by Madeline Laughs
I received a comment recently on one of my posts that gave me a moment to pause and think about what I was writing. The comment was simply put and to the point, and while I suspected a bit of apathy on the part of the observer, I did hear what they were saying.
“Hard to tell. It’s not her fault that she didn’t live up to your expectations. She operates in her own way, you do too. It just took you longer than you’d expected to realize that you two do not really click. It’s normal.”
As I bulldoze through my own dogma regarding friends and boundaries, I would be remiss not to make the most important of all observations and that is that friends are not all the same. There are so many nuances and differences among your group of friends that to expect each of them to fit a certain mold would be an overwhelming battle of wits.
However my posts are not about making everyone the same. They are about avoiding the ones that can potentially hurt and disappoint you.
I am sure that in the case of my fair weather friend that when I asked a favor of her that she was not willing to fulfill, she most likely felt I had crossed one of her own personal boundaries. When this is apparent, you have to realize the truth, which was the point of the comment made above. The two of us did not click on some level, therefore we were not a good fit as friends. I was weary of always being the person that was giving my time and attention and she was not willing to back me up by discontinuing to validate a personal attack on Facebook. It was an impasse and rather than continue to give energy in a direction that made me uncomfortable, I ended the connection.
If I were to categorize all of the friends that make me happy, the lists and categories would be endless. There are so many different ones! Friends that I work with, ones that work with my husband, friends we have over for dinner, friends that are on Facebook, friends that are on the West Coast, friends in other countries, friends I confide in and friends I mentor, ones that mentor me, etc. Endless!
Not every friend will fit into an exact mold, but everyone will have the same quality. That quality is what is important to me. None of my friends will purposely be hurtful, judgmental or mean. That’s not asking much, but it is the most important quality a friend can possess.
If you can gently roll through the friend list in your mind and they bring a smile to your face, then you are doing well. If at any time one brings a crease to your brow, or a twinge in your gut, then you have some soul searching to do about continuing that friend connection, or not. You can shove it aside until another day, or wait until it comes to a head with a confrontation if you want to, but why would you want to? Unless this is someone you feel you can’t live without, or someone that’s been in your life for years, there’s no need to harbor this kind of resentment or discomfort.
I know the argument here is varied. You can see this person as a challenge for growth. You can use this to learn some valuable lessons in compromise. People are not disposable. These are all true and valid arguments and if this is something you feel you need to do, then by all means, pursue it. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to dealing with the people we have in our lives, but there are hard and fast rules about how to keep them from causing us future pain.
While life will have it’s hardships and tribulations, friendships should not be one of them. Figure out what your personal boundaries are and enforce them for your own happiness. After all, it’s your life and you are the only person that can control how it plays out.
Friends are like snowflakes. Each one is unique in their style and their appearance and each one brings something new to the mix. There are literally millions of people waiting to be your friend. Don’t spend your time playing in the dirty, yellow snow when the drifts of pure and untouched snow are so huge and too numerous to count.
- Drawing a line on Facebook (madelinescribes.wordpress.com)
- You’ve changed, and I don’t like it (madelinescribes.wordpress.com)
- Drawing a line in the sand (madelinescribes.wordpress.com)
- Taking Facebook too far (madelinescribes.wordpress.com)
- What’s left to honor? (madelinescribes.wordpress.com)
- A Pure, White Snowflake… (grannyscolorful.wordpress.com)