It's so hard knowing that people like you for what you can do for them, and not because they like who you are. Not because they care about what you think, or how you feel. Not because they like your personality. But because if they ask you to do something, they know you'll say yes. So that's when you hear from them. I would do almost anything for my friends, but I know who my real friends are, and my real friends know who they are. I like serving. I love being able to provide when someone has a need, and I really do what I offer to do whole-heartedly.
I hate the way it feels when I'm left out because I have to tell someone no. It happens to me all the time. If I can't drive the neighbor to the store, or I can't make a birthday cake for that party. If I can't babysit on that day, help someone move the next. I want people to be able to come to me if they need help. I just hate that with a lot of people, they are so used to me saying yes, that when I say no, I'm the bad guy. It's mostly hard because I'm faced with the crappy realization that they don't like me because I'm me, they like me because I'm "nice". That sort of rejection is really hard, because you know that you're only as good as what you can do for someone. The worst is that even our families take advantage. Both of us have siblings that only ever call when they want something, and we don't at all have a relationship apart from that. It's so hurtful... I've had people call me selfish because I was sick and couldn't help them! I've been told that if I do this this and this, then I'll be invited to the wedding as my payment... I had someone call me a bridezilla at my own wedding because I wanted a table in a certain place. I wasn't rude, I tried to explain why, but because I stood my ground, I was called a bridezilla... I wonder sometimes if people even listen to what they're saying!
Many people wonder why Matt and I share a cell phone. Would you believe me if I told you it's because people call me constantly asking me to do this or that. I purposefully have Matt check voice mails, and basically screen any calls directed to me. That way, he can erase the ones from people that aren't really my friends asking me for something. Otherwise, I get so overwhelmed with the needs of everyone else, that I don't have time to serve people that I really do care about, and that I have a real relationship with. Why can't I just say no, and not allow others to make me feel guilty when I do? Why can't I handle letting people be angry with me if I know I did nothing wrong? Why do I allow myself to be trampled on so much??
I'm starting to understand why people always say that "nice guys finish last". It's because it's the truth. You almost can't be nice without people treating you like a doormat...