I had a conversation with a friend over the weekend that included the following:
I said, "The thing is, if you need help? Or if you are hurt and need something? You have to tell me."
My friend said, "Oh, right, because that's what YOU do."
Friend: One. Me: Zero.
People like me love the internet because it both is and isn't public. I spend quite a bit of my life in my own head, which can be both awesome and intensely uncomfortable. Online, I can puzzle things out or talk about the things that are happening and reach out to people without having to, you know, reveal more than I want to. That's the problem with interacting face to face -- you might accidentally confess more than you intend.
It's not really a problem.
It's a problem that I think it's a problem.
And it's a problem when you expect the people you love to rely on you, to know that they can, if you don't trust them enough to rely on them. It makes them feel useless or, worse, like a project. If there's one thing I hate, it's someone who wants to "fix me" -- and if there's another that I hate, it's the notion that someone might think that I'm trying to "fix" her or him.
People are not machines. I am not a mechanic.
But my friend was right. For our friendship -- for any relationship -- to work, you have be worthy of the receipt of trust? And you also have to extend it. If you're going to extend a hand to help? You also have to be able to reach out FOR it. Especially when your friend is saying, very openly, that it makes her/him feel useless when you don't. Especially when they tell you, flat out, that they need you to trust them as much as they trust you.
I think that, before that conversation, I missed seeing how arrogant it is to believe that you can solve all of your problems AND everyone else's, and never to ask for or accept help, and how small people feel when you brush their kindnesses aside -- not because you don't love them and appreciate their gestures, but because you don't know HOW to accept them.
This all makes me feel like an idiot.
I HATE feeling like an idiot.
I promised to try, though. My friend also promised to try. I guess trying is all we can do and keep on doing.
And maybe next time we talk, our conversations will be about what lifts us up, and not what holds us down.