A friend I didn’t know very well asked if she could stay with me. She’s from another country, has no one in this world but herself and a handful of other friends who care about her. She’s utterly alone in this world – no family, no one.
I can’t go into the details of how we met. And it’s not the story. I want to focus on selfishness, how much we are really willing to give, and how much we are able to love.
Over the phone, she is lively, chatty, and goes into much detail about her life. I listen, but I’m really only half there. I feel no nexus with her world. We are so different. She’s not seen too much of the world and is oblivious to social norms. If I was rude, I would describe her as country. Uncultured. Sometimes, there are things that she says or does during our meals together that embarrass me.
I listen to her rants part out of pity, part duty, part friendship. I know she has few who she can turn to, and every bit of support matters. But I also know that because life has been hard, she is resourceful. She will ask even when it is inappropriate, and push for whatever she can get.
I don’t know her too well. We’ve met a handful of times. But she marked me as a BFF. She wants to be in parts of my life where I don’t necessarily want her to be. She calls often. But I’m not always ready to listen.
Is this selfishness? Is knowing that you don’t really click with someone and wanting to distance yourself from them selfish? What if they are in need? What if, by their definition of help, it means to provide them with shelter, let them take your personal space, and time? What if you’re not ready to give that?
Am I too selfish to say no? Was she too bold to ask in the first place?
I’m no saint. I’ve put my foot down. Because while I want to be nice I also know myself – certain people rub me the wrong way. Currently, she is one of them.
My happiness comes first.
Do you have a story on this issue to share? Have you offered to help someone only to regret it later?