06 December 2012

frankly: on friendship

This is a deep one folks, so if you're looking for something light then I'm afraid this isn't really for you. I don't usually blog about the negative side of life, but this is something that's been heavy on my mind these past couple of weeks & its made me think a lot. I like to write when I'm thinking a lot, it helps get all my thoughts organised & I can work out how I really feel about something. So...

"People come into your life for a season, a reason or to stay" 
This is one of the best pieces of advice my Mum has ever given me. It might sound a bit weird at first - but if you spend a bit of time thinking it over then it actually makes a lot of sense. It's one of those uncomfortable truths that we don't like to think about. We don't like to admit that we 'use' people. We don't like to admit that we know that we're not planning on sticking around in someones life forever. For some reason we don't like to recognise that not every relationship we form with people will be permanent. We don't like to recognise the transient nature of some friendships.

I think its because we don't like to think that we play that role in other peoples lives. We like to think that we mean something to the people we spend time with. That our friendship means as much to them as it does to us. It doesn't always work that way. Its hard, but sometimes you realise that friendship just doesn't mean the same to some people as it does to you. That a friendship that you thought went both ways in fact only goes one. That you're the only one putting in any effort. When you stop putting in the effort? You very quickly realise that is was all entirely one-sided.

Without sounding too selfish (I hope) I like to think of friendship as a two way street. It's a give and take thing. You take care of each other, you support each other, you listen when its needed & you drink wine, laugh at nothing & share your dreams. It shouldn't be about forcing opinions on each other & making it your mission to prove the other person wrong wherever possible. It shouldn't be about criticising someone whenever you get the chance & redirecting every conversation back to your own achievements. Friendships that work like this are toxic - they damage your mind & affect your happiness.

Friendship should be good for you. For both of you. A friendship that isn't good for both of you isn't really friendship at all & it's okay to let go of it. I'm not saying that we should 'give up' on friends - more that we should learn to recognise who our friends really are instead of investing ourselves in someone who really doesn't appreciate us. We should value ourselves enough to do that. Think highly enough of ourselves that we don't let people walk all over us. Focus our energies on the people that really mater & nurture the relationships that truly add meaning to our lives. Cut the crap & lose the drama.

What do you think about this? Should friendship be about sticking by someone regardless of how they treat you? Or does there come a point where you draw a line and say you've had enough? How do you deal with friendships that are 'toxic'? 


  1. Argh! Frenimies are the worst! Giving up on a friendship, or rather, letting it die out is so hard but sometimes so necessary. I've had a few really intense friendships in the past with people I don't even talk to today, not for bad reasons, but just because were not friends like that anymore. People are strange, friendships are more work than I think people believe. But you're right, ultimately friends should make you happy. If one is consistently making you unhappy, then I don't think they are a friend, they are a frenemy.

  2. I agree with you 110%, some friendships just aren't worth it, and some people are just really bad at actually being someones friend. I've had alot of toxic friendships in my time, but as I've gotten older I've cut them out entirely. If someone starts to border on the lines of frenemy etc I no longer have time for them - it sounds harsh but you can't waste your life on people that bring you down or people that don't appreciate you.. that's not what friendship should be about x

  3. Oh one of THOSE friends. I know exactly what you mean. I had a situation like this and it can really drag you down! I think the hardest thing about letting go of that person is that you know in doing so they will never really see your side and therefore think of you as a "bad person". I hate the thought of that, but then actually it's so freeing when you think "actually, I don't care if they think badly of me" and just leave the friendship at that. Some people make it their mission to force their own insecurities on their friends, which is a sad way to live if you ask me!
    I hope this post hasn't come from you having too much drama with a "friend" like this! It sounds like you've got the right idea though, definitely cut the crap! xxx

  4. I feel like I've known people who act like this and i've been the person who does as well. I have a evry close friend that I've known forever. Lately it's beginning to feel as if we compete or can't let the other "have" something that we feel posessive over. This post kind of solidified the feeling that I've had for a while that is going to turn into some action being taken. I think if I stop the attitude myself then she will too and things will start to be fun again. Thanks for sharing, such wonderful insight.

  5. I'm quite a strong character and I don't mind my own company, so I've never put up with crap friends (friends that are never there for you). Life is too short for rubbish like that. I haven't taken it personally when friends have been rubbish - it's simply one of those things. If life is working right, you'll find new friends who are better. I've been sick for the last couple of years, and it really sorted out who of my friends were going to stick by. :) I've stayed friends with the ones who stuck around, and gradually cut out the ones who were a bit useless and started ignoring me!

    With regards to friendships that die, it's always sad, but again, not much you can do about it! Like another one of your commenters has said, I've had some really close friends that I don't talk to any more. Not because we hate each other, but just because we grew apart. I think it's very unusual to meet friends that you'll stay close to for life, as you are a different person at different stages of your life, and your friendships reflect that. I think it's best to just acknowledge that you were good friends at one point, that you've both moved on but that no-one is to blame and you had good times.

    Gosh. This comment is a lot longer than I intended!

  6. Totally agree with you. I have had the same types of friends. Mainly my friends at uni. When we all left to go do our own thing I realised that the friendships I had is just weren't there any more. Took awhile to realise it though but people do just grow apart and as you get older you develop new friendships. But when you are not seeing those friends a lot I think it is a lot easier to let them go.

    If a friend is not making you happy and doing what a friend should be doing then its not worth it. They are not really a friend.

    I hope everything is ok!

  7. I think we all have people we hold onto for reasons we don't quite understand, or those certain people that we just keep letting back in despite that part of you that knows it's not worth the cost. Maybe we want to hold onto the part of our lives that person came from, or maybe we're afraid that who we are when we're with with that person will go away when they do. And even if that would be a good thing, still we hold on - death is uncomfortable, when you get right down to it. This post is spot-on. (:

    Hi, by the way! I just stumbled onto your blog today and I really enjoy it. Just saying.

  8. I've recently started cutting off a friend who I used to be close to. We once worked together, but when I applied for another job she acted as if I thought I was better than her (I just wanted a change). Since then she has only contacted me when she has wanted something and the distance has made me realise just what a nasty person she is. I never noticed how rude and bitchy she was to people before. But now, I realise I'm happier without her in my life and I'm moving on!

  9. I love this post and I love that quote.

    What you said about some friendships being transient in nature is so true. It's taken me awhile to accept that I have literally got 2, maybe 3, friends in total and that's okay. Quality not quantity.

    I now just look at other "friendships" that probably won't be permanent as learning curves and try to take as much from that situation as possible. Whether that's a good thing or not, I'm not sure. It seems to be working though...?

    Love ya, x


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