FRIENDSHIPS:: Are they seasonal or for a lifetime?

 

People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime, so they say. Most of us, if we’re lucky have a great circle of friends. Some of us have the same friends we had during childhood while others establish life long friendships later on in life. Whatever the circumstance, one fact remains true, and that is the need to connect and bond with another individual that completely gets and understands you.

Unlike family, who for the most part have to love and put up with you, friends choose to be a part of your life. Friends like you regardless of your faults and shortcomings. They are always ready to listen to you and tell you the truth and they support your decisions even when they may not agree.

 Friends are there to tell you when you’re being irrational and they’re there to laugh with you and share your grief. They are the people who aren’t afraid of telling you when they think you’ve done something stupid but they’re also there to praise you when you do things right.  Friendships are a two-way street and like any other relationship, it’s give and take. Friends have to be able to count on each other and also appreciate one another.

I have had several good friends in my lifetime, some are so close that they’ve crossed the line from being friends to being family. These are people that spend holidays with me, that go on family vacations, that know every member of my family and call my mom “ma” and call my dad “dad”. They fit right in. They are the individuals that I would really go all out for just like I would for my sister or any other family member. In my eyes, these relationships are so solid that they are impenetrable. Meaning that there isn’t anything or anyone that can come in between the friendship because it’s so tight.

It’s the type of relationship that no matter how angry you may get at each other, you know you will always be there for each other. These types of friendships take years to build. It takes years of trust, honesty, and commitment from both parties. It takes bucketfuls of tears, plenty of broken hearts, fights, arguments, and numerous ups and downs to know that you can count on that person through thick and thin.  I’m lucky to have friends like this in my life.

What I love most about my friends (my true friends) is that they know me, they really know me, and because of that they accept me for who I am. I have a snotty attitude and at times I can be bitchy, nasty, and rude BUT I am also loyal, dependable, honest, and if they need me all they have to do is call, even if we’ve just had the biggest fight of our lives, I’ll be there.

In my circle of friends, none of us have a problem telling the other how we feel about certain things (sometimes it’s good, sometimes not so good). Sometimes we also discuss these things without the “affected” party being present. For example, there are times when I make poor decisions that after discussing it with me, my friends may discuss it amongst each other.  We all do this and usually it’s to get the opinion of the other to see if everyone is agreement about the actions I have taken in the situation. Not that anyone’s opinion is going to change my decision but sometimes your friends can see things that we often intentionally miss. No one likes to admit that they’re wrong and sometimes it’s your friend’s responsibility to show you the error of your ways.

For some  this may constitute as talking behind my back but for me it doesn’t. If my friends talk about me or about a decision that I’ve made that in their opinion was wrong, I know that it is never done with the intent to gossip or to be malicious or hurtful.  I think it’s more of them tryng to analyze the situation amongst themselves in order to give me the best possible advice, even if I haven’t asked for it. After all, that is what true friends should do. They should always be looking out for your best interest. I think most groups of girlfriends do this, especially if the friends involved are like sisters.

In my clique, we really are like sisters and therefore I treat and act with them the same way I interact with anyone from my immediate family.  That’s why it’s no big deal to me if my sister and my aunt talk about me when I’m not around or if a friend and myself talk about or comment on another friend of ours. Usually what is said is something that we’ve already said to the “other” friend. I don’t say anything that I haven’t already said to someone’s face and anyone that really knows me knows this to be true.

I  had a so-called friend in the past that viewed this as “talking behind someone’s back”. However, in my opionion if I’ve already told you to your face and the person that I may be repeating it to is in our “cirlce” of friends it really shouldn’t be a big deal. Especially, if you are also guilty of doing the same thing.

My ex-friend was like this. She often times engaged with me in talking about our other friends and their lives and certain decisions that they made with no problem.  Not that what we were saying was bad but if in her opinion this constituted as talking behind someone’s back, why do it? It was funny to see how she changed when the tables were turned on her. 

What I mean is that she was offended that myself and another friend of ours were commenting on how great her  life turned out and how different it would have been if certain things in her life had never happend. She took our discussion as us trying to discredit her accomplishments when in fact we were really praising her and saying how lucky she was to have met her Prince Charming.

Long story short she became angry at us and no longer wanted to be friends. She didn’t want to talk about it or anything. Her decision was made and with the blink of an eye she let go a 15 yr friendship she had with me and an even longer friendship that she had with the other person. In hindsight, maybe it was wrong for us to comment on her life the way that we did because it obviously hurt her. For that, I am sorry because it was never my intent to hurt her. However, in my opinion if you can let go of those types of friendships that easily then the reality is that she never considered me a friend nor was she ever really a friend to me. I now know that it was the best decision for all involved because the only one giving in that relationship was me.

Regardless of what true friendship means to you (because it may be different for everyone), to me, true friendship is knowing that no matter what happens I can count on you and you can count on me. And if I do or say something that is hurtful or offends you then as friends we should be able to talk about it. No one is perfect, not even our friends. And although we hold our friends to higher standards than most they still make mistakes and as a friend we must be willing to forgive in order to save the friendship. 

If you can just let years of friendship go over one mistake then in my opinion, it really wasn’t a true friendship to begin with. As women, we can forgive a lover, a boyfriend, or spouse, that constantly hurts us but we’re not as easily forgiving of our friends.

Why is it that some women can forgive a boyfriend for cheating, abuse, disrespect and an array of other things but just as easily throw away their lifelong friendships?

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