Friendships are much like relationships. We are attracted to someones personality and feel happier and a sense of comfort when in their presence. We want to spend our time with them. We want to share a part of ourselves with them and we want to be there for them, to life them up when they are down; to help them along in this funny and confusing thing we call life. But the challenge of these relationships lie in how to deal and cope when issues, arguments and the like arise. When the two friends don’t see eye to eye. When one of the friends grow and the other is seemingly stuck. And for that, we often go through something similar to a breakup. We distance ourselves. We become less available. We cope with a loss in the best way we know how (sometimes by replacing them with a newer, cooler friend to take our mind off the loss,) and our lives go on. We might think about them from time to time, but like breakups, this is a part of life and we only grow from it.
Have you distanced yourself from a friend? Have you gone through this merry-go-round one too many times?
I have been both the one who has cut someone off, and the one who has been cut off. The latter is hurtful as fuck, because it’s a form of rejection; It’s a loss. And it’s sad to have all these seemingly sweet and fun memories with someone (as displayed in your old Facebook albums,) and then realizing, despite that, they saw you as someone they no longer wanted in their immediate circle. But, at the end of the day, if it were a boyfriend breaking up with you, you’d know better than to be hurt. You wouldn’t really yearn for him to ‘like’ your images or latest professional triumphs on Facebook or to call you on your birthday or to include you in big events and things they are throwing together (because that would be batshit cray.) And so, to move on over the loss of a friend, no matter how dear you thought they were, you need not have any expectations. If you run in similar social circles, be cordial, be kind. Your name is your livelihood. And if you don’t know why you were cut off and you genuinely want to know, reach out and ask, in a non-confrontational way, and do so knowing you may not get an answer at all. If they’ve written you off, they may not want to deal with the drama of explaining why. They may not want to hurt you. But accept the situation, wish them the best and make a promise to yourself that you will spend your precious time that you have on people who see value in you. How to tell who you should spend time with?
Traits of a genuine friend:
– you don’t hear through the grapevine that they’ve been complaining about you or your actions but instead they tell you to your face
– they are there for you in your darkest hour, even if they don’t get what you’re going through
– you never feel concerned that they’ll judge you, nor do you have to walk on eggshells to ask them a favour
– they don’t pressure you about how often they see you or not being included in something
– they meet you halfway, whether it be in distance or financially covering bills or in gifting you or even in a balance in social media (sharing pics of you in the same way you share pics and promote them)
– they never play the guilt card
– they’re never ‘too busy’ nor do they ignore your calls when you’re having a mini meltdown
– they include you when they are hosting
– they support and inquire about your livelihood: your job, hobbies, struggles, romantic life, instead of spending all your time together focusing on solely theirs
Much like a relationship, a friendship works best when the balance of power is equal. If a friendship isn’t healthy, you are not a bad person for cutting it off. You should feel safe in your friendships and the person you give the label ‘friend’ to should deserve it. It’s tough to lose those we have created memories and shared moments with, but no one said life is fair. People come and go at different times of our lives for different reasons. Embrace that theory and always do your best to be genuine to yourself and your feelings.
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