On Friends & Friendships (Revised)

imagesSocial media has made it possible for people to become friends to anyone around the globe merely through the click of a button. I think it’s generally a good thing. My need for friendship isn’t too much but once I decide to build one, I intend to make it genuine as much as I can. Somehow, maintaining friendships can be hard work but so worth it at the same time because our friendships are one of the most influential and essential parts of our life. Recently, I’ve been pondering quite often about my friends and friendships. The friends worth keeping and friendships worth saving. The fact of the matter is that, my social circle is quite noticeably shrinking. I don’t see that as a bad thing. I actually think I quite understand now what they mean with “less is more” and “quality over quantity.”

images (1)I first arrived in Kuwait on the 1st of March, 2009. I have a variety of friends back home but very few real ones. They’re some of the best people I’ve met. The kind of friends for keeps. A few weeks since, my friendships have changed a lot. I’ve met different people of different nationalities. Most of the friendships/connections built were situational. Most needed context to make sense. Some stayed longer while some had a shorter shelf life. I still do wish them well now but I don’t intend to reconnect. Luckily, I also get to meet a few that didn’t need any context but exist in any given situation, people who are always there during my ups and downs, stayed during my best and my worst days, the type that lasts.

Several times, I let go of a few friends while a few others let go of me as well. I didn’t think I was being selfish to let go of them just like that but mind you, it wasn’t always easy to put an end to it. However, given the world we live in and the values instilled in us, I knew it was necessary.download

A couple of years afterwards, two of my closest friends abruptly ended our friendship. I first received a message from one of them telling me never to call her again and a few days later, I received pretty much the same message from the other. Sure I’ve made mistakes and dealt with things the wrong way. We had misunderstandings at times which is pretty normal in any relationships but why they suddenly wanted to end the friendship, until now, I still don’t fully understand.

Your peace is more important than driving yourself crazy trying to understand why something happened the way it did.

My heart ached. It really did. Breaking up with friends is just as painful as any other relationship break-ups there is. So after months of failing to know how I’ve wronged them, I stopped. I thought maybe knowing the answer may not satisfy me just the same and I don’t want to drive myself crazy thinking why. I just finally allowed the hurt to help me grow. It was sure a painful way to end an almost decade of friendship but I’ve decided to just let go and move on. I still sometimes think of them though and wonder, did they give up easily on me? Or did I give up easily on them?

downloadI love my friends, really, I do. Friends are one of the most beautiful gifts of being alive. They help shape our lives one way or the other. They cheer, support, help and see the best in each other. Friendships that have depth and true understanding is one among the essential elements of a blessed life. And I feel blessed to have a handful of them. Interestingly enough, some of us drifted apart at some point for some reasons, both inevitable and necessary, but later found each other again and our bonds became stronger. Sadly though, not all our friends give us that good effect. Some lie. Some betray. Then it’s difficult to rebuild trust and loyalty once again. So sometimes it’s better that they end. And a lot of my friendships are meeting its end nowadays.

Whichever and however way we choose our friends/friendships, I think it’s vital that we offer a meaning in each other’s lives. It’s nice to think that we fulfill them and they fulfill us. My friends mean something to me in different ways and play different roles in my life. I do appreciate, value and respect each one of them. Be that as it may, I personally don’t find any reason to work on a friendship that leaves me unfulfilled. More so, friendships out of habit or obligation. That’s just not fair and friendships are voluntary so I think there’s nothing wrong in ending friendships that doesn’t suit you in a positive way anymore.

5e833fe87a8c01614aff165d433a3c29Sometimes, too, we just outgrow our friends. At some point we realize that they’re not good for us because they bring us down or whittle at our confidence every so often. Some friendships evolve with us, but some do not. I will not apologize for evolving closer to my true self and evolving past their comfort zones. We change as we age and grow. So I think it’s just right to let go of such friendships and accept that it’s over.

Other times, too, we have this friend who always swings the conversation back towards him/herself and has no interest in what we have to say. I’ve met a number of them kind and I just avoid them as much as I could and luckily, they themselves stop talking to me, too.

b9cf3e4b311dd4d5e5f3366375bf2c20Moreover, there’s betrayal. As it is with all kinds of relationships, nothing could murder friendships faster than betrayal. It hurts a lot to be betrayed. It hurts all the more to end a friendship because of betrayal. I no longer see any point of saving a friendship when one betrays the other.

From time to time, psychological or emotional issues also become reasons why friends drift apart. It’s important that we maintain everything balanced in our friendships. Support for each other. Will to help in making each other better. Give and take. Trust. Unfortunately, there are times when these factors shift its balance and no longer serve one or the other in a worthwhile, beneficial, balanced or positive way. One typical example is a change in fortune among friends. The manner how we deal with situations like this isn’t always the same, thus, causing friends to drift apart. Where envy or jealousy didn’t exist before starts to gradually emerge. It’s nice to have friends who are always there when we are at our worst but I just don’t get them when they leave us in times when our fate changes for the better. (More of this on another entry.) So I suppose, it all boils down to who we pick as friends in the first place.

I’ve also met a lot of people who just befriend you because they need you. We don’t usually see this right away at the beginning of friendships but eventually, it shows. They take, take, take. And you give, give, give. Then they leave you. They build it when they need it, and break it when they don’t.

Here’s the thing, it is important to always try our best to see things from different perspectives before we make rush judgments whether to still keep these friends or completely cut our ties with them. After all, we all make mistakes. Some of us (myself included) don’t like to rely on anyone for anything to get us through life’s hardships but perhaps there’s nothing wrong in giving the friendship a second chance, be a bit forgiving and understanding maybe, because throwing away a friendship can’t be that easy. Every kind of friendship adds something to our lives, good or bad, it’s just up to us how we are going to let it affect us.

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You can get away from envy by enjoying the pleasures that come your way, by doing the work that you have to do, and by avoiding comparisons with those whom you imagine, perhaps quite falsely, to be more fortunate than yourself.

~Bertrand Russell

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There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.

Laurell K. Hamilton

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No matter what, nobody can take away the dances you’ve already had.

~Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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How satisfying it is to leave a mark on a blank surface. To make a map of my movement – no matter how temporary.

~Craig Thompson

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Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.

~Isaac Asimov

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Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.

~James Baldwin

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The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.

~Nicolas Chamfort

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The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them.

~Thomas Merton

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But who can say what’s best? That’s why you need to grab whatever chance you have of happiness where you find it, and not worry about other people too much. My experience tells me that we get no more than two or three such chances in a life time, and if we let them go, we regret it for the rest of our lives.

~Haruki Murakami

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To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life.

~Elizabeth Gilbert

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You know how they say you only hurt the ones you love? Well, it works both ways.

~Chuck Palahniuk

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Make sure, as often as possible, you are doing something you’d be happy to die doing.

~Matt Haig

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“It’s true: lives do drift apart for no obvious reason. We’re all busy people,we can’t spend our time simply trying to stay in touch. The test of a friendship is if it can weather these inevitable gaps.”

~William Boyd

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Life consists of two days, one for you one against you. So when it’s for you don’t be proud or reckless, and when it’s against you be patient, for both days are test for you.

~Hazrat Ali Ibn Abu-Talib A.S

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Better never means better for everyone… It always means worse, for some.

~Margaret Atwood

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I keep telling you the future isn’t set in stone. It’s not all decided yet. The future is just what’s down the road we decided to walk on today. You can change roads anytime. And that changes where you end up.

~Catherine Ryan Hyde

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Keep your mind open. The meaning of things lies in how people perceive them. The same thing could mean different meanings to the same people at different times.

~Roy T. Bennett

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Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get.

~W.P. Kinsella

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Better a cruel truth than a comfortable delusion.

~Edward Abbey

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Love and loss,” he said, “are like a ship and the sea. They rise together. The more we love, the more we have to lose. But the only way to avoid loss is to avoid love. And what a sad world that would be.

~V.E. Schwab

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Time is a gift, given to you, given to give you the time you need, the time you need to have the time of your life.

~Norton Juster

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Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.

~Cormac McCarthy

A Six-Word Story

Love yourself for everything you are.

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Death’s greatest power is not that it can make people die, but that it can make people want to stop living.

~Fredrik Backman

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The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.

~Marcus Aurelius

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You do not write your life with words…You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.

~Patrick Ness

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Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they’ve all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.

~Neil Gaiman

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It’s amazing how a little tomorrow can make up for a whole lot of yesterday.

~John Guare

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Life is about accepting the challenges along the way, choosing to keep moving forward, and savoring the journey.

~Roy T. Bennett

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Close some doors today. Not because of pride, incapacity, or arrogance, but simply because they lead you nowhere.

~Paulo Coelho

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Some steps need to be taken alone. It’s the only way to really figure out where you need to go and who you need to be.

~Mandy Hale

A Six-Word Story

He knows she won’t forgive him.

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I believe that kindness is the universal language. When someone does something kind it is understood despite language barriers or cultural differences. We should really communicate with kindness more often.

~Devin Patrick

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All change is not growth, just as all movement is not forward.

~Ellen Glasgow

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I guess I’m trying to say, grab anything that goes by. It may not come around again.

~John Steinbeck

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