August 3, 2018

I had a friend who was a lot of fun to be around; she had a great sense of humor, I loved her spontaneity and her enthusiasm was contagious. We were friends for a few years, we didn’t spend that much time together, but when we did hangout, it was a lot of fun.

Lately we started seeing each other more often than usual and I noticed that she would often talk about other people. I noticed this habit of hers; talking about others, rather than talking to others. I didn’t particularly like this habit, and any time she vented about someone, I suggested she speak directly to the person she had the issue with, to which she would reply “yeah, I know, I know.” And that was that.

Over the past few months I felt some judgement coming from this friend and I had another friend mention a comment this person said about me, but I brushed it off and took responsibility to own my shit. The comment triggered me because there was some truth to it.

As it turns out, this friend has been saying many negative things about me to other people, rather than talking directly to me about her issues. I shouldn’t be surprised, if anything, I should have expected it. If someone is constantly pointing out the faults in others, they will eventually find them in you too.

This brings me to a fork in the road; do I continue this friendship or do I walk away? I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, I like to focus on the best in others and I do my best to see the positive qualities in everyone. I do see this friend as someone who has a lot to offer to the world and I see her as someone who is struggling on her journey, just as many of us are. I enjoy being with her and walking through this journey together and now I realize that our paths are veering off into different directions. I still have love for this person and I will do my best to have encouraging and supportive thoughts for her however I don’t see this person as a friend.

It’s funny because I would always say: “strangers are friends we haven’t met yet” – I saw everyone as a friend but now I’m re-evaluating the way I see friendship. I am learning to see that friendship is built on a solid foundation of trust.

I’m learning to pay attention to how my friends talk about other people, I’m starting to see that you can learn more about a person based on what they say about others rather than what others have to say about them. If someone spends a lot of time bashing others, putting people down, talking about people behind their back, there’s a very good chance they will do the same thing to you.

In general, I don’t mind if people talk about me behind my back, I feel pretty good about myself and I assume most people have positive things to say about me.

However, I don’t agree with people that spend their time finding faults in others and spreading their negativity around to anyone who will listen.

I choose to surround myself with positive, loving people and most importantly; people who own their shit, rather than those who don’t have the courage to look at themselves and instead blame everyone else for how they feel.

I understand that no one can make me feel a certain way, even if a friend talks poorly about me behind my back and is nice to my face. It’s my choice to feel betrayed and see this “friend” as dishonest, OR I can choose to feel compassion and see this person as someone who is doing the best they can from where they are. For a while we may have shared a similar path through life and for a while, we may walk separate paths, perhaps one day our paths will cross again, in the mean time, I respect this person and the journey she’s on.

It seems to me that when we walk on the path together, we are friends, we trust each other and we support each other. When we take separate paths, we become acquaintances, friendly in passing, but not friends.

Friendship is reserved for those who are able to see you through your difficult times and help you rise up when you’re feeling down. Friendship is for those who always see the best in you and only have positive things to say about you, if they are upset with you, they talk to you, not about you.

Friendship is never having to say you’re sorry because a true friend will always understand that you are doing the best you can. See real friends don’t make each other feel bad, instead real friends lift each other up and bring out the best in one another. Real friends are precious gems, rare and unique, if you have a real friend, take good care of them because they can be hard to find.

10 thoughts on “Friendship

  1. So true! friendship is a beautiful thing but not everyone can be called a friend… true friends are sacred. ❤

  2. Absolutely love this and admire your honesty! I’ve often wished I could hear what my ‘friends’ have to say about me when I’m not around… thanks for this rawness and openness! ❤️ M

  3. This is a great and very relatable article. “Friendships” like these do happen a lot and it’s important to address that. I just went through the same thing and reading this really helped clear things.

  4. So true, Vanessa. It takes a courageous person to take full responsiblity for what shows up in our life instead of placing blame outside ourselves.
    When I do that and I’m able to not judge myself, then I no longer judge anyone else and can let them be exactly who they are. Then it becomes my choice how much time and energy to put into a relationship with them.
    Reminds me of the saying that we get to choose our friends but not our family but we still get to decide how much of an influence they are going to be in our life or how much time we will spend with them.
    No judgement, just love everyone as they are realizing we are all on different journeys. Then choose who we want to spend our time with.

  5. You are absolutely correct. Real friends don’t make lift each other up and bring out the best in one another, and supporting each other.
    Real friends are the ones you can trust your life with.!
    Listen to your heart!
    Love to you

  6. You are absolutely correct. Real friends lift each other up and bring out the best in one another, and supporting each other.
    Real friends are the ones you can trust your life with.!
    Listen to your heart!
    Love to you

  7. Thank you for the honesty of your thoughts and feelings. There are so many angles to what you have posted.

    Speaking from my own experience, I have ‘re-designed’ the definition of friendship. I have friends with different personalities and lifestyles. I take my time to put new people under the category
    of ‘friends.’ It is undoubtedly a question
    of ‘trust,’ and ‘meaning.’ I have learned and accepted that I am imperfectly perfect, so my friends fall under that category too.

    What I value most in a person is the ability
    to do soul-searching, and character-shaping or strengthening. For me, it is not so much about what they do, but about how they re-do when making mistakes. Today, I choose not to befriend people without that ability, because they usually
    are the ‘takers and not the givers.’ To be able to give yourself with meaning and purpose, you need
    to be on an ongoing explorative and transformational journey yourself.

    My life is sacred and my friends, like me, view life respecting and valuing the process of self-evolution and honouring the chance to share the same with others. When I encounter people who don’t, they become my ‘reminders,’ but not my friends. I appreciate the reminders but I love and want to be loved by my friends only.

  8. Vanessa, thank you for your share from your heart.
    You observed well her pattern and also knew eventually she will do it to you.
    The moment you recognized her pattern you could have set a clear boundary for her that talking bad about others is of limits, but even if she would have respected that, she will would have talked bad about you to others and I think even more important, it would have changed anything about a low frequency part you found out about her.
    For sure there are reasons for what she is doing and one wants to help their friend, but usually it’s better they are seeing a professional for that.

    Then there is the definition of what a real friend is.
    Basically it comes down what you perceive to be a friend in your reality.
    In regards to what you wrote as what you perceive to be a real friend, I like to ad for me it’s not someone who gives me praise for everything, but especially someone who tells me when I am wrong, goofed up, been a not a good friend, so I have a chance to explain, excuse myself, learn and change if necessary.
    There are many “True” friends out there which won’t do that, because they are only interested in having fun and not to really have your back, in my opinion and experience.

    As someone else mentioned here, some people you meet and befriend might be great to hang out for movies and dinner, some to work out with and so on and some will fall into your true friend category.
    Some will stay with you forever and some only for a certain time, until you both fullfilled the reason /purpose of your friendship which you co-created (that’s what I believe) before you came down here for the human experience.
    As Einstein said: The most constant thing in life is change. And so I believe it’s important to be in the Now (Tolle), enjoy each moment as long it lasts, until it doesn’t and roll with the flow with all its ups and downs.
    From what you wrote, in my reality, someone would be blessed to have you as a friend ❤️?

  9. Thank you for this Vanessa ❤️ I have to say that I used to view friendship in a very skewed way, a la Mean Girls. Super friendly to my friends faces and then opposite after. As I grow up I can catch myself still caught in that high school mentality where my friends should be revolving around me and my needs, but just like you said we’re here to lift each other up and not have our friends be the ones doing our dirty work, fixing us, or being exactly identical to us. I’m learning to honour the fact that the people around me aren’t identical to me (thank God) and to honour our differences/learn from my friends too, and being supportive versus judgemental is exactly where true friendship lies. Many thanks for this beautiful blog, beautiful friend!!!

  10. This was such an insightful post Vanessa! Thank You for putting your experience into words. I will benefit from your visdome in evaluating my friendships and making the decition on who to keep close and who to remember and let go 🙂

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