Friends make up a lot of memories in our lives, can be the support system when family can’t and make up a huge part of our lives. Friends are in every department of life; work, school, University, and family. And they can make or break you at the best and worst of times.
I have had a lot of different friendships; ones that the other person takes and takes and ones where you take without maybe realising. I have been in both of these positions where someone would expect everything from me but give me nothing back and one where I was taking advantage of the friendship. This was not a friendship I was proud of simply because of the way I acted and the fact I no longer have this friendship because I took advantage of it. It is potentially one of my regrets in life. Because of this, I started thinking about this friendship and it got me thinking about what a friendship should be.
In my eyes, friendship is about love, respect, and understanding. I don’t believe there is any point in having a friendship if you don’t love that person. Not romantically, but like family love. Having friends you just ‘like’ isn’t worth it, in my opinion, life is too short to waste time on people you don’t truly care about. It’s also about respect, respecting each other in the things they do, the choices they make even if they’re not ones you would make yourself. Understanding your friends, I think, is another key part of a friendship. If you don’t know where they’ve come from or where they want to go, it’s tough to really be a friend to them.
I also believe that friendship is about give and take. Not to sound too much like Joey Tribianai but the giving and receiving in friendships is vital. If you’re giving all the time, it can be exhausting and receiving all the time can equally be, selfish too. A one-sided friendship is unhealthy, I know, I’ve been in both positions. But many, many people in the world are takers and will use and abuse you until you cut them out of your life.
I had a friend like this recently. All they would do is take, take and take. They would only ever ask things of me and it got exhausting and when I asked them anything it was as though it was not important. They would also make me feel awful about the things I did and believed in. I was almost not allowed to believe in the things I did, because it didn’t agree with their view. It was hard to be my own person as I felt constantly judged by them because I was different. Personally, I think being different is a good thing, it would be really boring if everyone was exactly the same. They didn’t think so.
It wasn’t a real friendship and it really helped me to realise how much more important it is to have really true friends around you, even if that means having ‘less’ friends, which to me isn’t actually an issue. I would much rather go through life with 10 really great friends who understand and respect me for who I am than 100 people who know my name and we sometimes hang out.
I learned a little while ago that having those 10 great friends also means getting rid of the other 90 who are kind of just there. And that is really hard to do. Finding a way to minimise the number of people in your life can be really tricky but what I found is that if you don’t get in touch with those 90 others, time will take care of it for you. Likely, if they’re the kind of people in your life who are ‘just there’, they won’t contact you. Personally, I found that reducing the number of people my life meant I could really invest time and effort into those I really cared about! It also meant I knew those people really cared about me and I know I could rely on them if something happened.
Thanks for reading!