On friendship… and communication

Over the past few days I’ve been thinking about what to write next, and although I wanted to do something new, I couldn’t help but feel that the previous post was not in any way complete. I finished writing and slowly realized that I hadn’t even mentioned half of the things I wanted to say. Friendship, as with all kinds of relationships is firmly based on good communication… yet another thing we have begun to lose sight of. As you might have already guessed I over-analyze almost everything, and it can become very emotionally cumbersome at times. Nevertheless, I consider it a blessing, and very rarely a curse.

Over the years, my views on pretty much everything have changed. Hmm… is changed the correct term? I think molded is more accurate. The naiveté that characterized almost every one of my beliefs has been steadily replaced by the actual reality of things, which obviously became apparent through experience, and much trial and error. At this point I would like to clarify that I don’t consider myself an expert on anything, and what I state is not a universal truth that everyone should abide by. This is simply how I perceive things. To many I am still naïve in many respects, but that I’m afraid is something I cannot change; and to be brutally honest, I ‘m not even sure I want to.
In the past ten years I’ve made plenty of mistakes, and every single one of them has taught me something. I’m afraid this is the part where I have to retrace my steps and go back to the point I made about honesty. Touché, right? What can I say? I’ve already warned you I’m kind of a romantic idealist at heart. But this idealism does not presuppose a nostalgic tendency to the “good old times.” Au contraire! I believe that a creed based on honesty verges on sci-fi territory, that is, it exists in a galaxy far, far away.
How many times have you caught yourself telling little white lies that did not really do any harm, but did not in any way help the situation either? A friend asks you out and instead of saying, ‘you know what, I don’t feel like it/I’m too lazy/I don’t have any money/etc,’ you make up a whole story about not feeling well, having to do your laundry, having to feed your cat, and so on. Now you might be wondering, how is that bad? Or, how does it affect the other person? Well, when you make up a lie, harmless though it may be, the other person might pick up on the fact that it’s not true. As a result, they might begin to wonder the reasons behind your lying and consequently arrive at their own erroneous conclusions. And my question is, why do we do it? Don’t look at me, I have no idea. All I know is that at some point it becomes unnecessarily tiring and idiotic, and I for one am sick of it.
Another issue that I neglected to bring up last time is what happens when friends have habits or characteristics that we are not too fond of. Where do we draw the line? Do we wait until we can’t take it anymore and start lashing out at them, never having mentioned the matter before? I think this is what usually happens in relationships, maybe more so than between friends. It is unavoidable that we will be annoyed by something a friend does, and they will in turn be bothered by something we do. But what nobody seems to understand is that unless you let the other person know —especially when that other person is a loved one—, nothing is going to change, and your anger will continue to grow until it becomes a parasite that will slowly eat you from the inside out. Too graphic? I’m just making a point. And my point is that unless this gnawing sensation becomes intolerable, we should learn to accept the other person; firstly, because nobody is making you hang out with them, and secondly because people don’t change. Bottom line: you either accept and tolerate the little things, or choose to leave these people behind and move on.
Sounds nice and simple, doesn’t it? If only! Unfortunately, instead of moving on, most people would rather mope, complain, and be angry all the time, being either unable or unwilling to accept that they simply don’t like another person. But this brings me to another question I’ve often pondered. Why do we choose to tolerate and befriend people we know deep inside we have nothing in common with? Is it the fear of being alone and not having any friends? Is it that one “kind of” friend is better than no friends at all? Or is it that we just don’t think about it? I believe the latter to be the most disturbing, because in the other two cases you’re at least making a conscious choice. I know I haven’t referred to the case where someone might befriend a person out of personal gain, but I’ve excluded this situation deliberately. I’m afraid I’m starting to be a little garrulous, so for today, I will make my final point (which consists of two parts). Instead of eternally and aimlessly wondering what a friend or lover might be thinking or feeling, just ask them. And instead of perpetually being annoyed or angry at another person for something they’ve done —a sentiment which will potentially turn into hate—either address it and confront it, or accept it and move on.

2 thoughts on “On friendship… and communication

  1. Spot on. I agree totally. How could I not? I think that whoever has the wisdom and the strength to do all that you mentioned is a winner. I have not met many people in my life that know how to do this. If only they could realise how much better their lives could be. Having peace of mind, and a clear conscience is one of the most valuable things these days. Well actually it's almost what we have left. That and dignity.


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