You can count on me like one, two, three......
Friendship can be a wonderful, fulfilling, nurturing and mutually enjoyable experience for many people. It can also be painful, frustrating, maddening and bewildering also. It all depends on what kind of person you are, and of course the kind of people you are friends with. We all have those wonderful friends that you know even if you don’t see each other very often that when you do get together it is as if no time had passed. You talk for hours, you laugh, you cry, you catch up and at the end you part after having had a wonderful time and looking forward to the next catch up. There are no assumptions, no demands...no consequences.
Some friends are hard work. They require a certain amount of effort from you to keep the friendship going and sometimes after spending time with them you feel drained and exhausted. They always manage to steer the conversation around to themselves, you have to meet on their terms, where they want and when and they walk over your emotions because it is “all about them”. Sometimes they even make you feel guilty because you haven’t done or said what they wanted...like you have disappointed them. But do they have any right to make you feel that way? Friendship is a relationship that needs give and take from both people. If the balance is not there, then no wonder you feel like this friendship is hard work. If a friend comes to console and support you but then turns the situation around so that you are forced to be the support – how can that be mutually fulfilling? If it is always you that has to make the phone call, always you that has to organise the get-togethers, always you that has to make the effort – that’s not a friendship – it’s a Social Secretaries job.
And what happens when you are friends with someone, but another of their friends really rubs you the wrong way? This can be a really tricky situation. You don’t like the way they act, you don’t like the things they say and you certainly don’t like they way they treat your mutual friend. But do you have the right to say or do anything? They are not your friend...they are your friend’s friend. You are friends by association so really the only option is to avoid them – without making your friend feel uncomfortable when you are both at the same function or forcing your friend to pick sides. Why make it harder on your friend when it is not their fault?
I personally do not have a lot of friends. I have a few close friends whom I know I can trust and if I ever need help, they wouldn’t hesitate and vice-versa. They are wonderful, strong, loyal people and I dearly love all of them. And of course I know other people who I might catch up with for dinner or get together every now and again, but if they moved to another state tomorrow, I wouldn’t be devastated like I would if it were one of my close friends. To me these friends are the real essence of friendship and I treasure the time we spend together. They make my life’s moments more wonderful and more bearable. They are the Coco to my Chanel...the train to my carriage...the bacon to my eggs. So...what kind of friend are you?