Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Our friends should be companions who inspire us, who help us rise to our best.

So in the last few months I've been bothered by some of the stories people have told me about their "Friends".I tried to avoid speaking on it because look we all look at life differently but there are just somethings that friends don't do...and unfortunately women seem to have forgotten this. It's really a shame, but men seem to have cornered the "Friends first" market. How can I say that? because it's true! Sure they fight, might even disagree on the choice their friends make in career, mates whatever but they never turn on each other and they damn sure don't sit around gossiping about it or putting the person down.

A few years back I had to do an assessment of the people in my circle and when I did I realized I had a lot of people in my circle doing me more harm than good (even without knowing it). I began to cut them off slowly.  I'll use my own personal experiences in hopes that maybe you'll gain something from it. Kinda like the 48 Laws of Power only not 48 and about Friendships LOL.

Friends and Selfishness:
There was a time where I had closed myself off to the world. I didn't want to do anything but lay around my house. In short I think I was depressed, and it all stemmed from failing my series 7 test (DAMN that 1/2 point). I didn't tell anyone but one friend because we were in the same field and only she could understand. I'd call her for a pep talk and she's say the same thing each time, "It's only a test, you can take it again. Stop beating yourself up" and then proceed to talk about herself for hours upon hour. One day I called her crying because I wasn't sure where my career was going, I was on my way to quitting and looking for something else to do and just like before she told me I was being silly and started talking about her boyfriend. UGH I was so over it. I let her know that this wasn't working for me and I left it at that. After venting to the Mr, I realized before that test I probably never got a word in edgewise and had always been there for her.But when I needed her she was too involved in herself to care.Oh well you live and learn, and I've learned that friendship need reciprocity!

 Friends and relationships:

I use to have a "friend" that always found a reason to down the Mr. "Oh he's not good enough for you", "You work on Wall Street, surrounded by rich men, why won't you leave him" this BS went on and on for two years. I don't know why opinion made any difference to me but it did. I started to judge my life by her standards.  Thinking that because I was on the Street, I had to live the Wall Street life. WTF, was wrong with me? One night we were attending a bachelorette party for a friend and she turned to me and said "Look at how (this dude we worked with) looks at you, he's so into you but you want to be with Mr.anti-social. He won't even speak to people, you need to let him go" and that was it for me, I took a deep breathe and asked her why was she always harping on him, did she like him? Or was she jealous because her man was invisible. I know MEAN, MEAN, MEAN but she had it coming. After all the times she said something about him it was time for me to stop defending my relationship and start defending him like he would have done for me. Needless to say after that little altercation we didn't speak. Which was hard because we shared an office at the time. I don't know what drives women to think that they have to comment on every single solitary part of their friends lives but my relationship is just that MINE. I learned from this experience that you just can't bring other people into your world. I'm older now and I don't think she meant to hurt me, I think she envied what we had and that made her say stupid things. I also don't put all the blame on her, I could have nipped it in the bud by not sharing so much, or just by telling her to back off but I didn't. I thought that was part of being a good friend, biting my tongue.

At 35 I have a very small and tight circle of friends, some that have been around for 20+ years and some for 3 years but they were carefully chosen. In looking at my past relationships I've learned to keep certain things to myself because in the end the only thing that really matter is what I think and how I feel. More importantly
shedding the dead weight has allowed me to become a better listener, and a better friend.


The Jaded NYer said...

*takes extensive notes*

Great post!! I know as I whittle down the list of people who are privvy to the private goings on in my life, I'm able to acknowledge and surround myself with those who truly do have my back :)

The Jaded NYer said...

damn... did I misspell privy?? UGH!!!

Smarty P. Jones said...

Excellent post!!! We all need to work on being better friends and women especially. We have a rep for being catty and backstabbing which is sad because when it all comes down to it, all we have is each other.

Lina said...

I myself have practically sworn off women as friends for the reasons above, and because as women, we seem more adept at hurting each other. Maybe one day ill get over my hurt, but not right now.

Reina said...

Gotta agree with everything you've stated here. My friends are few b/c I'm just a private person. I don't like a lot of spectators chiming in in my life.

I can't think of any examples of friendships going awry, but I've had a friend or two give their opinions of my relationships.

Great post, chica. This woman law has my complete support.

Beth said...

Thanks for sharing. I think I needed to hear that.

It makes me realize I don't need to feel guilty (or like a b@*&$) for dumping people who weigh me down; belittle me, my choices and family; and aren't really there for me when I need them (hogging the convo like you described above).

It's been hard dealing with that, but you help me see that I'm not (completely) wrong. :)