Saturday, January 31, 2009
Equal Social Partnership
You know that person. That friend that ALWAYS makes you come over to their house to hang out but will not dare to step outside for fear of leaving their apartment. You have gone over there the last 4 weekends in a row and even better they ask you to pick up the beverages- oh! and while you're at it, can you bring that amazing movie they've never seen? The term I have for these people is "One-way"...as in "She is a such a one-way". These are also those people you know who make you wait by your cell phone until they decide they won't be lazy and will actually meet you or follow through on the plans that you made together. If you've ever had the experience of getting a text 30 minutes before you are supposed to meet and they ask if you can postpone it a few hours because they just got up and then a few hours later when you are supposed to meet, they text you asking if you can reschedule. Therefore, wasting your entire day and making it impossible for you to make plans with anyone else. If you understand this then you will probably agree with me when I say:
Marriages are not the only equal partnerships. Roommates, buddies, bros, girlfriends, and friends with benefits all have expected obligations. Whether or not you are tired or its just SO cold outside, I believe that reciprocation is essential. You may not feel like going deep into Brooklyn at 1:30am when the train is messed up but if you said you would stop by and they did ask you several weeks prior, I feel like you should go -especially if last week they took the same journey to your neck of the woods. Moreover, when you are meeting a friend for lunch, why is it fair that you venture closer to where they are as opposed to meeting somewhere in the middle? Now granted, you may want to try a spectacularly Zagat rated restaurant which is just closer to them or there are extenuating circumstances and other obligations that make it necessary for them to stay in their area. But my point is that this should not be a reoccurring phenomenon. Even if one of your neighborhoods is slightly dull and yours is trendy, if you are going to just chill- it shouldn't matter. One more item is that switching off payment for beverages or splitting the cost of whatever you're doing is essential. That's part of being a good friend.
But what do you say to the person that doesn't realize what they're doing? How can you express your frustration that you bend over backwards and you would like some reciprocation, without a guilt trip or causing tension? It could possibly be as simple as saying "Hey, I've come over your place very often- can you come over here this time?". This is easier said than done but at least you are expressing some of your frustration.
1) If you read this and feel like you are a "one-way", try calling some friends whom you realize you've done this to and make it up to them. The next few chill sessions are perfect opportunities for revitalizing your image. Also, acknowledge what you've done and apologize.
2) Call the "one-way" out. You need to stand up for yourself and your wallet. Transportation, drinks, food, movies all add up- financially and the frustration builds up inside. These aren't terrible people. They just may not realize. This is a good reality check for them to know you've actually been amazing.
3) What are some times you've been a "one-way" or experienced what it felt to have a friend as one? Post your experiences or the results of the mission on BreTSa and share. Maybe your approach will help someone else.