Tuesday, 18 May 2010


It seems that friends, former friends and a lack of friends seems to be  making life turbulent around in the blogsphere that I inhabit at the moment. 

I am having some of the same issues. I have very few people I would call friend.  I find it really hard to make that leap from acquaintance to friend that others seem to be able to do it much more quickly.  In fact in in the last week or so I have had two people I see fairly regularly refer me to as their friend.  I was quite gob smacked.  I guess it hadn’t even occurred to me to think of them in those terms.  So then I started wondering what do I consider a friend and how it differs (if at all) from other people’s definitions.

Given the people I do consider friends are not doing things I would consider friendly either, I’m really confused.  And note here I’ve actually always had this problem.  And it’s been highlighted by professionals.

My thought is (okay, a psychologist helped)  that if I actually contact people and want to or agree to spend time with them out of the situation in which they fit / belong (or where I think they fit or belong e.g. school mums at school)  then I might actually want them to be my friends.  I may actually consider opening up my lives to these people.  Now for me that’s a very friendly, though extraordinarily scary, gesture.

But then there are times when I wonder why I do it.  I have had friend/s seemingly turn on me for no apparent reason – well it wasn't apparent to me anyway. And it was at a time when I was very vulnerable which they knew and it hurt.  But the thing was they never seem to have acknowledged that there has been a difference in our relationship since that day.  Of the fact that for a good year or so afterward our relationship consisted solely of saying hello when running into each other.

Then there’s the friend who judges.  Your child and their issues, your housekeeping ability (okay lack of it) and their children do exactly the same.  So much so that Boy Child really doesn’t want to associate with the child from that family who is in his class anymore. The same friend who checks on Boy Child’s thumb but doesn’t ask about Girl Child who has missed school for 2 days and you told them in an email she was sick.  Yes,yes I know, I should be grateful that one child was asked about.

I guess I’m wondering why we do this to ourselves?  Do we open ourselves up to others in the hope that the benefits of the friendship will be greater that the risk of hurt, humiliation or whatever if the friendship fails? Is it just human nature to be trusting and open? Just for the record these are two things I am most definitely not.  Yes, I’m weird I know!

So what is friendship to you?  In real life I mean. Virtual friendships are probably different.

I recognise that I’m not always a great friend either.  This is mostly just pondering I guess.


Madmother said...

Friendship. A tricky one. I guess I expect the same from close friends as I would do for them. Be there when needed, be honest and truthful (and that does not mean hurtful), understand that it is THEIR life and you can only offer advice if asked, or catch them when they fall if they stuff up. Be aware we are all human and make mistakes. Accept genuine apologies in the vein they are intended. Laugh and cry together with no awkwardness in either.

Oh, you didn't want a novel... Oops.


Melissa@Suger Coat It said...

Certainly is tricky. I don't have many close friends but consider people I meet and like and touch base with on occasions, friends. I love meeting people and finding out their stuff. Letting them know mine. Plus for me acquaintance sounds a bit formal for anything in my life so everyone is a friend until they aren't or they become a close friend.

Gosh. I think I said the same thing twice. Or not. Who knows. Oh well. I never claimed to be eloquent.

Ratz said...

I have lived 20 yrs of my life without Real friends... and that long a time doesn't really help defining friendship... But now i know what friendship means... it is just that my friends now comprise of those people with whom i can be th way i am. Ugly, average, beautiful, neat house, mess, successful, loser.. whatever, they will still stick around with me for no apparent reason. and i have realised how lucky i am to have such friends!

rinniez said...

Ask me my opinion on friendship last week and im sure i would have felt confident to answer... ask me today and i feel i know nothing! i have hardly spoken to my best friend (and roommate) in about 5 days (we havent spoken even one word to each other all day)... I know i should be the bigger person here and break down the wall and initiate the conversation about what our issues are but im struggling to be a good friend right now... i just dont no how to deal.

Anna said...

I am lucky enough to have 3 friends who I call my best friends. I have known them forever and they have been there at both the best and worst of times in my life.
I was pondering this the other day actually. I think I am actually a really hard person to get to know in real life. I have this massive all up around me which has been there since I was a teenager and only really has gotten bigger since I have a child with a disability.

For me, someone I call friend is someone who is genuinely there for you. They accept you for who you are. They understand that sometimes you don't feel like talking and just want to be left alone.

True friends are hard to find. If I ever am making new friends, I tend to click with people who have children with disabilities. Not all. But defintely some.

Anyway. Sorry that wasn't a short answer!

Thea said...

Yep, the whole friendship issue is very turbulent here.

At the moment, I'm clueless.

Wanderlust said...

For me a friend is someone who sees and accepts me as I am, and vice versa. I have friends that I consider very close that I don't see or talk to often, but I know they are there if I need them. There is just a bond.

What I can't stand is someone who is easily offended, who reads things into something I say or do, or don't say or don't do. I can't tolerate that kind of insecurity in a friend. I used to have friends like that but they are long gone. Confidence is something I value.

Most of my friends are ones I made years ago. I don't make friends easily now. I value the ones I have.


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