Friday, 6 July 2012

So You Think You Have Friends?


So You Think You Have Friends? Friends, I say with a big sigh.
Most of my life I have had a very limited number of friends. Apart from that I have a wider circle of people I call acquaintances . Acquaintances because I know them only too well. Acquaintances because I wouldn't trust them as far as I could throw them.

For years I have observed how they behave amongst themselves. They betray each others confidences without a second thought. They have relentless arguments and slander one another behind each others backs. I want no part or parcel in it. So I ask you today, are your friends really your friends?

Friends are supposed to support you through thick or thin. They  are the ones you should be leaning on in times of trouble. They are the ones you tell your innermost and darkest secrets to. They are the ones who you turn to for honest opinions, or to guide you back to the right track when you have strayed. They are the ones who are at your side even when you have made all the wrong choices and mistakes. Why? Because they are your friends.


Do you recognise any of these familiar faces?

There was Miss Repeat-Offender. She just couldn't keep that big mouth shut, 'Anything you say can be used in evidence against you'. Whatever you tell her, especially in confidence, will be broadcast to all tomorrow. You might as well ring talk radio.

Or how about Mr Schizophrenia? He had a split personality. When the crowd changed, his personality changed and his accent and loyalty went with it. Then there was Mr AllAboutMe. Never had 2 pennies to rub together, but every time we met up for a drink, he would be wearing the latest designer clothes and Rolex watch, he would never be caught wearing the same outfit twice. The exclusive topic of conversation would always be about him, of course. You was just his  prop for the time. He would lap up the compliments all night but unbeknown to many, always went home to an empty house full of credit cards. Not even the bailiffs could collect. 

Ah, can't forget Miss Chatterbox and Miss Verbal-diarrhea. They don't stop talking. You were merely invited out just to be their audience, nothing more and nothing less. You couldn't get a word in edge-ways, and if you did, your conversation would be ignored and they would pick up where they left off.

Oh, how could I forget Mr Dumper? Mr Dumper would shamelessly hunt you down, spy you out  then dump all the gross rubbish of his life into your lap, then leave. From the moment he got his hooks in you, you'd become an unpaid, unqualified therapist. Now when the tables are turned and you need a listening ear, Mr Dumper is like a fox in a hole. He's more scarce than Bin Laden.

How about the traitors? They always tell you that they 'have your back' but soon as you're in trouble they openly go against you, knife in the back is putting it lightly as they have no trouble stabbing you in the front. 

Last but not least, Mrs Aimless. Her mission is to stop you from achieving any or all of your goals in life. She is manipulative, conniving, and whatever your dreams, she will be happy to burst your bubble in an instant. She's the jealous one who can't stand to see you succeed, she'll do her utmost to keep you from getting to the finishing line. The classic dream-killer.

No-one's perfect but does friendship mean having to put up with this? and if so, how would you deal with the above characters?
Or should we hold out for true friendships?
What if that means being alone a lot of the time?


Can you relate to any of this? Or do you have experiences of your own you would like to share?

52 comments:

  1. I've loved all my friends while they were my friends, and if time and circumstances have separated us over the years, still I have no regrets or any sense of betrayal or disappointment.

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    1. Thanks Nothingprofound. You are very fortunate to have no bad feeling or regrets over the years in regards to your friendships. Not many people can say this.

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  2. I've had some friends who treated my friendship badly, but then I have to cut them from my life. But the friends I have are true friends. Sometimes good people can be friends, but they drift apart or change their dynamic so the true friendship is no longer possible between them. But those type of people above, I try to stay clear of. Though I have an acquaintance who is like number one, really super nice guy but no filter. It is truly not mean-spirited, I think it is just because he is so open he cannot understand the concept of secrets.

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    1. Yes Jamie, that's very true how friends can just naturally go in different directions over a period of time and that isn't a bad thing. I guess there are also 2 types of 'big-mouth' people, those who really can't hold a secret as they feel compelled to tell others and there are those who deliberately spread the gossip in a malicious way. Good idea to stay clear of both and thanks for your comments.

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  3. Friends are to be chosen wisely, like a good mattress or pair of shoes - there are certain traits which are desirable, and certain traits which are 'deal breakers'! :) We do need to be discerning when it comes to what we share and with whom, if we want to keep ourselves from unnecessary pain. But we need to balance that with the knowledge that all of us are fallible, and all of us will disappoint others from time to time. The trick is - which disappointments are you willing to endure for the sake of the greater good, and which are not to be tolerated? An individual decision, to be sure...

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    1. So right what you have said here. Sometimes it is very hard to discern the real smart clever so called friends who worm their way into your heart and then quick as lightening betray your trust. I guess some secrets should remain just that, 'secret'. Thanks Melody as you always have something valuable to add.

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  4. I've few friends in my life. I call them "angels" because they were detrimental to what I am at the moment. I've learned a lot from these angels. Good and bad - i believe contributes to our growth. Some made me feel great, some worse. Still, I believe that they are bound to cross my path to make me experience life in full circle. Several of them are just transients. They are the ones who filled up few pages of my life story but still made a mark. The "not-so-good" stuff I see in them, i had to see so I could avoid. Hence, that stuff could be me. But you are right, we have free will. We have a choice to cut the bad roots if it do more harm than good.

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    1. I like the way you stated 'they are the ones who filled up few pages of my life story but still made a mark' Bad friends do leave an imprint and also give you great experience in the long run. They help to make us who we are today. I appreciate your comment Mutya.

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  5. Outside of the family I do not have anyone I can call a true friend. I'm OK alone with my wife but I feel I'm missing out. It would be good to have a friend but I'm not sure how to start.

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    1. I am no expert in this area but as a suggestion or starting point, I would say that a lot of people find friends through a shared hobby or interest, I don't know what your areas of interest are but as an example, fishing, chess, jogging, wine-tasting or whatever it is, it may provide some common ground for you to get to know some new people and who knows, within time, a friendship with one or several people might blossom. I met a couple of really good people through wine-tasting about 5 years ago, and I'm proud to call them my friends, good as gold they are.

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  6. I think you said it yourself Rum-Punch... You can already distinguish between friend and 'foe', and that is basically the most important thing.
    Actually I myself recognize all the characters, except Mr.Dumper. (Must say I haven't had the full pleasure yet... ;-p)
    But then again, returning to the 'foe'... I found that it helped me a lot once I understood where they 'come from', and then honestly I usually feel sorry for a lot of them, because the fact is that they are just hiding some sort of flaw they think they have and must overcompensate for.

    Right now, for instance, I have a particular woman in my life who claims to be my friend, and she honestly believes she is. Yet it's a constant struggle for her to be with me or around me.
    She envies me, though I certainly don't understand why because there's really no reason in the world to be wanting to be me. Yet for some reason she is absolutely jealous.
    I ignore that fact and try to be a friend to her (regardless of the things I know she thinks and says about me...). I decided that she cannot help herself (and I truly believe she can't) and therefore forgive her for that.

    What I'm trying to say with all this blah blah blah is; some of these people don't do it on purpose. It's just a mechanism they built in for themselves to try to cope with 'their' world.
    I, personally, am inclined to 'forgive' when it's an 'innocent' weakness...

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    1. Your're good to be able to continue a friendship with this kind of a person, so thumbs up to you. At least you know her failures and are able to be a forgiving person. I don't think I could deal with being around someone like that, so you are good.

      You have a good point that these people may be hiding from something or could have flaws. I am now wondering if they see us as being bad friends, since they are coming from a different point of view or mindset? Thanks Ziva.

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    2. That's what I was wondering myself too!.. ;-)

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  7. Hi Rumpunch!

    As always you find the way to scratch the slate! :)

    This is a interesting question for me.

    Because it is all the way around in my field.

    I have no Friends, and no friends either.

    There is an engaging belief around the world that a person cannot live without love, and friendship.

    Maybe it is true, I do not entirely agree, perhaps because we are not talking of the same 'love', nor the same 'friendship'.

    Then I chose to be a nomad and in that state, neither loves, nor friendships are options.

    My excuse is that since we are so weak and poorly built for both of these beautiful notions, I am not losing too much!

    So you see, I have not experimented anyone of those characters you describe, which makes me richer... in a way.

    As a counterpart, and consolation, being friendless, I have, as the old song state: 'a million of friends' around the world.

    And now I have Internet! :))

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    1. Ah Untony, not sure if I should say that you have missed out on the experience of all the endless sleepless nights, the arguments, the worry, the hair-loss of having so called 'friends' do all the wickedness to you OR should I say you are most fortunate to have gone through life not knowing this kind of aggravation.

      I also believe that some people are happy in their own company, they do fully interact with the outside world as and when necessary, they don't feel alone and they don't have a group of people that they refer to as friends. I do think this is possible.

      Oh, how I love the internet, especially when I know what I'm doing. It raises questions about what 'real' friendship is, when 'virtual' people show more of an interest in you, are more honest and have more time for you than the people you know in person in the 'physical world'. Perhaps you have more friends than you think, Untony ;)

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  8. You have written quite an interesting post. It shows the observation you did to put this in words and explain it in such a way that many of us readers can totaly relate. But one thing is for sure, those are not friends. Friends don't have those middle names whatsoever so of course, these characters are just something else but never friends...and no, you don't have to deal with that, that is not food for your sould, it is only garbage.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Miss Lego, a lot of people appear to be friendly at first, then show their true colours before very long. I suppose I'm the type to read the writing on the wall and move on. But, as I've learned from certain comments above not everyone is like this. They have my admiration.

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  9. Well I could say I've seen that type of persons you're describing here and I've done my everything that I don't have to deal with that kind of stuff.

    I always thought that persons who I'm calling friends are not like that. They are persons who I can trust, persons who share their life with me honestly and to whom I can share mine without backstabbing or playing games.

    Only have had to question a little the friendiship with one of my 'friends'. We used to be quite close, almost best friends and have still sometimes hanged together. Now I heard she is getting married, but not from her. Also heard that she is just going to have small and modest wedding like no big deal.

    Well ok, she neither has invited me to join her bridal shower nor her wedding, though she has invited everyone else of our old "group". I'm left out alone questioning why, cuz' from my understanding I have always been a good friend to her........

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    1. Amethyst. I don't pretend to know the reason why you have not been told or invited to your friend's wedding but one thing I know for sure is, sometimes we have best friends but that does not always mean that they class us as their best friends! (hope I explained this ok). She might have other people who are closer to her than you or maybe there is some other explanation for this. I think I know how you may be feeling as I was once in a similar situation.

      Regardless to what anyone does to you, just stay true to how you are as a person.

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  10. I have great friends but most of the time it is I who fail to ask or seek advice from them. I don't think they have deserted me. All I know is that they also have their issues to worry about. But when we get together, we talk a lot, we exchange views, we exchange advises. Yes, I believe I have also met those folks you mentioned. I only try to keep the distance from them but as much as possible I am also trying to understand them. They got issues too, I guess.

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    1. Sadly life often gets in the way and can try and come between us and people we feel friendship and affection for. In situations like these perhaps it is better to have limited contact rather than lose touch with one another altogether. Thanks Ric.

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  11. Yes, I do pass some time with Mr. Schizophrenia and Mr. Aimless. I think that is a problem that comes both ways. I try to think what makes people act the way they act. Sometimes it is partially our problem, for letting people treating us the way they treat, I often think that if I wasn't always trying to be a nice person, some of the things that happen wouldn't. oh well.

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    1. Definitely Sara, we do allow people to treat us bad then only do something after it has been going on for some time. Maybe it's because we try to give them the benefit of the doubt until it's too late. Thanks for commenting.

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  12. I've had my share of bad friends. I drop them and walk away.

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    1. That's what you call a quick disposal Donna. At least you don't waste your time or theirs. Thanks for your comment.

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  13. Today I realized that not all people I chat with, joke around with, or laugh with are my friends.

    A real friend is:

    -someone who wishes the best for you;

    -someone who does not only stay with you when you are fun to be with, but who will stay with you when you are down, cranky or depressed;

    -someone who will laugh with you during silly moments and cry with you during times of loneliness and despair ;

    -someone who will risk looking like a fool as long as you get to enjoy your shining moment.

    This is a nice post. Something we experience everyday

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    1. I guess something must of happened for you to realise this today :) (that's me just being cheeky)

      But what you have said is right, it's a good run down of what friends should be about. Thanks Littleyana.

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  14. As always, you manage to write engaging and thought-provoking posts. I think it's safe to say, I have less than 5 people--outside of my wife and children--who I would call real friends. I have more acquaintances, and though they do play an important role in my overall social well-being, these would not qualify as real friends.

    There are Facebook friends and there are true friends. "A true friend loves at all times," the Bible says (Proverbs 17:17). Based on that definition, true friends, I believe are difficult to fnd these days. Sometimes, you may have to experience some disappointing relationships before you find a true friend. Nonetheless, when we find one, we should acknowledge him or her as a blessing from the Lord for truly they are.

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    1. Thanks Frank, very well said. Friends are very difficult to find, or should I say real and true friends. Just had a look at Proverbs 17.17, Just in case there is anyone not familiar with the bible, it says:

      'A friend loveth at all times and a brother is born for adversity'.

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  15. a very good post indeed. I have too many friends that fit these categories and unfortunately it is much harder to find a true friend than a fake one. Thank you as well for following and commenting on my posts I enjoy your comments and impressions.
    Cheers

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  16. So right Gail, there are many people who present themselves as friends but out of that bunch, who is really a true?

    Happy to comment whenever I can on your posts. Your last post had my mouth wide open. For those who want to find out what I am talking about read this:

    http://gailsforum.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/he-loves-me-not.html

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  17. I've met the kind of people you mentioned, in work and at school and I avoided them once I got to know their true colors. For me, It's better to have a small number of friends who are true to you than having a bunch of friends who sucks the life out of you. Nice Post!!!

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    1. Totally agree Imtalking2u. Thanks for the comment.

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  18. I think true friendship can last the test of time. This weekend I have my bachelorette party with my sister and three of best friend--one of which has been a friend since kindergarten. They don't fall into the categories you listed above, but I've definitely had some of those.

    I once heard someone say (and I apologize, because this is pure paraphrasing) "The best way to tell whether or not to end a friendship is to ask yourself if you were ever friends to begin with."

    My biggest issue with friends have been the ones who have literally disappeared into a thin air. A boyfriend comes along, etc. and boom, the fall off the face of the planet. Or the ones who just continually blow you off time after time. Cancel plans last minute. A friend of mine recently did this to me, and in hindsight, I remembered that the very first time we had plans to hang out, she called me an hour before we were to meet up and canceled, saying she was sick or something. So...yeah. These days I pay attention early on. Because generally speaking the way they act in the beginning is the way they'll act in the end.

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    1. You've got a very good point here, it's true that sometimes you can tell how people will end up, from how they behave in the beginning. I like that. Thanks for your comment Katie.

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  19. I've had no problem to find Friend to help them or share fun with- :))

    You could have millions of friends since you don't want anything from them- Its as simple as that-

    I had my experiences and this is the version of what is friends.

    I'm on my own once I have to solve my problems. Most people regardless who's your friend will hurt you when they get the chances- That's it! :))

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    1. Thank you so much Moonomo for sharing your experience of friendships.

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  20. Dear friend,
    Very well written post!! An acquaintance is a jewel but a TRUE friend is a treasure. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thanks Andy, that a nice and different way of putting it.

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  21. I can so relate to this and I'm going to share this! :) Sadly I don't have any friends in the 'real' world and that's because of the people you have mentioned. I have had more of my fair share of Miss Chatterbox and Mrs Aimless! I have often felt like I'm an audience member at 'Miss Chatterbox's' 'I'm Great!' party and I have had friends in the past that have labeled me their 'feel good friend', as long as I'm doing badly they are happy. It's a sad state of affairs but I don't think there are any real friends left :(

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    1. Thank for sharing your experiences with us Jade.

      I know where you are coming from on this, and I sometimes think it is better to be on your own at times than to have all these fake friends around you bringing you down. Don't be closed to the idea of making new friends though, as there are many good people out there who can enrich your life. It's just a matter of finding them. I gave a couple of suggestions to a comment that John M had left above.

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  22. Many of these people sound so familiar. Especially those who search for an audience and those who have a split personality. When dealing with those with a double or even triple personality I sometimes doubt myself; what did I do wrong? I am very picky in choosing the people I trust, but it is the same thing when spending your money on something valuable, you will most likely choose carefully. As we will spend lots of time and energy on friendships we might as well spend it on those who deserve it, not those who do not give it any value.

    Personally, I cannot live without friends. Sometimes, I feel like there is no point in making friendships after I come out of a bad friendship. But there are many good friends out there, so why blame everyone for the friends that were not true?

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    1. At least you are willing to give new friendships a chance because sometimes when old friendships go bad or wrong it closes the door to meeting or getting to know new people, which can lead you to living an isolated life. Thanks Lama Obeid.

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  23. I had a best friend. But not any more. We had a fyt, n I saved her by taking all blame on myself cz if I would hv told d truth she wud have lost d person she loved. I did dis cz she wad my friend. But later she only blamed me for watever happened wid her. I tried not to speak up or offend her for 6 Gud yrs, but dis Tym Wen she said, she dsnt need me, I also gave up.
    Still I tried once to make things better but she agn behaved cunningly. Den I gave upon her.

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    1. They say you can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink. It sounds like you did everything within your power to try and forge a friendship with this person but at a certain point you have accept it and let them go their way. Thanks Esabella.

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  24. Thanks Rum Punch.. It was nice to hear dis from u...
    Wish u a Happy New year... :)

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    1. And thanks for stopping by Esabella. Sorry I took so long to see this comment.

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  25. I am pretty friendly and kind to others, but I have very few friends that I trust in life.

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    1. It's always good to have a small group of friends that you can really trust and rely on. Thanks Susana.

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  26. I have dealt with the "Dumper" type. Oh boy I tried so hard to be supportive because I knew that like me she also did not have many friends. But, my goodness I am only human, she would just dump away and if I got a word in even to try and make suggestions that would help her during trying times well, she would just get defensive. She would just go on and on and on. Don't get me wrong she is a nice person but when I changed my number I failed to inform her of it, because I sincerely needed a break and I did not have the heart to tell her that. Eventually, I will give her a call to see how she is doing but I admit I am taking my time, I really don't want to be a dumping ground.

    Rum Punch, this is an awesome post!!! Hope all is well.

    Madison:)

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    1. It can be so mentally exhausting when people use you this way. It's like they purposely search you out because they know you are kind enough to listen to them but like I said, sooner or later it's gonna take it's toll. I'm glad you found a way of giving yourself a break.

      I wonder who's she dumping on now or has she actually thought about why you didn't give her your new number!

      But be brave My Meddling Mind, she might not even know she is doing it (some people don't see what they are doing to others) so have a quiet word with her about it. You don't want the cost of changing your phone number again...Thanks so much for having a read of my post and leaving a comment. :)

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  27. I feel uncomfortable with most people. I'm not sure why. I consider almost all of them as acquaintances. Sometimes I wish I had a few good real friendships.

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