Trusting People – Impossibility?

Why is it the ones we trust…are not trustworthy? 
Somewhere on the road of life, between people flaking out thus letting me down and discovering that I trust people who are manipulators there is the reality of life…or the true answer to the above question.  In the evaluation of my hurt, I am truly wondering how much this hurt should I just expect to experience the rest of my life?  

It takes me back to a question a friend posed to me over a decade ago – “So why are WE friends?”  I don’t know for certain the heart of her question or what motivated her to ask it of ME.  I suspected that she was dissatisfied with the people who were her closest friends (including me) and was trying to figure out how did this happen that she ended up with these unhealthy, dysfunctional, needy, broken people as her friends.  Now, I took no offense at this at the time because I thought I was pretty messed up and wouldn’t have wanted to be friends with myself given the choice.  Especially, since it wasn’t meant as an attack, but merely the inquiring of a confused person.  Yet having someone else say that to me left a mark. 

I never saw myself as one of the popular people nor the type of person who was so pretty and dynamic and SPECIAL that I would draw people from far and wide.  It was my belief that I was not the person people were drawn to spend time with.  But I considered myself a good person, who was a good friend, and worth the kind of investment that comes with real friendships; but there it was.  Why was I one of her friends? Why was she friends with me versus someone else? I could only chalk it up to the fact that I drove her home after college age group 1-2 times a month so that’s 30 minutes of together at a time.  We some how started talking one night and felt safe or connected or SOMETHING.  We socialized with the same people at church, at retreats, and parties, and so spent time with each other more often than not.  At some point there was the exchange of phone numbers, and as I like to do now when I’m bored and alone I make a phone call.  So I am certain we spent a fair amount of time doing the GIRL thing of talking on the phone about life, love, boys, God, school, career, etc etc. I didn’t have any great grand explanation for her.  I WISH I did. 
But recently (more accurately about 6 months ago) that question has returned to my brain in connection with the people in my life.  Those people who are my friends RIGHT NOW, at this moment… WHY?  I mean I have had a few more DRAMATIC experiences in my life these last few weeks where I have been let down, disappointed, and frustrated.  Now I KNOW that peoples is peoples (insert funny accent here from Muppets take Manhattan), and that no one is perfect and that LIFE things HAPPEN… There are expectations that EVERYONE has built into our brains about what OTHER people SHOULD or SHOULDn’t do in a given situation. BUT lately I have felt like all the people I have surrounded myself with have flaked out, not shown up, been late, not followed through, made a stupid decision, acted selfish, or just plain hurt me without care or concern. 

At some point I even remember thinking: Do I need new friends? 

I mean where does a person draw the distinction between what our parents use to say “they’re a bad influence on you” (and therefore, you are FORBIDDEN from seeing them EVER EVER AGAIN) and the normal part of dealing with human fallacy? That people are GOING to let you down because they are people.  I mean how does a person make the distinction between a disappointed feeling and REALLY needed NEW, positive, consistent, reliable influences?