Pat Doesn't Need Me

Sometimes I feel like I don’t offer any­thing to Pat. I call him for advice all the time, ask him to give me rides (gro­ceries, fur­ni­ture, large items on which he bar­gains), vent to him. He grew up rely­ing on nobody but him­self, so he nev­er asks me for any favours, and I sup­pose he has Jen with whom to express his feel­ings.

Maybe this is the root of my inse­cu­ri­ty. Pat’s friend­ship with me appears dilut­ed. We’d both take a bul­let for our friends, but mine is a far more exclu­sive club than his.

Pat does­n’t need me.

But I need him.


  1. maybe its you need­ing pat that makes pat hap­py noth­ing feels bet­ter then being need­ed

  2. The thing is, you have the proof of the bond between you, since he actu­al­ly does all those things for you (and you being a sen­si­tive-enough guy would know that he does it will­ing­ly). That’s such a great under­lined con­fir­ma­tion of com­mit­ment.

    If he did­n’t do those things, then I’d wor­ry about imbal­ance. Otherwise, you should just be there if he ever needs you and leave it at that. ‑Breathe.-

  3. Rob makes a good point. Being need­ed and use­ful is a need that requires some­one to ful­fil, like glove and hand. At the same time, per­fect bal­anced turn­about of role, reci­procity in that way, is eas­i­er for me.

    I think of the sto­ry of the old cou­ple. The wife cooked and cleaned all their lives until her loss of health and then it was his turn to car­ry her in these things. Things bal­ance out if the long haul is long enough.

  4. @Rob — You’re absolute­ly right in say­ing that it’s nice to be need­ed (hence, impor­tant or sig­nif­i­cant), but Pat is far from being inse­cure. He does­n’t need some­one else to define his self-worth. On the oth­er hand, I’m inse­cure because he’s nev­er shown that I’m nec­es­sary. From grow­ing up with my cold par­ents, I’ve come to need this assur­ance from oth­er peo­ple in all my rela­tion­ships. I must make Pat hap­py in some way that I don’t real­ize. :)

    @xibee — While I agree that it’s nice that Pat does all these things for me, I can’t help but feel that he would do them for many oth­er peo­ple as well, many of whom I would nev­er con­sid­er friends, let alone help. I sup­pose it makes me feel like the ges­ture is less sig­nif­i­cant. Not that it’s not sig­nif­i­cant in itself, but less sig­nif­i­cant than my “ges­tures” since I’m only will­ing to do these things for the few who are accept­ed into my cir­cle. These things should­n’t be com­pared, but that’s my inse­cu­ri­ty talk­ing.

    And I’ve come to accept my role as the “friend-in-wait­ing”. The friend who will always be there when need­ed, but so far, that day has­n’t come.

    @Pearl — You bring up a good point about the long haul. I don’t believe that Pat is doing this as a long-term friend­ship invest­ment though, he does it cause he’s a nice guy. For peo­ple like Pat (and this is rare), they do a good deed for the sake of doing it, not because they expect it to be rec­i­p­ro­cat­ed and you owing of them. Of course, because these peo­ple are so unselfish, it makes me want to do even more for them.

    A bunch of great com­ments from you guys! They cre­at­ed even more top­ics for dis­cus­sion that are beyond than the scope of my ini­tial entry.

  5. I did­n’t mean to sug­gest he or any­one would do it as an invest­ment, but just that, as life plays out, short-term cir­cum­stances change.

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