November 2017
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why/how I make people a priority


icon: "polyamorous relationship anarchist (a rainbow-colored heart with the 'anarchy' capital letter A cutting through it, over a brick texture that suggests the heart is graffiti)"

What causes me to make someone a priority is one of two things: we decided together to deliberately build a connection, or we have an energetic connection that is unusually strong.

The first kind I do on purpose obviously, the second kind happens even when the other person puts no effort in at all. I have to try to deliberately shut that one off and when it comes to people who I feel are spirit-kin, it is as impossible for me to actually remove the impulse to make them a priority as it is for average people to not make blood kin a priority. I can keep myself from acting on it, but the urge is always there.

I actually have such a bad memory that I keep a list on my phone of people who I am currently prioritizing. It has been mostly useless for the past two months as I've been just scraping by, but I'm checking it again now.

I just took several people off the list, so it's very stripped down right now. It's usually 7-9 people but I don't have the energy within or coming in to make more people a priority right now. I think this list can help me illustrate the qualities that cause me to make someone a priority.

The list currently:

Topaz - because their company nourishes me (especially mentally and physically) & we have a shared goal of learning and creating.
Serenity - because their company nourishes me (especially spiritually) & ultimately we have an intention of becoming a community hub.
Allison - because their company nourishes me (especially artistically) & and I want a stronger friendship with them.
Sande - because their company nourishes me (especially spiritually) & I want to build a connection when that becomes possible.

They all have similar values to mine, they reach back when I reach out, they make efforts to spend time with me, and they try to stay in touch with me by reading what I share on LJ. Those aren't the only things I need to make someone a priority, but they are all necessary.

I tend to take people at their word. When I ask them if they make me a priority and they say yes, I treat all situations as though they're doing their best but other things are getting in the way. At some point though, I've got to stop acting like that's true. I want all my strong connections to be priorities but I'm sick of them forgetting that I fucking exist and not making any efforts of their own volition. I'm sick of literally everything else being more important.

So I'm not gonna do that. Right now, if you can't tell, I'm feeling angry and unimportant, especially to people who I've tried with over months and sometimes years while they put all their effort into other things, other people. At some point, they're just not valuing our connection. I shouldn't pour energy out trying to keep that connection alive. Fuck it. I should do what they're doing and treat them as part of my past not my present.

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Comments
wanderipity ══╣╠══
I agree with this. I'm recently struggling coming into terms about dropping a 15 year friendship. It's really sad.

I like authentic human connection.
belenen ══╣console╠══
I feel ya, I'm sorry you're dealing with that *offers hugs*
qwentoozla ══╣Fourth Doctor╠══
I've never really thought of my relationships in terms of prioritizing different people--I only have about 6-8 close friends anyway, so I think I would prioritize all of them, if I thought about it in those terms. But it's definitely true that friendships and relationships should be reciprocal, and it doesn't feel good when you notice that you're making all the effort with someone.
belenen ══╣confused╠══
Are you sure? most people don't put friends and family and romantic partners on the same level.
qwentoozla ══╣╠══
Yes, that's true!

Edited to add (because I was called away suddenly when I was trying to respond): Yes, of course my family members have a different level of importance to me than my friends, and romantic partners would also have a different level. But generally speaking, I don't need to consciously think about this, because the circle of people in my life is small enough that I usually have enough emotional energy for everyone. I hope that makes sense--and I apologize if I misinterpreted what you were talking about in your original post.
queerbychoice ══╣╠══
One of the very hardest lessons I've had to keep learning and re-learning in life is that whenever people's words and actions don't seem to align, it is a very, very bad idea for me to believe their words.

Unfortunately it's still the hardest thing in the world for me to absolutely refuse to believe someone I care about when they frantically plead with me to please believe them. But believing them has not tended to work out well for me.
belenen ══╣artless╠══
Unfortunately it's still the hardest thing in the world for me to absolutely refuse to believe someone I care about when they frantically plead with me to please believe them.

*nods lots* I feel ya.
jeune_fleur ══╣╠══
Ugh, I get you so much! I'm currently going through the same. I crave deep, intimate relationships and it seems that most people around me have zero interest in me whatsoever. Like, if I don't talk to them, we'll probably end up not talking at all for months D:
belenen ══╣gentle╠══
oh no *empathy* I feel ya on that. It's hard to keep giving when others don't reciprocate.
stormdog ══╣╠══
This, and some comments on this, remind me strongly of some of my own feelings about my attempts to connect with other people. So often it seems like if I don't reach out to people, I don't have any contact with them. If I'm not initiating, nothing happens.

I feel like there must be something I'm not doing just because it feels like a long enough pattern that the real constant is myself. It makes me feel like I must be bad at building the kinds of relationships I want. Which is probably true, given how much that part of my atrophied through school. But I digress; I don't want to make this about me too much.

In short, I sympathize.
belenen ══╣analytical╠══
I understand why it feels like it's you! but I don't think it is. I think honestly it is that most people don't build their friendships on purpose and it is hard for those few of us to find each other. I think the problem is systemic, partly due to the white supremacist sexist creation of the nuclear family and the myth of romance as life purpose. People do not treat friends as important because in this society friendship is not valued, bonds are not valued unless they are romantic or blood-relation.

I appreciate when people share about themselves in response to things I post -- that is my favorite kind of comment. So feel free to digress as much as you want!
volamonster ══╣descent of man╠══
This is exactly why I'm really clear about what I'm not able to offer people; I never, ever want to make anyone feel the way you're feeling now. I never want to misrepresent how much time I have for socializing. I never want to do this to anyone, especially someone I care about. I am so sorry you're going through this. :(

(Edited for typo)
belenen ══╣artless╠══
I appreciate you on that, and honestly you reach out to me unprompted more than many of my friends do, so that may illustrate the intensity. I find it really hard to believe someone when they say "if not for xyz, I would spend way more time with you" then xyz stops happening and nothing changes, not even a little.

I can understand being swept under, but when it has been months or even years without them coming to me? when I see effort being spent on loads of other things that the person tells me are not as important to them as I am? it just feels like a lie. Or at best a self-deception on their part.
ragnarok_08 ══╣AoE ★ lovely absurdity╠══
I definitely agree with you on this - it's very sobering and revealing when you see how people value you or not.
belenen ══╣analytical╠══
*nods*
illusionismine ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣confused╠══
I understand life getting in the way, I just can't deal when there is no reaching out from them for such a long time. I don't need a lot, just SOMETHING to show that they're still making an effort, that they still care. Otherwise it seems illogical to keep on waiting for things to improve.
kehleyr ══╣╠══
At some point, they're just not valuing our connection. I shouldn't pour energy out trying to keep that connection alive. Fuck it. I should do what they're doing and treat them as part of my past not my present.

Yeah I couldn't agree with you more!
belenen ══╣artless╠══
<3
meri_sielu ══╣╠══
I can empathise with your last few paragraphs but I think it's very strong and postitive that you know how much to extend your reach. You don't shut people out immediately but you are learning when to draw boundaries if you're not recieving the nourishment back you put in, that shows a level of self care that is very vital <3
belenen ══╣progressing╠══
I am really quite bad at it *wry face* Workin on it though.
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.