I have been thinking a lot about friendship. For quite a while. This is as a result of what is going on in my life, what is going on in friends’ lives and general observations on social media. And introspection.
It seems to me that the concept of friendship has changed. Just saying this makes me feel awfully old, and old fashioned. But maybe it is that we now place different values on friendship. Then again, if we do, has it changed, or have I not noticed it until now. Or do I simply not have the social skills myself to make a lasting friendship? As I said, introspection.
For me, certain attributes are very important in friendship. Honesty, loyalty always. Having things in common is important, and yet having different interests is important too. A friend doesn’t always have to be someone similar to me, we can be very different people and yet there are common aspects of our lives that bring us together.
Is friendship more fleeting these days? A friendship of necessity, drawn together by a common circumstance, and when or if that circumstance changes, the friendship doesn’t survive?
I hate to fall out with a friend. Especially over a misunderstanding. I will fight for a friendship, fight not to lose it. Because that friend is important to me, because misunderstandings can be resolved, we can agree to disagree, but that person with whom I originally became friends is still there, underneath that all. Why would I throw it away?
When a friend changes the way they behave towards me without reason, it hurts. I wonder why. I wonder what I have done to cause this. I try to understand, to find out what happened, to resolve any issues. Am I foolish for doing this? I don’t understand how someone can just walk away from a friendship without a backward glance.
And yet we all, I am sure, have at some stage in our lives had a friend where after a while you realise you are making all the effort, you are always there for them when they need you, they disappear when things go well, they are not there when you need them. And then sometimes, it feels that the only option is to call time on the friendship. This is still a painful decision to have to make.
I am losing two friends at the moment. One for reasons I cannot understand, and I have tried. I have tried to understand, and I have tried to save the friendship. I just don’t know what else to do. The lack of explanation or closure is what hurts the most.
My other friend was in a motorbike accident a couple of weeks ago. I still live in hope that he can pull through, but it is looking more and more like he will not make it. This is a different kind of sadness and loss. And I feel so helpless when trying to offer support to his friends and family.
What are your experiences with friendship? Do you agree, or disagree? Is there a trick to dealing with all this that I haven’t learned?