"One cannot be betrayed if one has no people." - Kobayashi in The Usual Suspects
For better or for worse, there is something interesting about finding out people you have known for a long time or even a short time do not really like you. Or say they do like you, but for awhile there, it was touch and go. What makes it ever more interesting is that these people have friends that you know who are way more abrasive or selfish or generous then you have ever been. People you would never call in an emergency or even for dinner. But that is life, no?
Dynamics between people are complicated and fascinating. At least that is what they say. I think it is easier than that. Some want to be the star, the main attraction. Others think they know what is best because they follow the rules. Then there are those where drama reigns supreme. We all want to shine and when we do not or get a tad eclipsed, it is easier to dislike the person than get to know them.
As I get older, I find that most people are a real pain in the ass. Myself included. One has to wonder how we have even made it this far in life? We get set in our ways or we embrace change, but then our little idiosyncrasies rear their heads and let's face it, they are not always fun ones. Maybe that is why some folks have few friends. Better to keep it limited to those who accept you as you are and forgo new allies. But that is not always safe either. Some of your dearest and nearest may find ways to pick on your little faults or character deficits. They claim it is to "help you" but in reality it is a behavior or trait they do not like and are hoping to God you finally change it.
I don't ask my friends to change anything, I believe most people don't. There are reasons why you have chosen them, including your spouse/partner, to spend time with. Sure someone may have a penchant for long winded story telling, get a little tipsy at parties or enjoy drama, but you see past that stuff. You see the kind hearts, the good souls, the charming wit. You see why you like or love these people and hang out whenever you can. Or you dislike them and choose to avoid them like the plague.
The truth is, it is hard to discover you have been the one who is odd man out. It does not hurt, it does not wound, it just is. When you get older you learn to not care, but it is sort of insulting. Then I guess you do care. But it does give you some sort of power. You become the one who can choose not to be around those that were once considered friends. Sure it may get lonely at times, but there is social networking and acquaintances. You will also still have the true friends who have taken you warts and all for a long time. Of course they always live far away be it in the same state or across country.
I included the quote from The Usual Suspects because there is a lot of truth to that statement, sad as it may be. Sometimes flying solo is safer then trying to play in the sandbox and getting told to leave after everyone has used your pail and shovel and decided it is just not good enough.