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What are friendships worth having?


sweetcheeks1

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I'm a student from England but I'm currently working in Spain. When I moved here I thought it would be interesting to see how many of my friends back home would make an effort. I've been here for 3 months and I'm already feeling pretty certain about the friendships that I'm unhappy about.

 

I'm in a Spanish colony on the north coast of Africa, so understandably some people have the impression that I don't have internet access, which isn't true at all and I’ve made this clear via Facebook and the blog that I’m writing. Since I've been here some of my friends from back home haven't been very good at keeping in contact. Some of their excuses include that they don't want to use Facebook or they've been too busy. I don't believe all of these excuses because even if you don't have or use Facebook, it is still possible to keep in contact through Skype, Whatsapp and email for free. For those of my friends who do use Facebook, it hurts when they say are busy and post lots of fun photos. I understand if people have work or exams, but if you have enough time to post things on Facebook then you probably have time to send a quick email as well. I can also see from the stats on my blog that lots of people are reading it, but still few people comment or contact me.

 

I personally think I make a good effort with the majority of my friendships. I email or write to people who I feel I haven't spoken to in a while; I keep note of everybody's birthdays in my calendar and send them presents on special. I don't want to sound like I'm full of myself, but sometimes it seems to me that I make more effort than some people make for me. I understand that nobody is perfect, including me, but sometimes it just feels like other people make as little effort at possible. I do believe that you can continue a true friendship like normal after not speaking for several months, but that isn’t an excuse not to talk at all. Sometimes people read my messages or letters and don't reply and sometimes people receive my gifts and don't even say thank you or send one in return. I don’t give to receive but the least I expect is some expression of gratitude.

 

In a few months’ time it will be my 21st birthday and I have decided to hide it on Facebook several days beforehand so that people can't see. I'm anticipating that I will probably be disappointed with how many people actually remember. I think if you really are a true friend to someone, you will have note of their birthday on your phone or diary and won't rely on Facebook in order to congratulate them. I don't really consider a Facebook post a heartfelt birthday wish, but consider it meaningful if someone sends a text, calls you and especially sends you a letter. Thus, I try to avoid sending congratulations via Facebook when I can, but this isn’t always possible. At the end of the day, this effort is not at a great cost and it’s a really nice gesture for the other person.

 

Sometimes I think maybe I can uptight about these things and maybe I should relax. I usually remember if people haven’t contacted me in a long time or have forgotten my birthday. I often hold grudges for a while, but I always try to forgive people and give them a second chance, maybe too much, which is probably why I’m in the situation that I’m in now.

 

This is an ongoing problem since I started college at the age of 16, when I really started to develop my thoughts and opinions. When I started university at the age of 18 I then started to realise that I’m actually quite different to a lot of my friends. I’m Christian, I’m passionate about human rights and the environment and I don’t like celebrity culture or fashion. I like to have a variety of different friends, but I don’t like it when they disrespect or disregard my passions. I feel that the conversations I can have with some of my friends are really limited to their interests and they won’t meet me halfway with mine. I sometimes get tired of talking about the same topic and this usually results in conversations being all about them. I’m spending a year of my life abroad and some people have barely mentioned it to me.

 

There are certain people who irritate me more than others. Some people might not reply to a letter or forget my birthday and it doesn’t bother me that much. With other people it bothers me a lot and it’s usually the ones who I have been friends with a long time or other Christians who have promised to be there for me. These kinds of friends irritate me more because I feel that old friends should be the ones who support you the most and I have had many friends, particularly Christians, who have promised to do something for me and not delivered. I don’t think people realise how much of a negative effect that can have. Sometimes I feel that I want to end certain friendships, but if they are old ones with people have been kind to me at some point in my life then I feel bad about doing so. I also don’t know how I should deal with them. I could cut them off completely or gradually, but when I try to do it gradually I become impatient with the uncertain situation I am left with.

 

1. Are my expectations too high?

2. If yes, what can I do to lower them?

3. How should I deal with the friendships that bother me the most?

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1. Are my expectations too high?

2. If yes, what can I do to lower them?

3. How should I deal with the friendships that bother me the most?

 

1. In my opinion, yes.

2. Don't play games with people. For instance, don't hide your bday on facebook just to see who will remember. This is manipulative and will more than likely end in disappointment for you. Accept people for who they are and if you wish to send a gift or note to someone, do so, but never do it with the expectation of anything in return.

3. If you really feel that people are treating you poorly, then fade out the friendship. You don't have to make some grand statement to them. Simply maintain politeness and focus your energy on new friends and relationships that you feel are working for you.

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1. Yes you are expecting too much. I think you are confusing friends with a horde of adoring fans and groupies sending you stuff on your b-day, avidly following your every move and making comments on all your social media nonstop.

 

2. Quit playing stupid games like hiding your b-day, giving people gifts and expecting gratitude or some other return on investment. Again, I don't think you fully grasp what friendship is and want only something very superficial, playing silly games with silly rules like who will remember your b-day. I'd rather have friends who never remember my b-day, but will be there in a heartbeat if I find myself face down in the mud. However, I'm not you and I would never care about the things you care about so much.

 

3. If you don't like them and don't get along, then fade out and make friends with those who are more like you and like to play by the same rules. There is no need for drama or any kind of a "I'm cutting you off".

 

It sounds like you are trying to be friends with people who are too different from you, so you are not getting what you need from them. Find those who think more like you and you'll be a lot happier with your life.

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Thanks for the advice.

 

I understand how you interpreted my post in this way, but I don't think I'm a superficial person. I don't keep value in material things and I don't hope for loads of presents. I just want some kind of kind gesture, like a letter or card. Is that really too much to ask?

 

Maybe you're right about rules, I'm just trying to find some way to deal with what feels like rejection. I don't feel like I have many people who would be there in a heartbeat if I found myself face down in the mud. I know because I've been there. I'm just not sure what I'm doing wrong. I still try with these people but get nowhere.

 

I am searching for people who are like me but I can't seem to find any. I feel like its just me who feels this way and I feel alone.

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I have a girl friend from 25 years ago -- that never fails to send me a bday card. That's just her.

And she knows that I am not good with remembering -- I do about 1/2 the time.

 

You need to accept people for who they are -- even if not like you. A whole group of "just like me" would be kinda boring.

 

And, another saying --- if you can count on ONE hand the number of true friends, you are truly blessed.

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In a few months’ time it will be my 21st birthday and I have decided to hide it on Facebook several days beforehand so that people can't see. I'm anticipating that I will probably be disappointed with how many people actually remember. I think if you really are a true friend to someone, you will have note of their birthday on your phone or diary and won't rely on Facebook in order to congratulate them. I don't really consider a Facebook post a heartfelt birthday wish, but consider it meaningful if someone sends a text, calls you and especially sends you a letter. Thus, I try to avoid sending congratulations via Facebook when I can, but this isn’t always possible. At the end of the day, this effort is not at a great cost and it’s a really nice gesture for the other person.

 

 

Stop setting up little games and tests so that people will "fail" and you can feel superior. Listen, having a list of your friend's birthdays in your diary does not make you a better person or a friend. It just means you like keeping track of birthdays.

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Well yes, I think you're experiencing a classic case of this: link removed

 

The bottom line is I think it's a myth that one can easily have a huge circle of friends who all remember and reach out and stay close to you in spite of time, distance and life just moving things along. Maybe in grade school, high school, maybe in college, but after that nah. Life intrudes and most people just focus on the ones that are closest to them. Everyone else gets an occasional "hey" via the easiest means of communication. It's fine send someone an automated happy birthday if they're just in a large circle of acquaintance-type friends, but why on earth are you sending out presents to people who barely speak to you????

 

There is no contest with life that says if you overgive to people who don't really appreciate it that you'll win anything, but bitter disappointment. Save you best efforts for those closest to you who have shown they deserve more, that the friendship is mutual and who reflect the same values and thoughtfulness you do. And also don't put so much emphasis on electronic friendships. It's a nice way to stay in touch, to drop in and see what people you know (and barely know for that matter) are doing, but it doesn't replace the real value of a friendship where you both can go to coffee or just say hi to each other every day.

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At first I was sort of feeling sorry for you (because I've been in your shoes) but I now feel that you must accept that others won't always value you the way that you feel that they should.

 

It's you who elects to be so kind and it is you who elects to go out of your ways for others and/so there should be no regrets (especially if you're doing it from the heart), however; you should now accept it for what it is and choose to focus more on yourself, the ones that value you, and your future and the life ahead of you that's destined to come.

 

Years ago I had a large circle of friends but within the last 15 years I've slowly removed the waste from my circle and now only have 4 or 5 really good friends but even they have their own lives!!! Just saying!

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1. Are my expectations too high?

2. If yes, what can I do to lower them?

3. How should I deal with the friendships that bother me the most?

 

1. Yes. It is nice that you are such a nice friend, don't stop that. But good friends don't keep score.

2. Just stop being so uptight. Just because someone doesn't remember your birthday, doesn't mean they won't be there for you someday when you really need them...

3. Please don't bring it up with any of your friends...It's not fair to hold grudges. These people are your friends, you can choose to be close to them or not. If you don't like them because they aren't giving enough to you, that you don't have to be friends with them, but at the end of the day, this is who they are...love them and accept them or move on...talking to them about it, holding grudges, playing your silly games with your birthday, is only going to alienate yourself.

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Then, how can I be a better friend?

 

In my opinion you can't get any better than you (thoughtful, remembering others, etc.).

 

You should concentrate on you and not the ones that have proven themselves by way of action.

 

Think about it...Just like you go out of your way to show others that you care, then so can they but they choose otherwise.

 

BTW...You can lead a horse to the water but you can't make them drink it!!!

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Be understanding. Worry more about GIVING and less about RECEIVING.

 

I worry too much about giving and that's my problem. I'm not that bothered about what I receive, I just want kind gestures such as an email or a letter. Maybe I've painted the wrong picture of myself here, but I'm really not very materialistic.

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You're taking that comment out of context.

 

Learning to concentrate on giving instead of receiving doesn't just have materialistic applications. A person who does "their bit" and without expecting something in return has a much happier outlook. You do things for others because it genuinely pleases you to do so. If you're going to measure your friends against what you do for them then you're setting yourself up for disappointment.

 

I'm not saying that your friends shouldn't remember you but it's sometimes hard to keep up with local friends when you have a busy life let alone friends overseas. My flatmate lived in Australia when she was in her late teens/early twenties and then left to go home to New Zealand and lost contact with all her friends in Oz except for the odd hello here and there over the years and she moved back to Australia two years ago and it's been phenomenal. Her friends all came back and are like family to her now. It was as if time hadn't separated her from them and yet she was back home in NZ for eight years which is a long time. You only have a year abroad. I'm sure the same thing will happen with you. You'll probably get back home and your friends will want to catch up too.

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I'm not that bothered about what I receive, I just want kind gestures such as an email or a letter.

 

This statement seems to contradict itself. You are obviously bothered about what you receive (or in this case, don't receive)- you want emails or letters. Clearly your friends do not feel the same way, so you have to accept that.

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You're right. I just don't understand how can people call themselves friends but do not want to maintain the friendship?

 

Not everyone maintains the same way. For some people it's not important to keep regular contact- they just pick up where they left off with people, and deal primarily with those in their immediate vicinity.

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Not everyone maintains the same way. For some people it's not important to keep regular contact- they just pick up where they left off with people, and deal primarily with those in their immediate vicinity.

 

But some people seem to be just too selective about who they keep in regular contact with. People seem to maintain friendships or even relationships with others living far away, but can't seem to do the same to me. That's what hurts the most.

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Geography has nothing to do with it.

Of course they are selective --- time is valuable.

 

I talked to one of my best guy friends last night for 20 min. I had not talked to him since the beginning of Sept.

I talk to my college roommate (25 years ago) every few months -- I have not seen her in years.

 

I think you are confusing "friends" and "acquaintences"....or secondary friends (meaning they are great friends of one of yours, but not directly yours).

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