the key — because we have all slighted each other at some time without realizing it — oh, & as you so wisely point out, #1 is gratitude 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I think some of our closes friends are more prone to be jealous of our success. No one want to admit it but its there. And friendship becomes about overcoming these negative feelings that everyone dislikes in others and themselves.

    I’m happy for your success and feel blessed to know you and just maybe that will get me off of my rear end and do something of my own to change this world… jc

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I hadn’t even considered this JC. I suppose it would be challenging to show interest if beneath it all, you’re a little jealous. I hate to even think that thought! But it is a possibility with some.

      Thank you for that last bit! You’re already changing the world, one post at a time 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  13. I suffer in this area on the giving and receiving end of this issue. As one of the contributing authors to this book, I definitely should have been one to inquire about how the event went. I’m really sorry that I didn’t, even before reading this post. I know that I suffer from the “whoa is me” syndrome when I think of all of the times I have been disappointed when people I expected to support me did not. Not only author events and purchasing my books, but also my 30th and 40th birthday parties. After my 40th, I have sworn off having any parties. Plus, I’ve never had a book release party and am, quite truthfully, terrified to plan one for fear of the disappointment of people not showing up. I know googobs of people but I cannot tell from the few things I’ve been looking for support on. On the flip side, I feel like I am always supporting other in someway or another. I go to people’s parties, buy people’s products, support businesses and such. You know, putting out what I’d like to receive. Then there are times like this when I drop the ball. It’s easy to think that everyone else has everything that you want but the truth is that we’re all looking for the same things–love, support, acceptance, understanding–in some form or another.

    I really appreciate your post. I love and admire the honesty in your writing. Like you, I will continue to work on appreciating the people who do show up and support while at the same being my thoughtful and considerate to the needs of others.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. First of all, hey girl, hey! Thank you for commenting. What you say at the end is really the crux of it: “we’re all looking for the same things–love, support, acceptance, understanding–in some form or another.” Point blank and the period! I just wish I knew why, if we’re all seeking it, then why is it so hard to reciprocate/offer?

      Anywho, I hear you and I’m glad you hear me. I do want to say this, though: HAVE THE PARTY GIRL! Whoever is supposed to be there, will be.

      Thank you so much for those kind words at the end ❤

      I also hope you'll read the next two things I've learned because for people like you and I, who plan to continue to create, we have to find a way to put ourselves out there, without getting all down in the dumps when those we thought would care, just don't show it.

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  14. I’ve learned in life that expectations can become burdensome and demanding for our relationships. And it works both ways. As you’ve also experienced, I’ve found that support can come from unexpected sources. I rejoice on receiving such blessings. Our friends have their own cares and concerns that demand their attention and focus.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I absolutely agree Rosaliene. I suppose what bothered me this time, in particular, is that some friends reached out to me WITH their cares and concerns, with no regard for what I was doing, even though they knew. But yes, these are the woes of carrying expectations

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Kudos on your accomplishments. How awesome!
    It is indeed difficult NOT to focus on who doesn’t show up. I suppose we all have an innate need to feel loved and appreciated and do feel a bit neglected or let down when we think we aren’t being supported by friends or family. Yet sometimes our friends are just caught up in their own life and their own drama. For instance, I’ve had some health issues lately. I haven’t shared the particulars with many of my friends. One good friend called asking why I’ve missed so many of our gal group lunch gatherings. And complained that I’ve been distant. She was angry. I had to explain that I’ve been seeing doctors, having medical tests done etc. and didn’t really want to share all that in a group. So Ive been focused on my health, staying positive, and have had other priorities right now. That thought never occurred to her. That rather than neglecting her I was for once focusing on me.
    The reality is, that Everyone has stuff going on in their life and sometimes they just can’t relate or be there for everyone else. It happens. It doesn’t mean they don’t care. It just might mean they are trying to survive in their own world.
    And yes, we do have to redirect our brain to be grateful for those who do show up. Not sure why we always focus on the negative rather than the positive. We need to reprogram ourselves. And that isn’t easy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey Lesley! You’re right. It’s not easy at all. And it really does take some conscious effort.

      Thank you for sharing your example. I completely believe that we’re all focused on our own worlds, in fact, I discuss this in Part II, tomorrow. However, I really do think that we should do a little better with those we claim to care about. I’m included in this advice. Since writing this, I’ve decided to be the type of friend I want to have. I guess that’s the best thing no matter what we’re discussing (maybe?).

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I have a grandmother that always says, “It’s hard to be disappointed when you’re not expecting anything.” I have found “true” friendships to be few and far between, but the ones that count are the ones that count.

    I’m also the kind of person that likes to believe everyone has a good reason for their actions. Of course, I don’t know your friends, but I like to give people an out – i.e. something might have come up that required their attention.

    Either way, in the long run, there are always two kinds of people: Those whom cares about you and those who don’t. One type of person deserves your attention and the other does not.

    I am happy for your success!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks my dear! I definitely agree with everything here. For a while, I worked really hard at having zero expectations, sometimes it works, and other times, well…you get a 3-part blog post lol

      As far as the “true” friendships part, I can relate to this, and I actually have written about this in Part III, so I do hope you’ll read it.

      I know for sure a few of them had things going on, but I unfairly compare them to myself. I can have 1,000 things going on, but if I know you’re starting a new job (for example), I’ll text you real quick to see how the first day is going. Comparisons are also unfair, so that’s another thing I’m working on.

      That last bit you’ve added is exactly what I’ve learned, pretty much. Thanks for the happiness in the end ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Heey Cliff! I think by and large, I’ve had a lot of support in different ways, but just this time, there were crickets lol

      Shifting to who supports and shows interest in the moment is still a great thing for me (and I think others) to do in these moments.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Lol. I hear you and my boys support me. But I think there could be more effort. Some times I think it’s a form of jealousy. When you’re doing a little more than they are. A slight hunt of jealousy creeps in there.

        Liked by 2 people

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