Pages

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Frenemies?

It's hard to meet close friends after college.  Especially moving around so much for residency, fellowship, a job- it's just hard to meet people and stay in one place long enough to become close because people are always coming and going (because most of the new people you meet are in the medical field too).  People have busier lives now then when we were in college- demanding jobs, many are raising kids.  But I try my best to build friendships with the few people I form a bond with out in the trickier adult world.

I'm sad as I write this post.  It's something that's been bothering me for awhile though, years maybe.  I think I've come to a stage in life where I need to cut my losses and move on, away from some friendships that have become toxic.  You know the kind- where you feel like you do your best to put forth effort to sustain the relationship but the person isn't a good friend to you in return?  I think I've held onto some of these friendships for too long because it has been so much harder to make friends after college where you literally eat, drink, and sleep next to your co-eds.

This is easier said than done because I've spent years of my life feeling like some of these people were my closest friends, so I probably forgive them more times than they deserve.  I'm just tired of getting back in line to board the emotional rollercoaster over and over again.  It gets to a point where it's just not worth the grief.

One such friend makes me feel like everything is a competition.  I can't even have a normal conversation without her going on and on about how fabulous and perfect her life is....what are you trying to prove?  It's as if life is a race to her and she has to win.  I just sit there and don't say anything in response, thinking she'll eventually stop bragging if I don't feed into it, but she just keeps on talking!  It's really quite impressive.

Another couple of friends leave me out of everything.  Either we are not as close as I thought we were, or they are incredibly insensitive.  Maybe both.  It's just so emotionally draining.  I'm tired of going out of my way to keep up with them over the years just to feel like I've been punched in the stomach when I find out that once again, I'm the only person to be left out of a get together.  I have too many instances where this has happened to list.  Someone tell me, are we in junior high school?

I've met some incredibly fantastic friends in New Orleans though.  Girls who have been genuinely happy for my success and have been there for me during hard times.  They know more about my life now than anyone else.  I always say how much I'm going to miss New Orleans when we move for fellowship next month, but I'm more sad to be moving before I've had a chance to really get to know a few of these ladies.  Not going to lie, it gives me some anxiety.  We'll only be at Jeff's fellowship for 1 year and that's really not much time to meet new people and develop friendships before packing up and moving again.  It just gets harder.  I think maybe the hardest part of this medical journey for me is feeling very "temporary" in all aspects of life- living arrangements, furniture, jobs, and friendships.

Have you ever had to just move on from old friendships that were doing you more harm than good?  Do you have any tips for meeting new people in new cities?




9 comments:

  1. I was scrolling through my bloglovin app getting before bed when I read this post and felt so compelled to comment because I understand exactly what you are saying in this post.

    It IS harder to make friends after college and I think it's because it takes so much more time and effort. Like you said, in college, you eat/sleep/breathe the same exact life as those around you and as a result, friendships form fast and effortlessly.

    After I graduated college in 2008, my friendships went through some pretty big changes, but it all ended up being for the better. At the time it was terribly painful and I eventually ended up cutting two friend I'd known for a long time out of my life. As difficult as it was, having a "friendship" with these two women had become so hard and unnatural. Truly, they had become toxic friendships, it just took me a long time to realize it. It was scary and I remember thinking that maybe I'd never have friendships like those that I thought I was losing.

    During that time of "losing friendships" I was in grad school and had gotten to know 3 of my classmates pretty well. I just remember when we graduated, I felt the same way about my grad school friends that you seem to feel about your New Orleans friends- I just wished I had more time. We all moved away, but we still talk occasionally and we've all met new friends in our new cities, just like you will wherever you and Jeff end up next.

    I think changing friendships is one of the hardest parts about growing up, especially for women. Sometimes change in friendships is so hard to understand and accept. And sometimes friendships just end. But the more people I talk to, the more it seems that so many women experience a variant of this and somehow that makes it easier, for me at least.

    Anyway, sorry this is so long and scattered, but I just wanted to write and say that I TOTALLY get where you are coming from and I hope that whatever you decide to do with your friendships, you do and don't regret. I can honestly say that ending a couple of old friendships was one of THE best things that I did for my own happiness. Good luck!!!

    - Holly

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've ended friendships over them getting into drugs or putting me down all the time and it's hard even when it's over something like that. If a friendship is exhausting you instead of fulfilling you, I'd say consider dropping it. It is better to feel whole and alone than with people who break you.

    As for making friends, try signing up for a gym or cooking class or ask Facebook friends to connect you with others in the city. It will feel outside your comfort zone but we've all been there!


    -Elle

    ReplyDelete
  3. I hear you, making friends after moving so far from every single person you know is so tough! I had my first baby while my DrH was an intern and I think it helped because I got to meet other new mommies through various sources. Then moving from them several years later was tough again. On the bright side, moving away from the toxic friends is a blessing.

    Just go out and have fun and enjoy the time being. I think spouses of doctors know how to handle being alone very well!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Amen Chrissie. I agree that one of the hardest parts is knowing the potential that one or all legs of the journey could mean relocation. It's hard enough settling into a life as it is. Knowing its temporary, while it can be a fun adventure, is emotionally tiring. I have tried to look at it like we are making the most of it while we are here even if its not forever. It's helped me get through it - feeling like we are living to the fullest in place we know we won't be in forever. The friendships that are meant to be shouldn't be so exhausting or negative for you. And it is totally OK to distance yourself. The ones that are worth keeping will grow even if you aren't in the same zip code. Just enjoy the people you want to be around because those are the ones that are worth it!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think cutting relationships is one of those milestones that is hard to swallow, especially if you are the sentimental type (I tend to be). I have done it a couple of times, and it has never been easy. Friendships should be mutually beneficial. Friends are part of what makes life so great because they are there for "you" and you can be there for them. If it isn't reciprocated, than it isn't genuine friendship. Spend your time cultivating relationships that can withstand the test of time and circumstances. I know it is hard when you feel like every move is temporary, but one of my dearest friends I only lived in the same city with for three years.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Not going to lie to you....since college it's been DAMN hard finding friends and since medical school graduation it's been even harder keeping them. Most women are incredibly insecure and competitive with themselves and their friends. Even the one's who are very accomplished and have no business envying anyone else's life...those are the one's to watch out for. If you are comfortable in your own skin you are part of the 0.00001% of society (regardless of your looks, intelligence or size of your bank account). I have found a few diamonds in the ruff but it's hard and it takes years. I would definitely use social networking (friends of friends, nieces/daughters of mom's friends) to help you navigate social waters in your new city(s). Maybe Jeff will have other ortho folks that have cool wives you get along with. My life was really empty and lonely before I became a mom...and then I was a mom and it was STILL very empty and lonely. However now that my oldest is in school (she is in nursery school) I have made some very superficial friends (I wouldn't call them friends, just acquaintances who don't really like me/I don't really like them but are nice to my face bc our daughter's love each other- but hey they are civil-) to say hello to in passing. I can't wait for residency to be over. I've got high hopes for moving back to the south and making friends but it could all just be a pipe dream to get me through these last couple of years. Organized religion is a great place to find people if that's your cup of tea. Some people like Junior League (I do not). Fellowship year is very hard on people who had a nice network during residency. Then there's the real world... it will take time but you will find people. Good to cut out the toxic friendships out of your life. I had no choice but to cut them out with the personal and career hardships of medical school and residency. We basically do not speak to anyone from before medical school...not because we are snobs but because our lives have gone in different directions. We are content with our kids and sleepless nights and long for those days of sleeping in and drinking before noon bc we want to and CAN. it's a balance and a trade off. Congrats on moving on from those hurtful people. Just remember when one door closes another opens...so cliche yet so true!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I really relate to everything that you wrote! I would definitely not continue associating with people who want to compete with you. It is just not worth your time! For me, I went through an incredible loss/gain of friendships after having a baby while still in graduate school. My schedule was tight, and I ended up offending some people without realizing it. But, I had friends stand by me even though I was not always a great friend to them. They are definitely the keepers. I am sure you will do great in your 1-year transition. Don't be afraid to invite people over (if you have time). A year is still enough time to make some friends. :) Best of luck to you Chrissie!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I miss friends....they make life worth living....someone to pour your heart to,bitch,gossip,reveal your innermost thoughts without the fear of getting judged.As we get older we make fewer close friends.Something just doesn't click. So I keep calling some of my old friends when I am in desperate need for a soul talk.

    However desperate I may be, I would rather keep away from frenemies..you know...the kind of enemy who pretends to be your friend.Being highly intuitive I can sense people from a mile.But I am also careless, which means I ignore my intuition and fall into trouble.

    I have had the bad fortune to be in touch with a few such people.One such friend was always in serious financial trouble and asking for loans.And I was always bailing her out. Instead of getting my money back, I would see new appliances, new dresses, latest mobiles etc in her home.Thats when I started distancing myself.

    Another one was a very negative character, you know the kind who finds a blemish on the moon...We parted ways once..now again we got back in touch.She is the kind who serves horsegram curry for you when you visit her, but expects nothing but cutlets,butter chicken and mutton stew when she visits you. And packs whatever she can find in your house to take to her home.Instead of buying it in a supermarket.Stingy as hell......There was one option to do...Unfriend on facebook.And I did.Now I no longer have to see her crazy negative status updates...

    ReplyDelete

What do you think?