Day 66 Question 66:
Are you a good friend?
We live in this world that has become so “politically correct”. Well you know what, I can use discretion but I HATE having to walk on eggshells day in and day out because I might say something to offend someone. I believe we lose all morality and all honesty of who we are as people when we constantly stroke people’s egos or candy coat our feelings. God forbid we offend someone by telling the truth. You may wonder why I bring this up when the question at hand is whether or now I am a good friend. Well I do believe friendship and honesty do go hand in hand and like relationships and love I do believe sometimes friendships are forced. I believe friendships are much easier and much more immediately natural flowing that romantic relationships but sometimes there is an uneasiness. Ultimately, no one wants to be alone in life (well some might but I think they would be outnumbered) and sometimes we are forced into life situations (especially as we get older…and still remind single) in which we want to make friends and meet new people but the pickins are pretty slim. I am not implying that we must be particular and picky when making friends but just like a romantic relationship you want to have friends that you TRULY care about….people that you would drop everything for….people you bond with…cry with…laugh with…I think you know what I mean. There comes a time though, that just like orgasms, we fake it. We force friendships in order to not be alone or to simply have someone to do something with. I have done this at different times in my life. It has taken me 33 years to see that there was no benefit to doing this and beating myself up for not particularly caring for certain people (don’t get me wrong, I did not say dislike, I just mean not being able to share interests or feel any sort of connection to the other person) is no longer worth it. I don’t believe time is really wasted often (as long as you are learning a lesson) but I do believe that knowingly befriending someone/people that you just share no common ground with or feel any sort of comfort with is definitely a waste of time.
For me it has taken a long journey to really start finding myself and accepting everything that I am. For the first time (probably since early childhood) I have felt at ease and even proud of who I am as a person. I am seeing life and opportunities in a different way now and I am able to hold onto the beautiful person that I am no matter what others may think or say about me. Other people have no control over my life…I am the only one that has that power. Everything I am writing about does tie into the question I am answering. Am I a good friend? Yes, I do believe I am. Have I always been a good friend? Nope, I certainly have not. There will come times in the future where I am destined to fuck up a friendship or hurt a friend’s feelings for whatever the reason may be. I look at those things as life…we must have downs in order to appreciate the up’s. I do not want to go on a big rant by bragging about myself and state the zillions of reasons that make me a good friend. It is quite simple…my intentions are always sincere, always genuine, and always heart-felt. What I feel inside of me day in and day out is the urge to continually better myself and try to make the best choices that I can (not everyday I do) and for someone that I consider a real and true friend I would do anything for them. I try my hardest with people that I feel an honest connection with. I believe I am a polite and very friendly person but I will admit that I do not put a lot of effort into people that I have no common ground to share or those that I just don’t feel any sense of ease with.
Friends have come and gone throughout my life. As time passes life changes. I am 33 years old and still single with no children (I am the Carrie Bradshaw of 2012-well before the movies ;0) As most of you would guess a lot of people my age have gone down the married with children path. I will not say that singles and couples can’t be friends but I will say that in a lot of cases there is a shift in the dynamic of the relationship. I have married friends but they are not the friends that I hang out with regularly. I choose not to hang out with them because (to be completely honest-I am only speaking for my situation btw) a lot of them treat me like an outsider. I get looked upon like the single, wild party girl that in their eyes just hasn’t grown up and settled down yet (I haven’t drank alcohol in 16 months—trust me I am far from a party girl anymore). I get the looks of pity and the “oh he will come along when you least expect it” or “you should meet so and so” comments. What a lot of them don’t understand is that marriage and children are not my top priorities in life. I look at both of those things as “If it happens it happens.” This attitude has caused a divide in different relationships because when people’s values differ so does their common ground. I believe it is so true that you can have a lot of acquaintances in your life but true friends usually only come in maybe a small handful. Friendship is usually a weeding out process. Just recently I discovered a “friend” had unfriended me on Facebook. I then realized we never were really close friends…we were acquaintances. I never got to any point with her in which I felt comfortable. I never felt like I could pick up the phone at anytime just to talk to her or ask her advice on something. I am unsure of why she “unfriended” me. She has become a Bible banger and if she has read anything I have written then she has probably learned that I am not a church going Christian. Maybe she believes she should not mingle with sinners like me (again, why I question Christianity). I don’t know I could be totally off base. Neither of us really put in the effort for what I believe two people should if the friendship is the real deal. I don’t dislike her because of this. I would always treat her with respect and kindness if our paths crossed. I am a good friend, even if sometimes I say or do the wrong thing, because I accept people for who they are (it may not come initially-I may make snap judgments but I always come back to realizing people’s lives are different than mine).
In answer to the question of whether or not I am a good friend I would have to say yes. I say yes because I realize that people are going to make mistakes and at some point or another do something to fuck up the friendship (hopefully it is only a momentary fuck up) and I believe it forgiveness whole-heartedly (if the person is genuinely sorry). I have talked about my friends behind their backs and done things I should not have done and I have asked for forgiveness. In some cases I have been forgiven and in others I have not. I am a good friend because I allow people room to learn and to grow. I may not be there each and every moment I am needed because I am caught up in my own life but those that are my true and genuine friends are always in my heart and they will know that. I am willing to see past someone’s antics and bad decisions if they are willing to see past mine. I believe that is what friendship is really about. Friendship comes with this level of comfort that is there almost immediately. You don’t get to that level with just anyone…that is why I say real friendships come in only small handfuls.
I know sometimes I tend to complicate things. Actually no I am just being who I am and I love to analyze and thing about things in depth. Not everyone understands this and not everyone would want to befriend me because of this. I admit to having a hard time being friends that seem to me to be superficial and “on the surface”. I am not the type of girl that wants to talk about boys and shoes all of the time. I am not throwing a dig out there at the girls that are those types…I am just stating that the chances of us meshing into any sort of friendship would probably be slim to none. I am a good friend because my words are honest. I may not always say them in vocal word but at some point or another I always say them. I am not confrontational and this can be a negative or a positive…it would just depend on the friendship I guess. I have shaped, molded and shifted throughout my many years and finally I am at peace with who I am. I will never stop changing and I will constantly be seeking out more knowledge but what makes me the most sincere (which I think is the key to being a good friend) is that I have an immense amount of goodness and compassion in my heart. I really do want good things to happen for other people. When I love and when I care…I love with everything in me. I may feel awkward and uncomfortable showing it (that is just how I am) but my true friends know that about me. They never need to question how I feel about them. I am an open book.
P.S. I had to throw this in here because I caught some shit from leaving out someone in another entry (my favorite music). TRACEY MOORE-I had you sitting in the front of my mind when I wrote this entry. Love you mean it!!!
Being a true friend is a commitment to be there–come what may. I’ve been blessed with a small handful of true friends. Although I don’t think I have enough in me to fill the other hand, I still try to be a friend–albeit not a true friend–to all.
Thanks for the thoughtful post.
I recently reconnected with a MOST dear artist friend of mine through Facebook! She considers me a very good friend, as I do her! She has started following some of my Lenten Journey postings at my blog, even though she is really not a verbal sort of person–a very visual person is she–and so talented at it! Other friends of mine online and in person hold up to me wonderful examples of what it means to be a true friend. I am so blessed.
I must say never have I read such an honest rendition of what it means to be a true friend. We are completely copacetic on everything you wrote here and I will be posting a link to this blog when I write on friendship if you don’t mind? Thank you for your honesty.
I don’t mind at all. Thank you so much for the heart-felt comment :0)
Good post. You’ve touched upon a subject that is at the heart of a problem I’ve had this week. It’s always been difficult for me to make friends. It’s not because I’m an introvert. Actually, I can be one, but I can also be a lively extrovert. It’s because I’ve realized in my 41 years that people are mostly self-centered users who take what they need and then leave you when they don’t need what you offer anymore. Now, I’m not saying this is true about everyone, but many are like this. I suppose that’s why I believe a person has just a few true friends while everyone else is an acquaintance.
I had what I thought was a friendship with someone who shared some pretty incredible secrets with me, and I was the only person he confided in. He was not only a friend but a spiritual adviser and teacher who taught me many things about meditation and healing. After being there for him many times, I finally opened up and confided in him about something that bothered me regarding a mutual acquaintance (the same person he’d shared some issues with me about). Instead of keeping it to himself, he stabbed me in the back and told this person everything that I said.
I felt like doing the same to him which would have been a painful experience for him to say the least, but I decided to be the bigger person, apologize to the other person, and leave everything else be. But through it all, I’ve lost a friend, a confidant, and someone I really looked up to. Now, I think of him as a fake, a charlatan, and a money-whore Buddhist.
Friends? They are hard to come by!
I am sorry to hear about your situation :0( It really is unfortunate when you think you know someone then they throw a curveball at you like that. What I liked the most was that you apologized to the acquaintance you spoke of. You really were the bigger person. Apologizing is not always easy and sometimes we may not feel like it is necessary but it does really make us feel better because in the end we know we did the right thing. :0) Thank you so kindly for sharing.
I believe that genune honest friends are very hard to come by. I don’t think I can even count mine with the fingers of one hand. I’ve been stabbed in the back so many times that I do not try to make friends any more. Like you, I am honest and don’t beat about the bush and I call a spade a shovel, but I prefer to be alone than in bad company.
There is nothing wrong with being single. Enjoy your freedom and if other people have a problem with it, then it’s their problem, not yours!
Thank you Fatima :0) I love your responses. We may not live near each other but we are certainly virtual friends and I absolutely value your insights :0)
Thank you, Diane. I enjoy reading your interesting blogs. Keep writing.
for me, being a friend means i can bring honest criticism to someone and they’ll know that i’m not trying to hurt, i’m trying to help.
Agreed :0) I think being a good friend is knowing how to use tact and discretion. Being honest is key….some people are a little more sensitive so I think it is really nice when people take that into account when they tell you things/offer criticisms. :0)
I was always told and found it to be true: if you have one or two close friends, you are extremely lucky and blessed. Thoughtful post!
Friends come and go as life changes the only person you truly need to be a friend to is yourself. If you are lucky, like I am, you may find one other person who loves you no matter what.
Friends are definitely a gift in life…You are very ambitious in answering a ? a day!! thank-you for visiting…good to have you come by!
A true friend is a treasure to hold on to. They are few and far between. It seems to me that most people are selfish and greedy. They only care about “me, myself and I.” I have thousands of acquaintances but no one that I can really call a close friend. Probably mostly my own fault. I believe that I’m a nice guy and would make a good friend if I can stay put in one location.
Interesting post, people come and go, some change us make us see new things others drain from us…..I dont actually think I even like people at the minute!
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This is a great article. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and look forward to browsing through more of your posts. Thanks for dropping by my blog and thank you even more for following me. I appreciate your support!!!
Thanks for the follow.. 😉 Great article btw. I find that sugar coating things is very misleading just as you stated and don’t you love it when you’re hanging out with couples and they always try to setup a date for you with their friends? “Oh, we’re all married but she’s not so let’s get her a man too!” Honestly, I think people get to a point in life where they’re the most comfortable and they just want to share the feeling with you. Definitely though, the best thing a friend could do for me was to tell me what I need to hear with all honesty and no sugar coating.
Hi Diane. Thanks so much for visiting (and following) my blog. Your post above resonated so much with me. I’m 51 and, since my divorce many many years ago, I’ve been single. Most of my friends are married with kids and whilst I still care for them, the bond we had as singletons has gone. i can’t talk about my kids, or how unbelievably tired I am because of life with them, or share stories about parenthood – yes, I feel like an outsider too. If I’m honest, I’m sad that I don’t have a family but life just worked out that way. I’ve spent many hours trying to understand why but gave up when I was around 45, stopped wringing my hands, quit life in the UK and headed off to teach English overseas. I’d love to say that it solved all my inner doubts but that would be a lie; of course it didn’t, they sort of stay with you, don’t they. Anyway, this topic was on my mind last night as I had a very frank exchange of views on a stupid topic with a friend here in Indonesia. I felt bad about it and wished, for the thousandth time, that I could just hold my tongue. Then I remembered: a lot of my gone-by-the-wayside friends liked that about me – passion! So, like you say Diane accepting who you are is what it’s all about. Sadly I’m not quite there yet but working hard on it. Loved this post and your blog. Sally x
Must say that March 22 and 66 are perhaps the best numeric combinations.
My mother turned 66 today : )
Thank you for following me. Your site is darling!
1. Thanks for following my blog! And 2. I love your blog and your idea of answering a question everyday for a year. I’ll be keeping my eye on this!
Diane, it was a wonderful read. I see your honest attempt to describe your rendition of friendship and it’s really really good. The point is that it’s better to have few friends than millions. I’ve two good friends on which I can rely on any time, anywhere. People who are judgemental in nature are most ignoramus person in the world and those who judge within a second are inexplicable. I, most of the time, think that who are they to judge me. I like your writing. (:
And thank you for following my blog. (: It makes me happy that someone is reading my blog. (:
i’m a true friend, even if i don’t follow all the “rules”. the things other people expect as friends and from friends confuse me, but more confusing to me is how people follow all the “rules” of what to do when you’re a friend, but when you really need them they’re nowhere to be found. I’d rather have a REAL friend I never see or hear from except in an emergency, than a constantly *there* friend who always has something better to do during an emergency.
I can definitely relate to a lot of the things you talk about here. I am happily single and feel no particular desire at present to settle down, have kids or even get into a relationship at the moment. I’d rather concentrate on things like writing and besides I actually like having my own space and just living by my own rules. I do notice how this can make you seem like a bit of an outcast though, which is stupid really.
I also am coming to many of the same conclusions regarding friends, many who I realise I have very little in common with, and who are in truth just acquaintances.
Anyway, just wanted to say that I am loving your blogs.
And thanks for the follow!
Keep up the good work! 😉
Thank you for following my blog. You’re idea sounds so interesting. I will follow you too. Can’t wait to read more.
Diane a very thought out answer to the question. We sound very similar in our approach to friends and friendship. I have few that I hold dear and would walk to the ends of the earth for.
I am married and have the package of kids, but I started later on at 30, while all my previous friends were having families young. Yes I believe we lost touch due to living separate lives, me being the singleton at the time, but some of my dearest friends are some of the friends who had young families, and i have watched their children grow which only increased our bonds.
Keep being single if this how you want to live your life, because this should not lose you friends who are living different lives to you and love you as a friend.
Thank you for the post I really enjoyed reading it 🙂
I put a deep thought into what you say and thank God I still have good and true friend in my life.
Thanks for following my blog :-). Your blog is VERY interesting!
Keep up the good work!