Friendship

I have never had a lot of friends.  A lot of acquaintances… yes. Friendship is a deep thing for me.  Being an only child and not having a big family, I was only close to a few people at any given point of my life.  My aunt use to say I “married” my friends.  Looking back, I would have to agree with that.  For me to call someone a friend, I have to see that they have friendship qualities. I learned over the years that everyone does not know how to be a friend.  No, there are no classes on friendship, but you also have to know not everyone is a good person.  Over the years, I have learned that the hard way who was my friend or not.  Now a friend doesn’t have to be someone you talk to everyday.  I realized that after graduating college, people go on with their lives and you won’t always have the clique you used to call everyday and hang out with every weekend. These day’s people have wives, husbands, kids and jobs. 

The change from young adulthood to thirty something with a spouse or significant other, new priorities, and responsibilities take precedence over some friendships. I had a close friend for years named Henry until his fiancé told him he didn’t need any female friends. There had never been any romantic interaction between Henry and me though I told him I would love him as a friend for the rest of my life.  Henry had been there for me for thick and thin for a number of years.  I loved him as my friend, I had to be willing to let him go.  He chose to marry this woman and I could not stand in the way of his future. I also never wanted to be the problem in his future marriage.  I have not talked to Henry in over eight years and I still wish him the best.  It pained me to have to do that, but it was the right thing to do.

First of all, people use the word “friends” too easily.  Some don’t know how to put people in their proper perspective.  I have a few categories for filing non-friends.

The User

This is the person you only hear from when they need something.  I had several people in my life over the years that fit this category.  I am not a fan of these people, especially when it is usually a one way street.  It is the person that has nothing but drama in their lives on a regular basis.  They are always calling you with some dramatic story and how they need you to either lend them some money or help then out of some crazy situation. When I moved to Atlanta I didn’t know anyone.  If anyone asked anything of me and I felt I could do it, I would.  I never knew when I would need something myself.  A friend of mine asked me to help him move.  With him being one of the first people to befriend me when I got to the ATL, it was not a problem.  He would invite me to all the parties and was very genuine.  Of course I would help him move.  He had a list of people that was supposed to help in this process.  Basically most did not show up and the skeleton crew was there to help him.  His girlfriend took me aside and told me that he really appreciates me and it was clear who their friends were.  I have helped many people move over the years.  I have to say when it was time for me to move they all showed up for me.

 The Toxic Conversationalist

This is a person you might not see very much.  The friendship is on the phone mainly.  This is a negative person that calls you with either drama or negative conversation.  They talk about the same issues over and over again with no solutions but just bitch about it.  I am not a fan of terminally negative people.  You could be having a great day and talking to this person just brings you down to a real low.  I asked one person, “do you ever have a good day?” I have had to cut a few people out of my life with the constant negativity.  Some of them just want you to listen to the drama of their lives.  I am a firm believer that people with a lot of drama in their lives make the drama.  I am not talking about someone who got burned out of their house or someone lost their job, I am talking about problems that they have no intention of changing.  They just want you to listen to them vent and keep up business as usual.  They ask you advice, but have no plan to use it.

 I was in a very mentally abusive relationship in my early twenties. I finally got the courage to get rid of this man.  After the final demise of that relationship, I called a friend to reaffirm my decision to leave this toxic relationship.  I was explaining the situation and every situation I explained I got a “me too” answer.  I realized this was not the person I needed to talk to.  I did not want to commiserate about being in a bad relationship.  I wanted a friend that didn’t want me to be abused and empower me to do what was best for me.  Now, why people stay in a relationship or not is not my business, but I needed a friend that would guide me in the right direction.  Not help me rationalize staying in a bad relationship.   

 The Person Who Do Not Want Honesty!!

There are some people who want to tell everyone about what they are going though, but don’t necessarily want to hear the truth. Now if you talk to enough people….you will eventually get someone to agree with you.  Unfortunately, that is the overall goal for some. They will call you with this story and if you don’t agree with them they argue you down like they are pleading a high end criminal case.  I am the type I don’t want someone to agree with me.  I respect honesty and I try my best to be an honest person.  I was in a group of people and a friend of mine made the comment to not ask me a question if you don’t want honesty.

A true friend will not just go along with you just to make you feel better.  You might not like what they have to say, but it is what it is….. an opinion.  If you don’t like it, just move on.  If the friendship is true then a disagreement will not end the friendship.  Now this could totally be a situational thing.  I had this friend or acquaintance more so.  She was explaining how she planned to sleep with a her friend’s boyfriend.  I was in shock that she was telling me this. I asked her “why would you do this to her”? “Would she do the same to you”? She said she wouldn’t put it past her.  I am sitting here thinking..damn…you two travel together, go out all the time..even have keys to each other’s house! 

Now she felt comfortable telling me because I listen to her melodramas of sexual escapades in the ATL without making negative comments.  The reason I had no comment was because she was a grown woman and if this is how she wanted to live her life, which was her choice. This plan she had to sleep with her friend’s man I couldn’t let fly.  I told her I felt that was distasteful. We ended the conversation and I didn’t hear from her for weeks. She finally called me and asked me if I was mad at her. I told her no she hadn’t done anything, but I know she would do the same to me.  That was pretty much the end to our relationship.

 The Jealous Person

This is the friend that is jealous of what you have.  I always felt that bad friends in your fold can be very detrimental.  There was a situation of a married woman I knew. She was pretty content in her marriage.  She had this friend who was single and doing the clubbing, bar and casual sex scene.  Since this woman was married fairly young she never had experienced this, especially with children coming quickly after being married. 

Well the friend being jealous of the situation was throwing a monkey wrench in this woman’s marriage, glorifying the single life.  The women eventually left that marriage and realized that the single life isn’t all it is cracked up to be. She missed her now ex husband and her old life and wanted to go back to it. (Which after the whole ordeal was not going to happen.) Her friend who lead her down this road is now with her man and has no time for her.

 The Boss

This is the friend who has the upper hand in the friendship.  They only surround themselves with people they can control.  I was watching an episode of Bridezilla.  I have to say I was thoroughly disgusted by how these women were treating people. (Especially the people who they called their friends.) She didn’t see them as family and her idiot future husband was signing up for a lifetime with this crazy women’s lunacy. Me personally, I would have told her to kiss my ass and had no parts of her wedding. (Which on a few episodes that did happen) These type of people usually have friends with low self-esteem and play on their issues to keep them under control.

 The Hater

This is the person that has nothing positive to say about the way you are living your life or what you are trying to do. They can also be the cock blocker like when going to the nightclub. I was out with a group of girls and every man that came to the table she pounced on him like he was her last supper.  She was making dibbs on all the men in the place so that you have no one you can meet.  It is the person that thinks everyone wants her and can’t even fathom someone picking you over her.  This person seems to surround herself with people she feels is lower than hers so you can always feel she has the upper hand.

In conclusion you need to watch out for who you label as friends.  Some friends can be more of a liability then an asset. No one is perfect and I will not claim perfection on anyone I call a friend. I will have to say when I called them a friend they have shown me something to make them friend worthy.  I was told by an older woman years ago. There are points in your life where you need to let people go that are not a value in your life.  I know it can be difficult to let someone go that has been in your life for long periods of time. Sometime it is a necessary part of life.  I feel to keep my peace and serenity I need positive people in my life.  I don’t mind listening to problems of my friends, just not people that live their lives in a problem with no intention to do anything about their problems.

 All the friends in my life are people I can call and they will be there for me.   They have shown me mentally, emotionally and even monetarily they would have my back.  I try my best to not take advantage of their friendship they bless me with. Knowing that going through life alone is not what I want. There will always be times when I need them and they will need me. That’s a friend.

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September 7, 2009. Tags: , , , , , . Uncategorized.

7 Comments

  1. CJ replied:

    Well developed frienship categories and well written. Great job Monie.

  2. Frances replied:

    Very good Monique you are getting good girl keep it up one day you will have a book published.

  3. Chelle replied:

    Amen! Truer words have not been written.

  4. Andra' L. Johnson replied:

    Very well written, I truly enjoy reading your material. Keep up the good work.

  5. Ollie replied:

    Your right on point with friendships broken down in categories. Fair weather friends, I can relate only call when they need something or when they need an audience to cheer them on in the drama that’s going on in their sick lives. Also the less attractive, low self esteem friend that need you to draw the crowd and make them feel good so they beg you to “TAKE ME WITH YOU, PLEASE.” I enjoy your topics, keep it going.

  6. Kelli replied:

    These are very interesting thoughts on friendship Monique. One can tell, by reading your blog, that you have experienced many different types of friendship. It’s true that not every person you meet will qualify to your high standards of friendship. It’s possible that God may place these people in your life to develop you into the type of person that can be a friend to anyone. This does not mean you blindly or foolishly allow people into the intimate circle of your life that can’t be trusted. Sometimes you have to be an example to others that do not know, as well as we do, what is considered true friendship behavior. Well done work on this blog. I look forward to see what you post next.

  7. V replied:

    Monique, I’m liking this. Quite interesting. I have been known to use the term “friend” very loosely, as I was/am too lazy to label the people in my life as friend, acquaintance, etc. However, I knew exactly what role they played in my life, what I could share with, and whether or not I could trust them. IF and only if a clearer definition was requested through conversation, or someone else asked me how well do I know that person, then I might elaborate.

    I think I know at least one person that fits into each of the categories mentioned above. I just hope I’m not seen as one that fits into any of them. 🙂

    What about the person in your life that feels they have the right to ask you every waking detail about your business. Do you gladly tell them that they’re too nosy, and keep it moving? Or, do you divulge the information under the guise of trying to be a good friend?

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