I am sure that I am going to break up some friendships with this article.
Life is full of lessons, and one painful one that most of us have encountered at some point in our lives, is that of a need to define the bounds of friendship. It can be painful because in defining the parameters of friendship, many of us have come to the realization that we have been “friends” with people who do not know what that really means, and we have been left feeling hurt and betrayed.
Friendship is a relationship built on trust, loyalty and understanding of each other’s needs. It is not based on greed, guilt or deceit, and yet many of us have had friendships with people we unknowingly formed a bond with, only to discover that the person never really had our best interest at heart. To them friendships are formed based on what they can get from another person, as they live their life using people for their own means.
Some examples of this are: friends who need a drinking buddy so they pressure you to be it, knowing your weakness is alcohol. You find yourself only being called or asked to go out when that friend wants to drink. Another is a friend, who has a life partner and possibly a child, and they’re looking for either free babysitting and/or they like that you are single and available to be their “go to” friend when things need done. You may find yourself constantly being asked to “help” with things like home décor or renovation, shopping, cooking or various other chores that they tell you that they don’t seem to have the time for. At first this type of friendship may seem okay to you, after all helping out friends is important. The problem occurs if that help is hardly ever or never reciprocated back to you. To test this theory, ask yourself, are they suddenly and consistently unavailable to help when you need it? How about when you meet someone? Do they act jealous or try to sabotage your love life? These types of “friends” don’t want you to get a life because then you won’t be available to be the servant for theirs.
So what defines a true friend then? A true friend is someone who is there for you when you need them, and reciprocates that back to you. An example of this is being able to call you at 2am because something major has happened to them and they need to talk to you. If this happens every once in a while and you know that you can call them at 2am if you needed to as well, this type of situation is okay. Now, if the 2am phone call happens every weekend because they are drunk and need a lift home, then that is a problem.
True friends will call you to ask about you and your life. They have an interest in who you are, those you love, and what you are doing. They also don’t try to push you to do things you don’t want to such as drinking, drugs or to be in situations that you don’t want to be in. They also don’t have an expectation that they will get something from you all the time. They are happy to be around you without strings attached.
So what kind of friends do you have? Are they complimenting your lifestyle or creating negativity in your world?
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