Friendships – When You Are Not The Starring Role

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“It almost seems like a joke to play out the part, when you are not the starring role in someone else’s heart” –  Marina and The Diamonds(Starring role)

I fell in love with Marina and the Diamonds when I first heard her song Lonely Hearts Club. The song didn’t exactly apply to me at the time, but it made me wonder how people felt about going into relationships and giving their hearts out. About how some people already felt the relationships would go bad before it even started. Thus, some of these kind of people never fully devote themselves and when things go awry, they go like “I knew it!”. Others who devote themselves and still end up hurt, well, sort of carry the baggage into the next relationship, comparing, withholding, forgetting that this one is different from the last.

So one day while I was listening to her Starring Role, it made me think of how we get so down when people don’t treat us the way we feel we deserve to be treated. Take for example, friendships. Throughout the course of your life, you tend to meet different kinds of people that introduce you to unique set of experiences. Some of them interesting, some not so much, some hurtful, some downright regretful; nevertheless, they are experiences all the same. Despite the experiences, you find yourself connecting on different levels with these different people. Some of which, you have a deeper connection with concerning different aspects of life compared to others. In essence, there are some friends who you always need around to have fun with, then there are some that are there when you need someone to talk to but you never think to call them when it’s time for a party, then there are some you can have both fun and have deep meaningful conversations with. There are different examples, and different categories we unconsciously place people. I can’t list them all, but I just want you to know I’m headed with this.

Back when I was in school, I had people that only remembered me when they wanted their assignments or projects done. In the beginning, It sucked. I knew they were never really my friends. In fact, I knew some of them only kept up with me so that whenever they needed my help, I would have to help them. However, despite my knowledge of the true situation, I never thought of not helping them. In fact, I got used to the situation and enjoyed it while it lasted. This is because though I did not have a deeper connection with these people, it was nice having them in my life even if it was for a while. The fact that I never knew them on a personal level or they didn’t want to have this personal connection, did not make them bad people. It was a perfectly realistic situation.

The thing is, we can’t expect people to connect with us on levels we want them to. It is not something that one must make happen, it  has to happen naturally.

Have you ever had a friend that only calls you when they need something? or no matter how nice you treat the person, the person has refused to open up in ways you would like them to? Do you have a friend that treats their other friends better than they treat you, even when you know in times of need you are always the one who helps out compared to these ‘other’ friends? Do you have someone you just like naturally, but whenever you call or visit, they act like you’re disturbing them?

So what do you do when you treat someone like a star, yet they treat you like a fan? You just want to be their friend because there is something about them you like, yet they don’t feel the same way. Ofcourse, after a while you start to feel stupid and you are inclined to move on. It is innate in all humans to want to receive the equal amount of love and care we give to a person. The sad part is, it is not always possible in all cases. Sometimes it takes time for it to happen, but not all of us are that patient. Sometimes it takes a circumstance for the person to appreciate the attention you give them. Other times, they just don’t return it no matter what you do.

So rephrasing the question I asked earlier, why play the part of a ‘best friend’ when the person doesn’t see you as one? Or doesn’t treat you like one?

This ‘connection’ I’ve been talking about can be likened to different scenarios of a phone call. There are some times when you call a person’s number but it’s busy. Sometimes  you get through to the person but the network sucks; you have to keep repeating yourself or screaming into the phone so that you can be understood by the person. Sometimes the line goes through and the person doesn’t pick so it’s redirected to voice-mail. Sometimes the line goes through and you can both hear each other clearly.

Whether we know it or not, we unconsciously prioritize the friends in our lives whether or not they’ve done something to deserve it. There is always a friend we will want to communicate with more than others, even if the person does not try to do so us as much as we do them. There is always a friend we will think of more often than other friends. This doesn’t necessarily mean we find the other friends insignificant, but rather there’s one or some friends that we feel is/are more valuable. So it hurts when the person does not prioritize you as you have prioritized them.

Marina and the Diamonds in her song said that she’d rather walk alone than play a supporting role if she can’t get the starring role. She was actually referring to a relationship when she sang this but now I bring this in the context of friendship. Idealistically, the thing to do is to give without expecting in return, as that is true love.  However, we don’t live in an ideal world. We live in a world where love is as essential as the air we breathe, it makes us feel special. Without it, we turn to stone.

Noone likes to feel unimportant. Noone likes to feel their affection is not being appreciated, or rather it’s taken for granted.

Well, I wouldn’t say I know what should be done in this kind of situation. Nevertheless, I believe we should treat our friends as equals. Even though we may have a favourite or favourites, I believe we should try as much as possible not to make it glaring to the other friends. In a way it’s demeaning, and rather discouraging. Sometimes even the person you consider as your ‘best’ friend hasn’t thought of doing some things for you that your other friends have done.

And well if you’re in the ‘other friend’ category, I don’t believe you should stop being friends with the person. Perhaps you should stop striving to be close with someone who doesn’t want to be the same with you, but rather just be a good friend. The kind of friend who’ll always be there whenever they need you.  Focus on people who readily reciprocate your affections so that don’t you don’t feel it’s all for nothing.

Finally, maybe we should stop expecting people to do for us, what we have done for them. Maybe we ought not to expect them to be willingly eager to be there for us as we would be for them. I believe this would make life a little more pleasant and would help tremendously in preventing us from getting hurt easily.

But I guess it’s a lot different when it comes to relationships right?*sigh*

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