“The last of humans freedoms is to choose one’s own attitude in any given set of circumstances”
Have you ever forced the existence of a friendship for “old times sake”? Because you grew up together, or shared a decade’s long history you feel obliged to maintain a connection because it seems the proper thing to do. In the meantime, in your attempt to keep the bond intact,
you lose patience
and find the relationship stressful instead of comforting?
Friendships are in fact living entities in their own right. They ebb and flow…sometimes stalling in the “ebb”
and in some cases we hold on for all the wrong reasons.
I was friends with “”Bonnie” for twenty years. We met in elementary school and became fast and devoted friends. In junior high we attended different schools but then in high school we were reunited and maintained a friendship until we were adults, each with our own career. One weekend, when I was visiting, it was though a veil had been lifted and I realized how I let her take advantage of me. I would travel hundreds of miles to visit
and she would always send me on tasks like washing her car
and picking up her dry-cleaning
while she had supposedly better and more important things to do…
like getting her hair done.
I became aware of the “tone” with which she addressed me at times, like a condescending adult talking to a bumbling child. I finally realized that the only reason why I was still friends with her is because I always had been friends with her. I had known her ever since I was six and I was holding on to the relationship for old times sake. Not a reason good enough for expending my time and energy. Unfortunately instead of sitting down and telling her how I felt I just gradually cut off all communication.
Not exactly the most mature thing to do. But I have since learned.
I know people who bully,
then bully and apologize again over and over and over again.
Never seeming selective in the way they treat others, the pattern being whenever there is stress and insecurity in their lives (which sometimes seems pretty regularly) the bullying escalates. I’ve gotten brave in my old age, a bravery I wished I had when I was young, and can usually call others on their ugly behaviour, calling it “ugly” and unjust and just plain wrong. There is really no room in my life for people who consistently treat others in an ugly way.
There are also those who seemingly suck the life force out of us with their constant negative attitude. When we are in junior high or high school we find excitement in the melodrama and the conflict but as we get older it just gets,
These people find fault in everything and anything and everyone finding some sort of glee or strength in criticism. Or maybe finding some sort of control or identity in believing that the world is an unfair and unjust place and it’s up to someone else to fix it. What they’ll do is just muck about in their puddle of negativity get dirty and feel sorry for themselves. Instead of being sucked into that puddle with them it’s better to separate ourselves from them and not feel as though we’re giving up on a friendship but rather taking care of our own self.
Maybe these friendships will flow forward to a point where they can be welcomed again into my life, but until then
I wrap myself in the warmth and positivity of those who make me strong in their strength of character and optimistic view of life and love
and for the time being,
delete all the rest.