The Gap

I’m not a child but I’ve had imaginary friends. They are flesh and blood humans; needy, self centred, fickle individuals who vanished when I needed them. I’m an advocate of neediness and vulnerability. You can’t build meaningful relationships without these two important elements. I’ve done my fair share of giving to needy others and I’m sorry but sitting with me at a meal is not the same as supporting me.

I’m not a child, so I don’t want plastic friends. Miserly, grasping, superficial people who only care about your net worth. One plastic friend is loved by the manager in her employ. He is the description of what she says a man should do and be for her. She trusts him implicitly. She won’t be with him because in her fantasy scenario she pays him a salary and if they get together he can’t afford to buy her expensive gifts.

It’s crazy. Her dream is to build a branch of her business in Spain. She has everything she needs to start right now, including a partner like him to stand in for her. Instead of expanding her brand, she’s holding out for an imaginary friend and lover who owns an island near Bali.

She can’t have him (and his moneymaking island) because he’s the plaything of a different plastic woman.

It is good to be self centred. Discipline and diligence are two positive effects of an inward focus. We can’t achieve anything meaningful without putting our best interests first. I am alive today because I excluded things that weren’t good for me.

People aren’t things. Real life situations are messy and we negotiate our way out of tight spots together. We give each other the benefit of the advantage and ask questions when things seem out of place. Trust and mutual respect are key elements at play. I say, take a spill but I’ll be there for you when you get back on your feet. The Winans would call it standing in the gap for a friend.

Avoid me when I’m physically ill; say “ignore that” because you don’t want to hear what I’m feeling, and so on. Then call up when another imaginary plastic person mistreats you. You’ll find that this time around, I have no time to spare.

95 thoughts on “The Gap

  1. Yes, plastic friends are not worth your time. I can’t get away fast enough from the people who only care about using me. Even though it is disappointing to find out someone is a plastic friend, I have not lost hope that there are real friends for me out there. I have been fortunate to find a few so far even though it has taken a long time for me to meet some of them.

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    1. Thank you for reading. This post was personal and I wrote it because I think that people crawl into a shell and hide there thinking the world is a harsh, hostile place. However, I realise that to enjoy good friendships, we have to offer what we want to have in return. Friendships are an ongoing project. They need nurturing, care and attention not just to others but to ourselves.

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      1. You are welcome. 🙂 Yes, I agree. I think friendship involves a mutually beneficial exchange of ideas and support. I also think real friends look out for each other and are considerate of the other person.

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      2. Thank you. Your point just now came across during dinner yesteray evening. I invited a friend who was going through a personal crisis to join my social group with my friends. She spent the entire meal correcting my manners. It was embarrassing because we are there to let our hair down and escape the strict formalities of the culture. One of my friends got so tired of it, he turned DJ and selected some loud jazz music to drown her out. Now, that guy was sensitive to my pain. He’s a friend.

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  2. Amazing read!

    I too believe that self-centredness is an integral part of human nature and should not be suppressed. However, like you said, relationships are not one-sided but a trade of sorts, and selfishness is not excuse for ignoring the needs of the other person. My grasp: you’re saying that a real friend should cater to both her needs and your needs, and I couldn’t agree more. Empathy and understanding should take centre stage in any relationship.

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    1. Thank you for understanding and for adding your thoughts. I always tell people to believe in themselves and to not let others bring them down. I have feelings, too. But I feel that often, these people forget that they’re talking to a human being.

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  3. What an interesting read, I’m truly blessed to have some friends from when I was little still in my life. And even luckier to have meet some lovely friends in college, work etc. however I expect ALOT from my friends, meet up regular, no phoning in a friendship with me! Quality wins.. Luckily my girls mostly feel the same and the ones that don’t just float along oblivious to the close connection that are missing x

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  4. I have had more than plastic friends. I had a plastic love. That’s why i’m not on fb anymore, that’s where it all started. Ever since, I have learned how much real people can give you, but only if you’re ready to take, and that’s the most difficult part of the job. Thank you for your beautifully focusing post, as always. And happy belated b-day, by the way. XO, HC 😉

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  5. This is touching. True friends are hard to find , I always keep my friends close because sometimes they are the only ones who can make you smile.

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    1. This is true and it is true that too often we take the really great people in our lives for granted. When we need them, they might decide to no longer bother with us. Thank you for reading.

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  6. Well writen! 🙂 Along my journey I’ve found out that true friends are hard to come by.
    It’s a give and take relationship. In my experience a friendship is tested in difficult times.
    I truly enjoy reading your writings!

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  7. I like your perspective here and strength you display at the end. This post also contains that signature wisdom of yours that I always enjoy reading so much. Hope you have a lovely day 🙂

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      1. thanks, I would like to think we could be friends, but most often true friendship is never revealed until shared work or hardship arises. And who wishes for hardship for anyone.

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  8. That last part is what I find hard to do. I now it’s logically right but I still find myself unable to not help someone in need, regardless of what they did to me in the past. I always used to say, “They do what they do because of what they are, I do what I do because of what I am.” I’m learning, slowly, painfully, to unlearn this. I don’t want to waste time on plastics. Unfortunately, modern plastics are quite like real skin. ☺

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    1. This is the problem I have been having, but after I spent my birthday alone (this past Saturday) I felt it was time to change a few things around. Thanks for weighing in. Isn’t this sort of thing that pulls us down, though, the constant leeching of energy from our soul to theirs to hoist them up and be left on the ground. No more.

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      1. I know. The sad part of it is that logically I always knew it to be true, and fool that I am, I never realised I was doing it, helping people without getting anything in return. People like us are truly mad. :-D😃

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    2. Ha ha….yes. ultimately we’re all made to be real. The plastics just haven’t been tempered in the firey furnace yet. They need our help to jump in and embrace their vulnerability. …then realness can bloom.

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      1. HBN will appreciate your comment very much. As for me, I love the way you put it. It’s hard for me to remember that people will end up learning their lessons. They seem to get away with so much.

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  9. Trust and mutual respect! Yess they are what i want to be important to everyone!And the way you described it i am glad I have got such friends who would stand in a gap for me! 🙂

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    1. We all need them and yes, it is a give and take. Sometimes you need to take more than you give but when the time comes, you have to put out. This is where the trust part never gets repaid. Thanks so much Izza, I’m happy to have your thoughts here.

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    1. Thank you for this reblog, LBFB, aka RAS. I’m glad you had a good read and I particularly enjoyed your magazine cover girl share. It sounds like my Wednesday nights. xo

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  10. Nice post! I always like to think that all the people that I know both on the internet and in real life, are my friends. Unfortunately, I also know that that’s not the case. There are people who just made “friends” with you because it would benefit them. However, when the time comes that you need their help, then they would just disappear like a mirage…

    I don’t care even if I would only have very few friends as long as they are all real. I just don’t have the time and patience to deal with fake friends.

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    1. Agreed. I want real friends. My flesh and blood ones that aren’t in my iPad are non starters. I had to take to my blog the last time I had a serious injury and needed hospitalisation. I’ve had enough of being there with no returns on my investment of emotional support not to mention the stress of listening to all of those horrible stories. It’s not juicy gossip I’m listening to. It’s high stakes drama. Thank you as always for your support.

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  11. Honestly, it sounds like you are always the good friend, and then this other person has fake friends to do fake crap with, then when the fake friends fail, then you, the real loyal true friend. Saves the day. I am taking inventory of all friends right now, some are being moved to acquaintances, some to “oh I am going to pretend I don’t know or recognize you, even if you call my name”! I think people truly believe “friend” is a status on Facebook, and have long forgotten what the true meaning is, so glad I don’t have that crap. NIBSIH.

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    1. Thank you so much for weighing in here. I’m about to write to a friend, a true friend, that she needs to be cutthroat with people from now on as she’s rebuilding her life. It’s too short from this point onwards to waste it on this shyte. Congratulations on taking inventory. We really do not have a clue what a friend is these days. I’m planning to do the same and demand value. xo

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      1. I wrote a reply, hit send – ugh stupid iPhone must of ate it!

        Anyway, I live in the same stupid town I grew up in, I know it’s tedious. I know tons of people, unfortunately, I have 10 friends, maybe. I don’t twit, FB, IG. This and Pintrest is about it for social media. I just have no interest in fakery, my ex-husband has that part of my life down pat! 😡

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      2. Hiya this is the only one I received. Thanks so much for weigjng in. I don’t fb or ig either and that’s because all of my imaginary plastic friends are addicted to them.

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      3. My son who is 11, says “IG is for people who can’t read”. My daughter 14 has both, along with kik, Snapchat, and all the other BS, I am hoping she grows out of this narcissistic phase. Again it’s one thing when your 14, it’s another when your 34, 44 years of age. BLEH!

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      4. That’s interesting, what your son says. Your daughter may grow out of it but from experience with my sister, they might just be wired that way. I don’t understand 34 year olds sticking bottom photos on IG. It’s kind of giggle making. x SB

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      5. My theory, when a women is 22-24, she is the most beautiful she will ever be. Most women do not understand, you must fight growing old within reason, being healthy, taking care of yourself, etc. Class, elegance and character never become outdated. Unfortunately some women feel the need to compete with 22-24 year old girls, I know mind boggling. There will always be someone who is younger, skinnier, more beautiful than you, life is not a shallow competition of physical beauty, I personally would rather be the smartest girl in the room than the prettiest. It’s who you are which makes one beautiful, not so much what you look like.
        NIBSIH:/

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      6. I agree with this sentiment wholeheartedly. There is too much competing and it’s always the men that win, because we are the ones who torture ourselves and do more and more depraved things, thinking that our sexiness will win over the other women, when the men are watching gladiators in an arena. It’s all the same to them. The most superficial men I’ve ever met dump their pretty girlfriends and marry plain janes anyway because they don’t want to be upstaged by a beautiful woman, so I don’t pay attention to them. They’re pathetic.

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      7. I don’t believe this, I think it’s because men believe they have to constantly compete with other men to hold their loves heart. Women are just as fickle too, they see a good man, but rather have someone they can “fix”. Oh please. Lifetime movie!

        NIBSIH

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      8. I had to do this. Cut away the dross for survival. Much better for it. True friends don’t neeed you. ..but they want to be with you when they’re happy. I’m learning this. Definitely quality over quantity. Yes it’s less is more. The less I neeed anybody the more I can love everyone. …but they are not gonna waste mt time anymore. Kinda grrr about it still. Wounds of dependency still healing. Feel much freer now. Love your cerebral style. 🙂

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      9. Thank you so much for saying this. Sometimes we do need to put our foot down for our own psychological well being. I’m glad you’re happier with the updated version of yourself.

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      10. Thank you, Phoebe, you’ve really encouraged me so much. Incidentally, I can’t seem to get to your blog by clicking on the link in my reader. Would you be good enough to copy the link here from your browser.

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  12. p.s. and, to prove it, let me tell you that I had an imaginary friend awhile ago who only called to go to dinner. She’d jabber on manically thru the whole meal, and then whip out the magazine upon whose front cover she had just appeared. She didn’t want a friend; she wanted an “APPLAUSE” sign. And, I was n.o.t. her girl.

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      1. Just jumping in here – I honestly believe we have a right to be selfish (as opposed to self-centered) because; how can we make someone else happy if we’re not making ourselves happy. In the long run, we’ll only become resentful, and it will cost us more emotionally than we’re willing to spend 🙂

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      2. Thanks, and that’s what I mean by being self centred. I think everyone has a different interpretation of the words but for me a self centred person is centred on their own goals and is aware of their emotional set points. A person like that doesn’t seek out people to fill the gaps and therefore discard them when the situation turns around.

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      3. Unfortunately, there are times when we can become so obsessed with our own lives, that we forget other people may need a little kindness and as humans we really just need to think about; how we treat one another. Take care hon ❤ x

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