What is a friendship? What does the word say to you? We all have friends of course but at different levels of course.
Let’s look at the definition first of all (Oxford English Dictionary):
The emotions or conduct of friends, the state of being friends
Old ties of love and friendship
An ideal group for finding support and friendship
A relationship between friends
A state of mutual trust and support
In all of the explanations above, the one that resonates with me the most is the: state of mutual trust and support.
Because isn’t that what friends are for?
Personally, I have a huge group of people that I am in contact with: family, neighbors, friends, colleagues, casual acquaintances and so the list goes on.
Recently I got in touch with a group of people who I was at primary school with. Now this is seriously going back a long way. Quite by chance the boy I sat next to at primary school just happened to see some of my work on internet. He sent a message and within several days, we had almost found the whole class again. We have a chat group in Google Hangouts and it’s busy! It was such a lot of fun to make contact with these people again because they were your school friends during a very formative part of your life. The funny thing he said to me early on in the conversation was the thing he remembered about me most was ‘story time’ which we had every day at school just before the lunch break.
That was the moment just before we went off to eat, school lunches in those days, when someone would tell a story and he said: ‘it was always you!’
Yes, he is right, I always had something to say and still do all these years later.
When the whole group is complete with the exception of one person, the chat went totally berserk because everyone had something to say then! It was ‘catch up time’ telling everyone what you had done in your life since the age of 11. And boy, that is a lot.
I cherish this group of people a lot, why? Because they are part of my life and part of my growing up into adulthood.
Unfortunately, we moved to a new house at the end of my time at primary school and I went off to another area and a completely different Grammar School than all of my friends. And lost contact.
But we are back together on social media, which is fun.
During my life there have always been friends who come and go. I think I should really use the word ‘acquaintances’ because in actual fact my true friends are those, I think I could count on my fingers. They are the ones who stick with you and give you mutual trust and support. Always have and always will.
During the course of my life and yours’s too, ‘friends’ come and go for sure. Moving means that you go into another surrounding, you lose contact with neighbors. People you chatted to or waved to a lot when you lived there then become a distant memory. Some people may never even get to know all their neighbors, but I would describe myself as a sociable person who can talk a lot. Those of you who know me personally will be laughing and nodding your heads at this !!
When your children go to school you suddenly have a new circle of people who are involved in your life for several years from Monday to Friday. But would you describe them all as friends? True friends?
And then sometimes things occur with friends that you did not see coming at all. You actually thought they were friends but when ‘push comes to shove’ and you need their mutual trust and support, they are not there for you at all. You don’t know why because in your mind nothing has changed in the friendship. Maybe they have changed, got other interests, don’t feel connected with you anymore or even worse they just ignore you. So, what do you do?
Hold your head up high and think, well were they true friends in the first place? Or spend a long time wondering what went wrong? You may never know the answer, apart from one thing. A true friend would not treat you this way. Yes, we all have our off days, but all the same there comes a certain moment when you realize you have not been in touch. There may be a good reason, or not, you may never know.
That is why I said at the beginning of this blog, you can really count true friends on your fingers. In this day of social media, we all think that we have all sorts of new friends but in fact they are just like us, on the circuit to comment. Often people are judged by the number of friends on Facebook, or the numbers of views or comments on their Instagram. But what is it all worth? Simple answer: nothing at all! But we all attach huge importance to this, and I have no idea why.
Just this morning I noticed someone has left a comment on one of my blog ‘shout out’s’ saying: Hi, pretty lady and a load of romantic emoji’s. Another friend of mine who has a huge number of followers on Instagram say they are sick to death of all the comments. And never reply to any! Very sensible as the golden rule I think is: if you don’t know them personally don’t react. And of course: reaction means action.
But back to friends: have you been thinking about your friends reading this blog and wondering the same questions as I do? Who are your real friends?
It’s food for thought isn’t it and maybe something you don’t ask yourself that much until the moment when a friend does something you did not expect or even worse breaks the friendship for no reason at all.
This happened to me last year. Someone I have been ‘friends’ with for more than 25 years, suddenly disappeared out of my life. She was at the time in the middle of a divorce and had shared so many secrets and confidences with me over the years, but then she got involved with totally the wrong man and was so influenced by him, she dropped everyone including her own family.
It hurt for sure, but in the end, I could see, she was the loser not me.
I have no hard feelings anymore and to be honest I have stopped caring now. I realized that she was in fact not a true friend at all. And I don’t miss her anymore.
Also ‘friends’ change. They suddenly become distant because they live in circles which they think are higher and more important. Their ego comes into the equation. I think actually the words I am looking for here are: status and snobbery. They suddenly feel that they are better than you. There may be a huge number of years and memories shared but it happens so fast, you actually do not know what has hit you. The big question is why have they changed? Is it their own lack of self-worth? Do they feel that they have to prove themselves? I really don’t know. But one thing is for sure, they were not true friends really.
Several of what I would call as my true friends are people I have known for a long time. The ones who call you up and you pick up the conversation as if you had spoken yesterday. They are the ones you can call on in a case of emergency because you know they will be there for you. They are the ones you can really be yourself with, laugh and cry with them. There will never ever be any judgement, comment (apart from useful loving ones) or moments when you feel that they don’t care. To my mind these friends are what I would describe as soul friends. They are with you through thick and thin. Always!
I hope you like me have a number of true friends in your life. They are important and you should cherish them each and every day.
Writing this made me think that when the blog is published, I will pick up and phone and ring my oldest (read: longest) friend and ask how she is doing.
Why don’t you do that today?
Images and quotes: Google