Stop ‘Just Always Being There’

This one time I was talking to a friend and we were sort of exchanging the reasons we valued each other, and the ‘compliment’ this person gave me was ‘Nash, I love you so much because …I don’t know…you’re just always there.’ While I was pouring my heart out, this person just made this one, cold, short statement and the conversation ended there.

I had to actually stop for a moment and think about what they said. And to make sense of this comment, I thought about my friendship with them as well as many others, as a whole. …and so the contemplation began.

So…I was just always there? Like existing in their life? Like a mass of matter crafted by God to selflessly serve them? Like if they needed me, they would just come to me and poof! I was there? Like if I was tired as hell, sleep-deprived and occupied with my own life and they needed someone to talk to during the eerie hours of the night–I was always there? Like if they cancelled on plans with me in the last minute, but wanted to hang out when it was convenient for them — I was always there? Like if they forgot about me, neglected me, abandoned me, rejected me, put me on the back-burner, wasn’t there when I needed them, but if they needed me — I was always there? Or more specifically, expected to be there? 

I didn’t know if that was a compliment or a punch to my gut to wake me up. But they were right, I guess I was just always there. But that’s because I was brought up to be considerate of people, their time, their issues, and their feelings. My parents raised me to empathize with individuals. I grew up learning that the best way to serve God, was to serve people.

But despite all that, and despite the good nature you might posses, sometimes you have to be selfish. Not with everyone, just with these types of people. People who literally think the world revolves around them. People who are inconsiderate of your time and treat you like the back-up option you’re not. Sometimes it mind-boggles me how people can live this ignorantly and unsympathetic of others? But the harsh reality is that, they can.

Some people are just built cold. And when they see you glowing with empathy, they’ll use your warmth to heat themselves. Even if that means dimming your light and burning you out. They’ll do whatever it takes to serve their own needs.

And it took me 20 something years to finally understand and declare to myself, that these people were not my real friends nor did they possess the qualities of a true friend. That these were the kinds of people I would stop going out of my way for. That these people were not deserving of my empathy, rather they were deserving of my silence. The cold shoulder. The seen on ‘read’ texts without a response.The ‘block’ and ‘delete’ button. The ‘ignore they existed’ attitude. The ‘oh I see they’re struggling and having a tough time, but I don’t care anymore’ mindset.

But Isn’t that a bit harsh? You might ask.

No. It isn’t. You know what’s harsh? Ignoring someone who is always there for you. You know what’s brutal? Claiming someone as your best-friend and being anything but the best for them. You know what’s cruel? Treating people like your personal, self-serving, disposable, on-demand slave. You know what’s absolutely inexcusable? Ruthlessly taking advantage of someone’s good and giving nature and seeing how far you can cross them. You know what’s infuriating? The excuses of ignorance they use to back-up their behavior.

“I didn’t know you felt this way.”

“I didn’t know I was treating you like that.”

Truth is, you do. You just always got away with it. And you never thought anyone would say anything about it and continue to take your poor treatment.

Some people might argue and say ‘be good anyways because that’s what our religion teaches us.’ Yes, Islam teaches us to be kind and generous, but Islam never tells us to repeatedly put ourselves into situations and into relationships with people who continue to thoughtlessly and selfishly break our hearts. Do your part, but when the pain becomes unbearable, excuse yourself out of this situation. Islam teaches us how to deal with people who put us in pain, but it never tells us to settle for it.

It took me 20 something years to finally say goodbye to people who drained me. Who took advantage of me. Who used me. Who always gave me excuses. Who deceived me. And finally, it took me 20 something years to bid farewell to people who didn’t serve my growth or contributed to my internal peace anymore.

So let’s get one thing straight. No, I will not entertain that kind of treatment. No, I will not accept that kind of behavior. No, I refuse to keep friendships and people like that in my life. And no, I will not always be there.

 

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33 Comment

  1. Anonymous says: Reply

    Thank you for your words nashiha. May Allah bless you for bringing peace to restless souls like mine.

    1. Nashiha Pervin says: Reply

      I am so so glad this helped you 🙂

  2. A lover of heartfelt words. ❤️ says: Reply

    This speaks to me on so many levels. I’ve always struggled with letting people like this go. They are great people but they only come to me when it is appropriate for them. I don’t feel like I receive half the love they give me. “If it is important enough to you, you will find a way. If it is not, you will find an excuse.” I knew these people weren’t good for me, toxic to a certain extent, yet I always found myself waiting just because I don’t want them to feel bad. But now I know and reading your article and being able to relate your situation have me some hope. Thank you for this. Your blogs are always amazing and deeply insightful. Speaking in normal, human terms all the way along. May Allah return all the love we gave to others and give it back to us and so much more! Thank you and I hope you always continue to take your time to compose these wonderful advices… May Allah accept it all from us.

    1. Nashiha Pervin says: Reply

      I’m so glad you can relate, and yes people who are selfish like this are, infact, toxic to a degree and must be dealt with accordingly. Never feel guilty for doing what’s best for you. 🙂 And thank you!

  3. Ayesha says: Reply

    Ive been wondering about this for a long time. It seems like this has been written for me. But the hard part is finally putting a stop to it when you gave in to it for so many years because you empathize with them… They use you as you’re always plan Z to them but if something goes wrong or they need something they come to you… It’s time this stops. May Allah bless you and continue to pour wisdom into your heart. Love you for the pleasure of Allah. Keep inspiring us all.

    1. Nashiha Pervin says: Reply

      You’re absolutely right. Please just hold out that caring nature for people who are just like you. Trust me, you’ll never be disappointed then. Thank you so much <3

  4. Ninja princess says: Reply

    Nashiha, I’m in a place in my life right now I SUPER relate with your posts. In a crazy telepathic way, I’ve been having the same thoughts about someone and was wondering if I was maybe doing something wrong to consider cutting people off.
    But we do have to stand up for ourselves, because if we don’t we only have ourselves to blame.
    Jazakallah. 🙌
    Also, please never put your pen down. It’ll be a sad day if you do.

    1. Nashiha Pervin says: Reply

      I promise for as long as I live, I will never stop writing if Allah wills 🙂 Thank you SO much! And yes, you’re not selfish for putting yourself first.

  5. ujvesa says: Reply

    All I have to say is Thank You from the bottom of my heart. You have no idea how much your writings help me, I consider this a blessing. Lots of love for you Nash ❤

    1. Nashiha Pervin says: Reply

      This warms my heart, thank you for reading 🙂

  6. Reena says: Reply

    I have experienced and I’m so glad I came across your post. I have lost some of my closest friends because of this exact situation, I have always been there for them and it always seemed like that love I had for them never reciprocated. I’ve hit rock bottom when the idea of “do I even deserve to have good friends” consumed me so much. I felt undeserving and figured why can’t I have the same as what I give them. But that was a long time ago, I’ve become a more positive person and the “law of attraction” is true, the energy and vibe you give off is definitely what you’ll attract.

    1. Nashiha Pervin says: Reply

      I definitely believe in that too, good for you girl 🙂

  7. MANI TI says: Reply

    Spoken like a G!!!. Absolutely love this. I need your take on this situation I have.
    So i have a friend and we go back from the tenth grade and from then until now (first year in college) like the friendship is slowly going down. Like in the beginning we would be like txting each other back and forth, she would tell me all her personal dilemmas and we were just mad close. Then as the years progressed she started meeting other friends and kinda disregarded me. The txting slowly stopped to hi’s and byes, anything big that happened to her (good or bad) she wouldn’t tell me until i would ask about it or hear it from other friends. And now since we go to different colleges… you get the picture. every now and then i check up on her ask her how shes doing.. but i dont get that same thing. I asked my other friend that ‘if someone wasnt putting alot of effort to a friendship, if you should just let them go’. She says it depends ‘how much they mean to you’. So Nash, do you think im holding onto and dragging on a friendship? Whats your thoughts? Jazakallah khair 🙂

    1. Nashiha Pervin says: Reply

      I think those who want to be in your life will put in an effort. My best-friend moved to Afghanistan but we always talk and still love each other so much. It really depends on how much they value you, as well as you them. And how much you two want each other in your lives.

      1. MANI TI says: Reply

        Thank you for that :), gives me something to think about.

  8. Zara says: Reply

    Had a bestfriend of 15years, who thought the world revolved around her. Why do i say that? I had been jobless for sometime while she was happily travelling. When i had finally saved up to travel after getting a job and broke the happy news to her, she was pissed that i wasnt travelling with her when she just got back from a vacation.

    Thats when i realised, this happy moment i shared was because i thought she’d be happy for me but she made it about her again.

    It was then i realised, some rships arent worth saving if they’re going to drain you.

    1. Nashiha Pervin says: Reply

      I’m so sorry to hear that. I remember when I first god a job and I told my then best-friend, this person didn’t even care. So I totally feel you on this.

  9. A says: Reply

    Nashiha! I’ve been admiring your work for so long, simply because EVERYTHING you say is relatable and syncs to how I feel. Before I came across this post of yours on Facebook, I was having my late night deep thinking and my words of advice to myself were ‘I need to just stop being there, unresponsive and unavailable’ and boom I see your article as if that wasn’t a sign that my feelings were valid. Enough is enough, I’ve only destroyed myself and my wellbeing in this duration of ‘being there’. So thank you, you’ve helped me unknowingly. I wish all the best and lots of love for you hun. Asalamu Alaykum x

  10. Oumou says: Reply

    I was literally in tears when I read this. I’m just so conflicted on who to cut off and who to keep. Thanks for this tho may Allah bless u.

  11. Rizwan says: Reply

    All we can do is , just pray for people who have cold nature because sometimes it’s actually not their fault, sometime some of us raised differently without having any feelings for others becayse they don’t have feelings for their own selfs , it’s really sad that sometime some families come from cold atmosphere or some incident accord in their life that make them cold and they just kept to their own selfs , they get this fear in their heart and slowly and slowly the cold artic ice become their soul , it’s not their fault, those people need lots of prayers from who see them in that condition , they are humans too , deep down in their heart they do think about changing their selfs but then like I said either the fear come right away infront of them or either their family, and they just remain in struggle and keep fighting within their self and then their life get to an end and they leave, those people need lots of love and lots of prayers , it is sure really hard to deal with them becayse they are all about their selfs but it’s not impossible to change them also , it take an huge courage and efforts to be with those kind of people’s and lots of prayers that Allah change their heart and make them understand and see the values of human being. Thats why our prophet Muhammad pbuh never gave up on anyone , there were millions who were cold toward he pbuh but his pbuh efforts and prayers day and night for them changed them and they become from cold to warm heart people’s. That’s why we should always pray for them becayse in reality we just don’t know what exactly happened in their life that made them this way or why their families raised them the way they not suppose to be. We should just always pray for them in our duas and always check on them sometime if they are ok.

    1. Saad khan says: Reply

      👍

  12. simply me says: Reply

    I’m going through a similar situation except my friend really really likes me and considers me her one and only friend. So she depends on me for pretty much everything. At first i didn’t mind but it got to a point were I’ll be going shopping with her for example for her sake when i am extremely sleep deprived or have tight curfew or have an over all busy schedule and the shopping is not enjoyable to the least. For her is something normal and she does it to others too, shes always expecting people to treat her special even when they don’t even know her. For me i feel like i’m wasting my time when i’m with her but i’m only being considerate to her since she thinks shes completely alone. I do feel sorry for her at times and shes all alone at home so she always wants to escape her loneliness since both her parents passed away and she lives with her aunt. now that i am travelling for good she wants to come with me and i don’t think she is aware of her selfishness. she considers me her best friend and wants to spend all her time with me if she could and to me that sounds like a nightmare because i’ll never have time for myself and i will have to deal with all the stress shes brings to me. when ever i am with her it is always about her problems and struggles and her plans and what she wants to do and even what she wants me to do as well.

  13. Sana says: Reply

    I loved this, like so many others I feel like it resinates with me because of the values that our parents instill in us from such a young age. Its so bittersweet how you can probably count on one hand the times people like this have JUST been there for you. Subhanallah its trying to balance the good manners we have been taught to maintain when we encounter such humans.

  14. Alawiah Azmi says: Reply

    I’m really happy I found your blog and I seriously love you masya Allah. May Allah bless you and your family and may we meet here in this world or if not, in His paradise insya Allah! Much love from your sister in Islam <3

  15. Hina says: Reply

    Just discovered your blog and I’m already mesmerised; you’re amazing! Thanks for articulating so many important things so beautifully, keep shining xxxx

    1. Nashiha Pervin says: Reply

      Thank you so much! 🙂

  16. In the same situation says: Reply

    Assalamualaikum,
    I am in the same situation. What should one do if that person is family. What if it’s your own sister? Because i have been through a lot of pain but i still can’t break off because it will be cutting the ties of kinship (considered major sin). 🙁

  17. Nobody says: Reply

    Then don’t cut off if they walk passed just a friendly smile and hello. You don’t have to be bbbbf with them when u see them that’s all. And I pray for you sister and everyone else on here. In sha Allah jannah all will be worth it, Allah grant us jannah.

  18. Shamsun says: Reply

    It is so relatable.
    Allahumma barek laha fihi the way you wrote it down.
    It’s like thoughts put in words.
    Asalamwalaikum Warahmatullahi Wabrakhatuhu 🌷

  19. Anonymous says: Reply

    This is written so well and totally hits home. I actually think I will make it a daily ritual to read this over and over. To remind myself because this is basically a summary of who I have been. Going through a divorce has made me realise actually no, I don’t have almost any ‘best friends’. Everyone is too busy to be there. I have had to be there for myself. These hard learned habits take years to unlearn.
    I am so glad I have come across your blog. Thank you

    1. Nashiha Pervin says: Reply

      AHH! i’m so glad. And yes, learn to enjoy your own company and you should never have to force friendships. Entertain who you want, don’t entertain who you don’t want. Best of luck 🙂

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