I scroll by those posts on Facebook, the ones designed to gather and sell Likes with their pithy quotes. I saw one this morning, however, that has stuck with me all day: People need to feel useful. Consider that akin to the phrase most often used during tragedy: “If there’s anything I can do to help, let me know.” I think this hits the nail on the head as far as some of my relationships go, and one relationship in particular. I don’t feel useful to that person anymore. They don’t need my skills, my input, or really my presence. I don’t think we have any animosity, but I don’t feel like they need me for anything at all. I guess that’s why I’m not included in much of their life anymore.
On the other extreme is being used. Some people will take all that you give, and then take more. I’ve had relationships where I wanted people to like me, so I gave of myself, only to realize later that they were just using me to get what they needed without providing me with anything in return.
So I am not advocating people who are users. But think about those in your life, what skills they have, and whether you’ve taken them up on their offers lately. While some friends haven’t needed me around, others have asked for me to join them but I’ve been too busy to take part. So I’m making an effort at carving out some time for those who appreciate having me around, and will attempt to worry less about those who don’t.