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 Post subject: Friends and the Four Agreements
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 10:34 am 
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I've had a situation that's been bugging me for awhile and it finally occured to me to really try to process them through the Four Agreements. I've also been wondering if anyone else has had a similar problem when it comes to some of their friends.

I have a particular friend I just adore, we'll call her M. M is also in academia, as I am, but in a different field and she is of much higher rank than I. Nevertheless, we've been friends for years and she's been there for me through some of mine and my partner's most difficult moments.

My problem is I am plagued with inadequacy issues with her. If I see her in public, I avoid her and assume she doesn't want to speak to me. She must think I'm bugging her. To a degree, she allows her insecurities to make her think the same, so she'll stay away from me as well. This just compounds my paranoia. I just never feel like she could possibly want to spend time with me. Meanwhile, she has gotten very, very close to my partner (don't make assumptions, Falconess).

Her recent email response to me was very dry and in some ways condescending, although that's her brand of humor. At the moment, I'm horribly conflicted by the need to just say "Fine, I bother her, I'll leave her alone" and the knowledge that she probably meant nothing by it.

"Don't take anything personally" and "Don't make assumptions" are screaming at me in this scenario, but they're so hard to live by.

Has anyone else had these inadequacy issues with good friends? How did you overcome them?

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 Post subject: Re: Friends and the Four Agreements
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 10:59 am 
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Hey, Falconess.

The Agreements can be very hard to live by in certain situations. But they can make great sense if you play the scenarios out along the path. Even this tricky one of yours.

I tend to think of opposites when I see problems for the first time. So I did with your post. The thought that jumped immediately to mind involves a DBT gimmick they call Taking Opposite Action. The thought was that if your friend has been open about shared afflictions, this could be an opportunity for you to share an enjoyable opposite action. Some structured time together to celebrate the fact that this bug causes you both to avoid each other at times. There is a kinda funny odd side to it after all, and this could be a chance to use it to bring you closer together and could well open the door for some conversation about your concerns re your partner.

Strange thought, but it it holds some promise for you, have at it.


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 Post subject: Re: Friends and the Four Agreements
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 11:31 am 
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That is really an interesting idea. So I allow our insecurities to be a medium for conversation?

I'm hoping that I'm following the train correctly, so bear with me and help me out! Would the correct response to her email then, be to joke about the insecurity in context of the semi-offensive joke she'd opened her last email with? Could I use that to lighten the situation and possibly diffuse the feeling that I was bothering her?

After writing my last post, also, I realized that she make have been genuinely irritated in her last email. Although it's a complex situation, I think I can summarize... I'm more or less alright with her closeness to my partner, and I genuinely don't want to ward her off. Unfortunately, I accidentally did last Saturday, an incident she joked about in the email. She's taking my partner out today and condescendingly joked about that as well, as how she probably won't have much fun.

So I'm at this crossroads... I want to stay her friend, I want her to like me. I want her to feel comfortable with me in regards to my partner. Meanwhile, my BPD is raging that I should just exit the situation entirely and tell myself no one really cares.

I feel like I haven't had this much drama since college. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Friends and the Four Agreements
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 11:37 am 
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I'd say my idea is to focus on and strengthen the long relationship you have with your friend. Deal with the things you already have in common, and avoid the other issues completely until you strengthen the relationship to the point that it feels very safe to deal with them or it comes up spontaneously and safely somehow in the future.


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 Post subject: Re: Friends and the Four Agreements
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 8:48 pm 
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I've had problems in certain activities with thinking that someone who is better at it, or has more knowledge than me, isn't interested in being friends with me. A lot of times, that is so. They don't have the time. I accept that and accept whatever morsels they have to share with me. I don't let them intimidate me. Just because they have put more time in, doesn't mean a thing. I think there's a belief in oneself a person has to achieve, to work for that and know that GSTAR (given sufficient time and resources), you can also be there.

I would obviously wonder what it was that she and my partner shared. I would ask him, and be full-on in-the-know concerning their relationship. I would also let him know how I felt concerning her and the way she came across, and ask him what he thought about it. In fact, this would be a big issue for us, right now, until he explained what she could've meant by her e-mail. He is the source to ask when it comes to her actions, he knows what she could've meant. Get his ideas and then go from there.

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