I probably shouldn’t be writing about this, but it is one of those days where my mind has reached the peak on this topic and I just cannot shake it. Friends. Friendship. Yes.
Well, so much to write about ‘friends’ right? They help us, support us, give us advice, shoulder to lean on, someone you trust etc etc. But have we, as a mostly online society, forgotten what friendship is actually all about? What, with all the DMs and PMs, the pings and waves, I think we actually have!
Don’t get me wrong, a friend should be all of the above mentioned. But I have somehow sadly come to realize that this is not the case. Friends that I have thought of as friends has disappointed me time and time again. And it is not like I could afford to lose any, because I did not have a lot to start off with! However, what is the cost if you continue in a friendship that is clearly not healthy for you? Lets explore.
First we highlight a few types of uhm, ‘friends’.
- You get the friend that conveniently only remembers about you every couple of months. You know? The one that sends a random message which ends up feeling like they are merely fishing for info on your life and doings.
- Then you have the one that complains you don’t keep in touch, to which you invariably apologize for and try your damndest to fix the situation. Only to find that now you are the one that is doing all the reaching out!
- Oh, and then there is the friend that is there when all is good and well in your own life, but when the cacky hits the fan they miraculously disappear and is way too busy for a visit! Funny thing that hey?
- Mmmm, let me see. What about the friend that you have a great time with and then repeats almost every word you uttered. Be it a view on a topic, an observation you have made on someone or something else or perhaps more personal issues that you may be dealing with.
- Then the friend that talks just about herself/himself. As in literally, an hour of just talking about themselves with you giving the occasional grunt to signal you are still alive, but not getting a word in edgewise. And after an hour or so, they realize that you actually also have a life and asks about yours. Only for the conversation to drift back to them as soon as you stop to take a breath.
- Let us also not forget the one that pulls you into every single aspect of their lives and you somehow find yourself smack bam in the middle of the little dramas they create for themselves. It is exhausting!
- And maybe lastly the friend that uses you. You have experienced this one I am sure. The one that needs help, be it money or a lift or anything else under the sun. But see how they disappear like mist in front of the sun when you need something right?
- Oh wait, I forget, silly me. There is also the one that chooses to be so negative and loving the self-pity bubble they have crawled into, that it is an absolute energy drencher just to have a 5 minute chat with them.
(Can you add to this list? I am just typing as they pop into my head and obviously from personal experience. I am sure the list can grow a lot longer. Sadly.)
Have we forgotten the meaning of friendship?
Is it just me or have we forgotten what friendship is all about? It really is almost like a marriage. It is a give and take of equal proportion. And yes, you may have chosen friends a bit unwisely to start off with. And many of them you care deeply about, whether toxic or not. However, for your own sanity, you will have to decide whether in the long run this is good for you. And yes, we all have our off days. I am in no way saying a true friend should be perfect. What I am referring to here is the one sidedness of it all and especially the use and abuse of your time, patience, love and most importantly trust! You cannot allow this sort of behaviour from anyone, let alone people close to you. Yes it hurts. One helluva lot. But trust me, you will get over it.
How to spot the friend to hold on to? Well, in my opinion, if they don’t fall in under any of the types I have listed above then they are keepers. I rely on friends for encouragement and support. I rely on them to listen when I am going through a tough time. I expect them to laugh and rejoice with me through the good times. I don’t need a friend to walk through my door multiple times a week and neither do I expect a message every single day. But you know what? Just once in a week or two would be fab. And no generic ‘hi, how are you?’ and then nothing else. Okay, hello, you reached out and now I should carry the conversation? I honestly just heave the biggest sigh when I get those. Like really?
I don’t know, maybe I am just over sensitive or possibly I am extremely intelligent. Whichever way, I strongly urge you to evaluate your friendship situation. The alternative to having these types of people around just so you can say you have loads of friends, is demeaning to yourself and harmful to your well being. The sayings ‘less is better’ and ‘quality over quantity’ comes to mind here. You deserve better. Never let yourself believe otherwise. Personal experience? I would much rather be alone than suffer alongside people that do not truly care about me or does not have my best interests at heart. Life is difficult as it is. Friends should not be one of those difficulties.
And just so you know, I have experienced true friendship. I have it in my life as I speak. I am blessed with friends with pure hearts. And the best of all, they are not the ones that will take this post personal at all. Why? Because what I wrote about does not describe them. The rest? Well…
Aaand I’m done.
Now that my beautiful little BIG rant is over with and I am slightly exhausted mentally, I will leave you with this from one of my all-time favourite tv shows – Grey’s Anatomy – “Sometimes we accept the dream has become a nightmare”.
Well then, wake up!