Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Friend-Shifts…when ‘friends’ hurt you

John F Kennedy once commented, "Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names." I like that finality. It's freeing. It releases you. Yes, we can forgive the person who have obviously hurt us, but never forget the wrong doing. That way you will know better and be able to steer clear from any chance for 'whatever' to happen again. Forgive, learn from it and move on. Human beings have a tendency to let one another down and the majority will always want to gain at another's expense.
This past year I've been hurt by a couple of people, whom I thought were sort kinda close to me…I think. But there's a fine line between a close friend and a true friend. I mean when you go to school with people, you definitely develop some friendships along the way. Right? You study together. Hang-out/lime together…with other friends. Call each other all the time. Look out for each other. Be a moral support. You guide them. Teach them things you thought they ought to know. You certainly won't tolerate other people ill-treating your friend and not stand up for them. Right? So you just be there for them…totally. Whatever it is, they feel comfortable enough to come to you with/for anything (is this a close or true friend?). But if you are friends with someone who give of themselves half-heartedly (50%) what you do with a pure heart (110%), then this is not a friendship. Obviously, they never saw you on the same level of friendship you saw them. It is so awful when people who are supposed to be your friend hurt you. Maybe they hurt me more out of thoughtlessness than of meanness. I don't know for sure. But a true friend would never (consciously) throw their good friend under the bus to save themselves or to look good. Not at all. A true friend knows when both are working towards the same goal and reaches within thyself and (secretly) understand that without this friend, that goal was an impossibility elusive…would not have materialized so soon. So 'fending' for yourself is not an option.

Unfortunately this happens to everyone at some point in their life though. Yes, this is a very common situation. A lot of people can relate to this from either a friendship or a relationship. It's like there is an increasing trend of such stereotypical behaviors that are being promoted…offline and online. Don't you just hate dislike when people say that they are your friend, but their actions tell you something entirely different? A true friend is always there whenever you need them the most…during rough times. When you are fracture…broken. A true friend always makes an effort to call you. A true friend always tends to see if you are okay. A true friend always shows that he or she cares about you. Perhaps, my outlook is a bit naive. Maybe I expect too much out of my friends, but I truly believe that if someone says they love and care for you, they must act like it. Not just say it. I am a firm advocate of loyalty when it comes to love, friendships, family and business. And I make a mental note to disassociate myself with those who display disloyal tendencies. I recognized too that I may be doing myself a disservice by keeping my true feelings to myself whenever a friend wrongs me, but I believe in taking the 'high road.' Yes, because Karma is serious and everyone gets what they deserve…eventually. As the Trini saying goes, "What doh miss yuh, doh pass yuh." And I understand that sometimes friendships are uncertain. When we are young everyone seems to be our friend, very much like on Facebook−many of whom we know are not friends; they are merely acquaintances that come and go. But true friends are people who we choose to become part of our family…and who chooses us in return.

I believe that you never really know people in life, even when you think you do. Friends come and go and it is a two way street. All we can really do is reach out and be our best selves and put ourselves out there. We all have a duty (to ourselves) to try at least once. If someone drifts away, it is sad, but cherish them for what you may remember. Oftentimes, we are just not meant to be friends with some people. We need to understand too, that people grow apart. Some people just bounce off each other and/or reject each other. While you may never be able to change someone, you can still be a friend from afar. Maybe. One of the Army's core values is treating others how you want to be treated. If one can't do that on either side of a friendship then you don't really have a friendship. Perhaps, some people need to first learn how to love themselves. In so doing, only then are they capable of appreciating what you do for them or understand the basis of a friendship. For even in my darkest moments when I didn't fully love myself enough, I never drag any of my friends into that vortex…into oblivion. Yes, I had to almost hit rock bottom before I finally looked inside myself. And let me tell you, learning to love myself was the best thing I have ever done in this life; trust let that sun rise and see the light is heavenly…especially when surrounded by true friends.
I know I have high expectations of people and friendships, but I hold myself to the same standards. And I have learned that it's the quality of people and not quantity. Also, I have finally come to learn the difference between my true friends and just my 'acquaintances.' And I think, once you can understand and get a real feel on your circle of friends, it'll probably grow smaller.

One last thought. Have you ever wondered why is it that the one you are nice to normally won't be nice to you, but the one you are not so nice to, will actually be the one nicer to you? I've noticed too that the better you treat a person, the worse they'll treat you. Whatever the circumstances though, if your 'friend(s)' decide to betray you, just erase them completely from your life. It seems cruel, but why would anyone want to subject themselves to an indifferent friendship? Walk away. They are definitely not worthy of your quality time and friendship. Because a true friend would never resort to standing on your shoulders…killing you to save themselves. Brutally honest is sometimes the only way to go.

What are your thoughts??


Anonymous said...

this is a very interesting topic. At 1.25 am working on one of my assignment that requires all of my attention I decided to take a break and check my mail, and said to myself I must comment on this blog. Who is a friend? Do we really know the answer to that question? I have tried to analyze that word FRIEND and have found a number of answers. I could quote from the dictionary the meaning of friendship. But i prefer not to. I will give you my perception on friendship. They are the person who will come to your rescue in time of need, (2) they will be in the background to assist you. (3) They do not require you to ask for help. And finally they required no thanks in returns for their assistance. However, one must be mindful of abusing friendship, and taking advantage of them. As it sometimes spoils their friendship.

Bob Saget said...

I totally hear you.

I'm pretty sure most who write a comment to this post, will have a bizillion things to say and it will all sound good, but those same people are guilty of all those same things.

I know one person who is always posting things on facebook about love, god & friendship and everyone is always praising them, but I know first hand this person is false and doesn't truly understand the meaning of what they are posting. The worst part is that they are completely ignorant of it.

Wens, your standards are not too high, everyone else's is either too low or non-existant. A true friend would take a bullet for you. They are like your sibling.

I have gone to great lengths to help many people, so much so that some truly believed I had alterior motives, cause no one ever does things I have done. When they realized that all I expected was a smile and a "thank you", they tried to milk me for as much as they could. I'm pretty sure that they think I'm the asshole cause I broke off the friendship and don't talk to them anymore.

People are so dumb.
However, dogs....much better friends! Extremely loyal!

*Note to BB users - when you're hanging out with someone, it would be nice to hanging with that person and not the 30 others on that god damned crackheads! It's you not realize this? Stupid people!

Carlene said...

Wens, I totally hear you i often find mysef a loner because i have been through similar stuff in my life and now its really hard to trust people totally...i never disclose "everything" because i have been hurt by persons calling themselves "trus friends" this one really hit home for me Wens...I would never betray someone the way that people have betrayed me...I used to ask myself why...i soon realized thats just the way some people themselve rather than try to help you..hmm...this post has me thinking...who are true friends really?
Thanks Wens keep it coming Love it girl!!

Carlene said...

"I have high expectations of people and friendships, but I hold myself to the same standards. And I have learned that it's the quality of people and not quantity. Also, I have finally come to learn the difference between my true friends and just my 'acquaintances."

Just had to capture the above...i felt like you were speaking directly to me Wens....thia is what i go through everyday...

browngirl said...

Great mids think alike cause I blogged about friendship a couple days ago. You know my take on this but I've learnt that some friends are short term and others long term. God never sends someone into your life without a purpose and once they've served that purpose it's time for you both to learn from it and move on...jus sayin

Wens-Notebook said...

Carlene I'm glad that this post resonates with you. I think with everyone too. But remember though that when stuff like this happens, it allows us to become our best selves...once we can learn the lesson(s). Try not to let others distorted concept of being a true friend, prevent you form being one. Everything happens for a reason...and every pain and scar and knife-wound across your soul eventually heals and delivers to you strength you never would have discovered if you hadn't had gone through the pain.
Like Bob said, a true friend would take a bullet for you.

Sabitree said...

Hi Wendy,
I was trying to post my comments but I don't think it's up. Anyway,the following is what I wish to say.
Life is great and although we experience friendship enmeshed with conflict sometimes,I think that we learn lessons and become stronger individuals through these experiences.
I think that people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. The concept of karma is also real and interesting as u ponder about the workings of the universe and life.
As you mentioned about learning to love thyself more, I believe that is essential because as the saying goes, "I am me, I am unique and there is no other like me". Positive energy!

Bob Saget said...

So since all comments are about how they were hurt by a friend, let me turn the perspective around about how I was one of those horrible friends. Cause really and truly, it's not about how you got treated, it's about how you have treated other. And let's be honest, we've all been that horrible friend at one point.

So once upon a time, I was a shy person...a very very shy introverted person. Didn't go out very much and didn't have much friends. Then one day I was sitting in class and this absolutely gorgeous girl in the category of "I have no freaking chance with her" sat down beside me. Next thing I know she starts a conversation with me and we talk for a bit, class ends and I don't think I'm ever going to see her again.
One day I'm waiting outside to get some transport to get to class and then next thing I know this car comes screeching to halt in front of me. The window comes down and there is the girl asking me if I want a ride! So I jump in and from there we were the bestest of friends to the point of what is mine is hers and what is hers is mine...kinda like we were married.
But eventually I realize this girl doesn't have all her marbles.
After many years, her erratic behaviour and obnoxiousness starts getting to me and then that when I became horrible and started bad talking her, which she eventually finds out about and ended the friendship.
But as obnoxious as she was, she was always there for me. She would always beg me to come to her birthday party, but I would never go, cause I didn't really like her other friends and I don't like crowds. And every single day I think back to her and horrible I was. She was the single greatest thing to happen to me. The person who got me out of my shell.
I eventually got hold of her a few years later and apologized. She said she forgave, but I don't think I could forgive myself for that. Maybe one day later in time.

Serjio said...

"I believe that you never really know people in life, even when you think you do." This is so true. When i look at it you only know that person for the moments they choose to spend with you. However, when they're gone a whole new world opens up. Some of us have children to mine, bills to pay or is secretly having an affair with another person. I think you have a choice though to decide how much you really want to know someone. You just have to ask the right questions.

Chu said...

To be honest, I think a person should earn that title "friend". A true friend would NEVER in a million years hurt u intentionally. Some people also classify friends based on whom they know longest And not on the qualities of an individual or the sacrifices they are willing to make for you as a friend. Eg, u may call a person your best friend because u've known them all ur life... But are they really ur "best friend"? Does ur mood affect their's? Do they see the star u are when the world sees u as the worst? Do they tell u the truth ALWAYS even if it's not what u want o hear? Well, that's the qualities of my "best friends" && I've only known them for a little over 2 years.

I also agree with: 'once you can understand and get a real feel on your circle of friends, it'll probably grow smaller."

Because ive come to realize that and my circle certainly became smaller.

Wens-Notebook said...

Cas, I think you definitely got it! Thanks for reminding us that the longevity in knowing a person doesn't classify them as a "friend." Friendship truly goes beyond that.

And Bob at least you forgave her. One day you'll get up and realize that you're over that. You would have forgiven yourself subconsciously...too.

Jillian said...

Does "true friendship" even exist? Show me a "true friend" and i'll be one!!!