Friendships

By Anonymous Guest Blogger, Man on the Fence


The subject of friends and friendship has been omnipresent in my mind lately. I have given a lot of thought as to what constitutes a “great friend.” We all have friends that we have accumulated over the years, some better than others, but still consider friends nonetheless. Over the last little while, I made the conscious decision, that since I considered myself such a good friend, I would no longer accept having simple friendships that were devoid of moral depth and values…

My meaning by this is as follows; our time is precious, friendship is precious and ought to be awarded the right respect to ensure fulfillment and happiness throughout our lives. Those friends that can’t accomplish this life’s mission simply have no place in my world. This doesn’t mean I don’t have friends that disagree with me or have an issue with certain character flaws I may have.  It just means that at the core of humanity, you want to know with certainty, that the person you refer to and call a friend, is indeed just that. A friend should be someone that is always there to comfort you, console you and someone you share your most private thoughts with. Obviously, this would include our spouses or even our children when possible.

Over the years I have taken steps to relegate those friends that have crossed the line of friendship. That did things that hurt me. I don’t bad mouth them. When I see them, I am polite and never go out of my way to highlight the fact we are no longer friends. I accept this is simply where we have ended up in the circle of life. It is often difficult to rid ourselves of these “old” friends that are really no longer our friends. It requires a good sense of mutual respect for what once was, but is no longer. Do you have friends like this? Or perhaps you have friends that you grew up with, but have almost, “outgrown” or now have little in common with? There surely is an etiquette which is rarely used, when accomplishing such a task. Defriending old friends, shall we say.

I am proud to say in these last few years, I have only resorted to doing this once. It was unpleasant and deeply troubling for months. However, with a great amount of thought and consideration I knew in my heart I was doing the right thing for both of us. How could I be considered a good friend if I lied about my true feelings or allowed the values of our friendship to be violated?

What I find particularly incredible about each of my friends is how they all came into my life. Every one of them has a unique history and role they have played in my life. I have a couple of friends that are mentors, almost like my teacher.  I have other friends that are content with simply being confidants that are always willing to listen and never pass judgment upon me. While I was going through my divorce, these friends were my saving grace. What is paramount here, is simply knowing how to be such a friend. I have witnessed countless occasions where people don’t know how be the best friend they are expected or needed to be. Even in the most challenging and difficult times, we ought to understand the role we play in someone else’s life. I realize that while I may consider someone to be my “best friend,” they may not feel the same way. However, this is where the true value of being a great friend comes into play.

I relish the fact that I have some friends I rarely see, and others I speak to infrequently, that still remain a part of my life to this day. The sign and test of true friendship is when fewer words need to be used to still get that sense of security and comfort we all cherish. We often speak of how many friends we have, but truth be told, we have very few true friends. After reading this, sit back and think of whom you surround yourself with. Determine with certainty that they add to your fulfillment and happiness in life. Accord yourself the right respect to know if these are really people you want to share more of your life with. When you finally pause for thought, I assure you a few things will happen; one is you will rid yourself of those that simply can’t meet your criteria for being a great friend, the other is you may allow yourself the joy and space of finding a new friend who can fulfill that role. And lastly, you will relish and value the friendships you already have.

Friendship should not require an untold amount of energy and effort to ensure success. Friendship should allow for positive growth and evolution over the course of time. When we look back in many years from today and speak of our “friends,” we ought to be able to laugh, love and smile at the thought of how lucky we were to find these special people to share our lives with.

And I’m not on the fence about any of this. 🙂

Finally, enjoy this about friendship:

Why Men Have Better Friends

Women’s Friends: A woman didn’t come home one night. The next day she told her husband that she had slept over at a friend’s house.
The husband called his wife’s 10 best friends. None of them knew what she was talking about.

Men’s Friends: A man didn’t come home one night. The next day he told his wife that he had slept over at a friend’s house.
The wife called her husband’s 10 best friends. Eight of them confirmed that he had slept over, and two claimed he was still there

I’d love to know, have you ever had to sever ties with a friend because they just didn’t fulfill the role they were meant to? How do you go about “defriending” someone who has been part of your life for many years? When do you know it’s time to throw the towel in on a friendship? Please share with our readers.

xoxEDxox

11 Comments
  1. The joke is great and so true. Men really do look out for each other.

    While I agree that friendships should nurture us and we should only keep true friends sometimes its easier said then done. My best girlfriend is so self distructive and I don’t sever ties with her because she has no one really other then me. I am really her only support so while I hate seeing her ruin her life and sometimes be aggressive towards me I just don’t have the heart to end the friendship. It’s complicated really.

  2. This is a very personal and difficult topic for many. For me, I think about this daily but it was something that had to be done.
    I had met someone at my job and we just clicked instantly. She was put on my team and it was as if we had known each other for years. Our families became each other’s family. We shared great times and were there for each other when things were not so wonderful. We truly loved each other.
    She decided to leave the company after a number of years and moved into another direction. It did not include me and it went to a place that I was not comfortable with. She stopped answering my calls and emails but I was persistent because after all we were best friends.
    I finally got her to pick up the phone…by using someone else’s phone. She apologized and said she was just so busy. Too busy for me?? I guess she was.
    We decided to have dinner and talk things out. We were clearly on two different paths and it was time to end the friendship. I cried through the entire dinner but knew this was the way it was supposed to be. We stopped calling each other and although I do think about her all the time, it was over.
    When a relative of hers passed away a few months ago, I did send a card because that was the right thing to do, but our friendship is over.
    The only way I am able to go forward is to remember what we had and what made us laugh and then I remember something I learned a long time ago…people come into your life for different reasons. Some for a brief moment and some for a lifetime. Our brief moment was 15 years but it was not meant to be a lifetime.

  3. I’ve had to sever ties twice with a friend and it was the best thing I ever did actually. One badmouthed me behind my back constantly and the other had the worst negative and jealous energy I couldn’t take it anymore. I figured life is short and I should have only good people around me.

  4. Breaking up with a friend is one of the hardest things to do. I did it 8 years ago when I caught my best friend cheating with my husband. I lost my husband and best friend at the same time. I’ve gotten over the hurt and betrayal but friends are supposed to be there for you, not betray you.

  5. It is true that male friendship and female friendship is different.. I am a woman and I do cherish my friends (like the 3 that I have and keep haha ) with all my heart. It did take me a lot to weed out the ones that were not truly my friends but then again although I love to meet new people and hang out, I really do not need the whole sisterhood of friends à la sex in the city; or maybe female friends are just so hard to maintain..as Sandy mentioned sometimes its just so complicated but when you find the right group of ladies its just beautiful.

  6. I’ve distanced myself from a few friendships, but I’ve never severed ties completely. I’m always hopeful that things could turn around with time.

    The few times I’ve retreated from a friendship have not been due to a betrayal or anything dramatic. Just a realization that being in contact with that friend is emotionally draining and leaves me feeling exhausted and worried. If I consistently feel terrible after seeing a friend, that is a warning sign!

    Of course, there will be times a friend needs to lean on you and you will be giving more than you receive and you might feel pretty spent afterwards. But usually there are good reasons for that situation (illness, divorce, etc). If a run-of-the-mill “hey, how are things” conversation consistently leaves me feeling like I just conducted an amateur therapy session, that’s too much.

  7. Man on the fence – you hit the spot today. Thanks for your reflexion on such a sensitive matter. Friends are my world, and I’m a total devotee… but there are times when you have to decide for your yourself what’s healthy. And THAT is the most difficult decision one has to make.

  8. I just got around to reading this today…yup I am a little behind in my blog reading.
    I have to say this was a very thought-provoking article and topic, most especially from a man. You hit the nail on the head over and over. Unfortunately, too many times in my life I have found myself in toxic friendships; they didn’t start out that way though. De-friending someone is something I have made a conscious effort to to do, but not go out of my way to state to that someone, that we are no longer friends by my definition. We are polite and pleasant. On some occasion I’ve been coached by family and ro friends to confront my so-called friend, have it out, deal withthe issues. As I age I realize there just isn’t any point other than making myself feel a little better for a short time. I know who my trid and true friends are and I know who is there for me when the chips are down and who I can count on to celebrate the good times with.

  9. Thank you for another informative web site. The place else may just I get that type of info written in such an ideal approach? I have a challenge that I’m simply now operating on, and I’ve been on the look out for such info.

  10. I was just randomly looking for friendship quotes and ran upon this blog and read it. This really hits home w/me b/c I just severed a friendship with a friend of 20 yrs. It was always an off/on-off/on friendship for years and every time we would get back together it was like we were never apart. She always called me her best friend and I thought b/c we had been friends for 20 yrs that maybe she was my best friend. But I felt our friendship wasn’t real. I always felt like she always wanted stuff from me and b/c she was my “best friend” I always felt bad not giving stuff to her. She would always say what was on her mind and deep down inside some of those things were really hurtful. I never said anything b/c I thought maybe I was being too sensitive or acting like I was in High School Girl. So for years I just harbored those bad feelings and just convinced myself I was making more of a big deal than it really was. As I got older I started realizing if we’re supposed to be “best friends” I should be able to tell her anything and we can talk & work through it. I thought our conversations would help us grow closer and we would learn from one other. After all isn’t that what we do in relationship with husbands, boyfriends, family, why not “best friends”? When I started telling her my concerns boy did that flip a switch with her! She started telling our other friends she felt I was a bully?? Keep in mind; everything I said was always ended with “I love you and I just wanted to let you know how I feel and I’m not mad at you, I just felt I had to tell you because it hurt me and now I’m over it.” I also closed our conversations out with: “And please let me know if I do something that upsets you or hurts you b/c I may not realize what I’m doing and I promise to be better.” – Ultimately I felt more and more anger towards me when we talked. Short and sassy answers were coming from her and I felt like I was walking on egg shells. I often asked her what I did wrong and to please tell me and she never would. She just didn’t talk to me or would say things to our other friends on how she needed time away from me??? I finally felt like I was begging for her friendship and I was physically and emotionally drained. I had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life and that was to delete her from my F/B and then let her know why I removed her. I let her know I only wished she could/would talk to me to let me know what I did that was so bad to make her feel the way she did towards me and since we couldn’t talk like grown women/best friends should, maybe it was time to say good-bye. Her Response: I deleted your message and didn’t read it! That is when I realized I made the right decision b/c she didn’t even care!

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