25 September 2006

Friendship 101

What is Friendship?

I’m sure all of you have friends whom you hold in high regard and that there’s nothing you wouldn’t do for them. Well, what happens when said friend no longer treats you in kind? A close friend and I have been discussing this a lot lately and we’ve mutually concluded that there are several people in our respective lives that have or will lose their ranking and be placed on the Do Not Call list. Why? Because while we recognize that people grow and change and their lives become more filled, is it really that hard to pick up a phone to or send an email to say, “I know it’s been a while, but I just wanted to check in and say hi”. Refer to Maintaining Friendships. To add insult to existing injury, the offending party is the one who uses that confounded line “what’s up stranger? Ain’t heard form you in a minute!” WTF?? Immediately screams in my mind. Are they freaking serious? Me? The stranger? Yeah, the fuck right!!!! I’m the one who’s been reaching out, taking the back seat, ride or die; and what have you. And you have the nerve to finally make contact and greet me with the okey doke. I don’t friggin think so!!!!!!!!!

Just because someone has been a friend for ex amount of years doesn’t give them the right/privilege of treating someone as if they’re entitled to maintaining said status if they’re not doing anything reciprocal. Relationships of any kind are founded on reciprocity, mutual trust, respect and COMMUNICATION. How and why should I consider someone a friend if they’re not doing their part? The irony of it is that the non-reciprocal party typically expects the giving party to be there at their beck and call. In the infamous words of Ms. Houston, “hell to da naw!” Why should they hold a title to something they’ve no longer earned or deserve?
Refer to Toxic Friends

As a part of my new year’s resolutions, I concluded that I will no longer make excuses for the behavior (sometimes lack thereof) of others and take a step back. Why should I be the one constantly making contact, reaching out, and oft times be left in the deficit? If I mean/t anything to said friend, then why can’t they show me that?

Like respect, friendship is something that is EARNED, not given, and certainly NOT taken and/or taken for granted.


Mominator said...

ouch. Should I go time out now? I have to say, to some extent, I am guilty. But, I do not EVER expect any friend to be at my beck and call (that's my hubby's job *wink*).
Good post and I have to agree with ya. My best friends are three of my sisters. The other two? If they moved to Timbuktu, I would have to hear about it from someone else. Oh well.

SO glad you've been comin' by. That is the funniest/weirdest about your family. Just think if they were all twins.. who had twins.. within month s of each other. LOL! How fun! My aunt did have six children. All born in August a year apart from each other. You would've thought she would be able to figure that out! LOL. Okay, now I feel like I'm playing tag.

:) Sue

JoJo D. said...

I always made it a point to keep in contact with my good friends, but over the years, I've lost those friends because they couldn't feel the inclination to do the same with me. We only spoke when I initiated the contact. Someone once said:

"You'll realize what people think of you when you realize how often they don't think about you."

I guess if they thought more often about me and being friends with me, they'd contact me more often than they do. Since they don't think to contact me, that lets me know they don't think about me at all.

The Wandering Author said...

I think you've got a good point. Although, personally, I think if a person was a good friend for a long time, I'd tell them how I felt before writing them off, just in case they really hadn't figured things out.

Susan Abraham said...

Dearest Blu,
Just want to say I agree totally.
If something or someone matters, there is always room in life, to make a moment in effort & time.

BluJewel said...

@Mom - No, you don't need to be in time out; well at least not with me (lol)

@JoJo - You have a valid point & I completely agree

@Wandering - I agree, but what happens when you repeatedly tell them and nothing changes? It's time to whip out the eraser.

@Su - Nuff said

G. Mo said...

I tend to reflect on friendship quite often. I lost my best friend 11 years ago and not having him around to reminisce over our childhood days does hurt sometimes. We shared in other’s happiest moments and were there for each other through the roughest of times.

Friendship is having someone in your life that you can trust. Someone who inspires you to become a better person each day. Someone who you love as if they’re a member of your family. A person who won’t hesitate to call you out when you’re wrong, but will give you honest, constructive advice on how to deal with a given situation.

I could go on an on about my definition of what a true friend is. With all that being said, I only have a handful of people in my life currently that I consider to be true friends. Everyone else is just an associate.

The Mistress said...

I am a big fan of this post!

I have a bunch of people I really consider friends and they keep me sane.

Well partially sane anyway.

blaqrayne said...

I'm going through a similar situation. I've distanced myself from a 20 year old friendship. I couldn't stand the on again off again. One minute we're cool, then there's distance. She can depend on me 200%, but I can't even count on her 20%. Another is a 14 year old friendship with someone whom I consider a brother. Only calls when he needs something or gets himself into a situation. When I need something it's at his slooow convenience, but when he needs something I drop everything to make sure he's alright.

Like one reader said, it hurts when you're missing the friendship, but at least you're healing. When you stay in these hurtful situations, there is no healing. The wounds are constantly re-opened.

I am not Star Jones said...

Good post. I want to share my newfound perspective on friendship 101.

In my previous job, I was the person who was always inviting people to free movies, networking events, telling people about jobs/opportunities -- even introducing friends to people who I thought might be good for them to know. I didn't do it expecting something in return -- I did it because that's my personality i.e. life is too short to be a hoarder of resources, time and friendship.

When I left my job in July, I received a big wake up call about friendship, loyalty and just reciprocity. For some people, friendship became nonexistent. For others, there was no real acknowledgment about how my financial life had shifted -- they expected everything to remain the same.

Beyond the fact that I resigned from my job to change my life, I realized that it was also a time reconsider who are true friends and who are the leeches.

And then I fired the leeches.

Feels good.