When we spoke to Page from Poly.Land a few weeks back, she discussed how since being polyamorous and developing her ability to enjoy compersive feelings, this had not only occurred with romantic relationships but also with friends. That conversation has been rattling around my brain lately, as I pondered the question; Do we build our friends up or do we tear them down?
I think everyone’s instant reaction would be ‘of course I don’t tear my friends down’, probably with a certain level of outrage for it even being suggested. Which I get, I don’t want to think I ever do that either. However, do we always support people as fully as we can, especially if their endeavours may outshine our own?
At the weekend myself and Bakji went to our local peer rope group. So many of our friends were doing awesome rope, suspending partners, suspending friends and even suspending themselves. Me? I was rolling around on the floor with Bakji randomly tying rope in any old fashion and generally having a giggle with it (see picture for the resulting randomness of tying one human to another). No part of me felt crap about that though, in fact I got all the happy feels seeing them all do so well. Sure I could have sat there and somehow made it their fault that I haven’t learned as much rope as them, but quite frankly that’s the dumbest thing ever. Yet some people still go down that road.
We also have friends who run small businesses, write blogs, record podcasts and run fetish events. Promoting #ProudToBeKinky takes up a huge amount of my time, but where I can I promote and support my friends endeavours too. I do this because I believe in my friends, and I want them to succeed. I don’t sit there coming up with dastardly plans on how to outdo them, or how to muscle in on their success. I guarantee someone is sat reading this thinking ‘who would do that?’, people, that’s who. Sometimes I wonder if they realise they’re doing it.
I have come to realise though that not everyone is like this. Some people seem to actively hope others will fail, or that some kind of unpleasant situation will befall them. Just in case that person’s success overshadows their own, or maybe out of envy that their own situation isn’t where they want it to be. I’ve seen people keep resources to themselves to hinder other people’s learning and I’ve witnessed people downplay other people’s good news, even when they’re the smallest of wins.
I’ve been on the receiving end of these things too, and I’ve sat there thinking to myself, ‘do they know their comment comes of as, ‘oh that, that’s nothing’’. Even though I delivered the news with a bouncy excitement, so clearly to me it was something. I’ve also had people think it’s their place to pass negative comments or twisted observations on my relationship, be it a past or a present one. In a moment when I wasn’t asking for input. So I’m basically sat there going ‘what the fuck?, why would you say that?’
I’m not saying I’m perfect, I’m not. I do get that feeling when someone I’m less than fond of is doing something I want to do, or even doing something I’m not but their a roaring success at whatever it is. It’s that ‘urgh why them’, type thought. But you know what, I always check myself, before I wreck myself. Before you ask, yes, I am totally cool enough to use that phrase. The reason I don’t dwell on those thoughts and let them manifest is why shouldn’t someone else have good things, just because we maybe had a falling out, or we don’t get along for other reasons. That’s no reason for me to wish them anything but good luck in life. Also I think holding onto that level of negativity settles inside you and ends up poisoning your own life.
When people let those ‘why them’ type thoughts not only take root, but allow it against their own friends, I find that somewhat baffling. Failing at something, or having a bad experience can have really horrid long terms effects for some people. Not everyone is good at bouncing back. For creative endeavours especially it can be really disheartening if you think no one is interested in what you’re putting out there. That’s why I’m always so grateful to those people who stop by my blog and read my thoughts, and to those who press the like button or leave a comments, that’s even more awesome. To know you’re not speaking to the void is a lovely feeling.
I find I end up distancing myself from those people who constantly seem to have negative things to say about their friends, I’m always left wondering ‘what on earth to they say about me when I’m not here?’ Are they hoping my endeavours will fail too? Or that my relationship will crumble? I work damn hard on all those things, so the fact that anyone could be hoping for their demise is really quite annoying. Especially as I would never do them the same disservice.
Through the podcast and also this blog, the list of people I’m willing to champion has grown. We’ve connected with so many awesome people, and they’ve all got their own voice and their own messages to share, and in some cases products to sell.
The next paragraph that was previously here contained a list of podcasts and blogs that I was keen to share with my readers, when I removed all the now non-existent sites I wasn’t left with a lot, so instead I would like to forward you to my #SoSS Archives which contains my Share our Shit Saturday posts which is all about promoting and sharing the work of other bloggers.