Were They Really Your Friend?

I grew very close to a work colleague of mine and we kept in touch even long after I left the company and moved on to another job. I found her company delightful and despite us recounting stories of past experiences which we could, by now, say by rote, the conversations were no less intriguing. While swapping on-the-job stories, encouraging each other in small endeavours, comically describing people we couldn’t stand and even meeting other interesting people by extension, I began to believe that I not only found a friend but also someone I could call family. Unfortunately, one fateful evening we had an argument but unlike typical confrontations, where the damage is reparable and ‘I’m sorry’ is usually enough, this showed another side to her that was not only ugly but also disturbingly true. We have since parted ways but ever since then, she and other ‘friends’ that I’ve severed ties with have taught me the following:

Be Mindful Of What They Say To You In Humour

 

“The fact that they have craftily found a way to soften their venom doesn’t make it any less poisonous”

 

We know that it’s not uncommon for friends to poke fun at each other or to tease each other constantly. However, do take note of those half-sarcastic, half-tongue in cheek comments that they routinely make about you that are almost always negative. Be aware that laughter at the end of their statement or a casual tone doesn’t make the words any less malicious or targeted. The fact that they have craftily found a way to soften their venom doesn’t make it any less poisonous.

Beware Of Attention Seekers

 

“They seek the adoration and admiration of everyone but don’t care to listen, let alone learn, anything new from others”

 

They respect nothing and no one who looks to divert the spotlight and attention from them. Years of friendship can be forgotten in their fervour to be recognised and they will resort to disrespectful, raucous and obnoxious behaviour to get what they want or to wreak their vengeance on the offending party. They seek the adoration and admiration of everyone but don’t care to listen, let alone learn, anything new from others. They may also be a magnet for fights and friction, amidst an unimpressed audience, and are often clueless about the embarrassment this is causing to anyone close to them. Sustaining a friendship under such circumstances is impossible especially where sympathy, understanding and talks have done nothing to encourage a change in behaviour.

 

Honesty Is The Best Policy

 

“Too often people mistake a good friendship to mean ignoring obviously bad habits and dangerous behaviour, which they wouldn’t otherwise tolerate in strangers”

 

Friendship shouldn’t make you blind to what’s right and wrong. In fact, the purpose of healthy relationships such as these is that they help you to become better individuals. However, this will sometimes mean speaking some harsh truths that your ‘friend’ may very well know but has chosen to deny or ignore. Be prepared for the possibility that this may result in an argument or you being insulted, blacklisted or even slandered. Even if a friendship should end abruptly because of honesty, let it not be said that you didn’t care enough to try and reach out to someone who you once thought fondly of but is clearly hurting themselves. Too often people mistake a good friendship to mean ignoring obviously bad habits and dangerous behaviour, which they wouldn’t otherwise tolerate in strangers. Remain true to yourself and remain true to your friends, even if this may mean losing them in the process.

Being Depressed, Conflicted Or Unhappy Is No Excuse For Being Selfish

 

“If you’re not careful, they will happily watch your life grind to a halt for them while theirs remain at a standstill”

 

It’s understandable that friends will from time to time go through rough and trying times. Ultimately, the hallmark of a good friend is someone who will consistently support you during such difficult situations. However, it’s important that you understand the difference between a friend being in a momentary rut, who makes every effort to overcome it, and a friend who prefers wallowing in self-pity – making you their permanent crutch. There is nothing worse than someone who is fully aware of the root of their problem but does nothing except repeat the same issue day after day. After a time, they cease to become ‘victims’ but simply accomplices in their own demise. If you’re not careful, they will happily watch your life grind to a halt for them while theirs remain at a standstill.

Some People Are Only Meant To Be In Your Life For A Time

 

“They may not have been the friend that I thought they were but they definitely played their part in what will ultimately unfold to be my destiny”

 

Sometimes we just need to accept the fact that arguments, misunderstandings and fights are simply destiny’s way of bringing a definitive close to another chapter in our lives. For every ‘friend’ that I’ve had to part ways with, they either helped me to learn something new about myself, put my moral code and ethics to the test or just served as a medium through which I could meet other beautiful, likeminded and inspiring souls. In hindsight, I can now appreciate the invaluable lessons they taught me and the character-building experiences that they caused me to go through. They may not have been the friend that I thought they were but they definitely played their part in what will ultimately unfold to be my destiny.



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