REFLECTIONS ON FRIENDSHIP

Welcome to the Write Tribe Blog Carnival, 2nd edition.

[If you missed the 1st edition, see it HERE.]

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It’s an honour to be hosting this week.
♦♦♦♦♦
 To commemorate International Friendship Day (celebrated annually, the first Sunday in August), my topic of choice is a natural:

♦♦ FRIENDSHIP♦♦

Over the  course of a lifetime, we meet scores of people, but how many actually become friends and stay with us for the duration?  True, deep-rooted friendship is a rare commodity in this transient age, but thanks to the internet, even those who have moved far away can still maintain contact, if they so choose. (How many times have you said or heard “Let’s keep in touch”, but nothing comes of it?)

Not all friendship is positive.  Take for example “fair weather” friends. These are the ones who happily partake of your hospitality, but otherwise only contact you when they want something. Don’t count on them when life gets tough.  They will disappear so quickly, you’ll be choking on the dust! Back in the 1970s, we were one of the few married couples in our group and hosted many parties. Life was good and we had dozens of friends. Did we really though?  Once the parties stopped in the 80s, those so-called friends dwindled to less than half. When serious financial difficulties hit in the 90s, only the aforementioned deep-rooted friends remained.

friendship: fairweather friends

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Sometimes, we meet new people with whom we share instant rapport.  This can be similar to an affair based on lust instead of love and be over just as quickly.  About 20 years ago, hubby and I met another couple and hit it off immediately. We exchanged phone numbers and invited them over for a barbecue the following weekend.  It was a memorable evening. Promises to arrange future get-togethers followed, but nothing happened.  Our messages were left unanswered and we never saw those people again.  Were they just looking for a free meal? Odd, wouldn’t you say?  This often happens with internet friendships too.  I used to belong to an online forum and had frequent email correspondence with several regulars.  Once the forum closed, they disappeared and ignored any attempts to stay in touch.  Am I the only one who finds this strange?

Have you ever experienced toxic friendships?  These are incredibly stressful, exhausting and unrewarding.  My best advice is to cut these people out of your life.  As the old saying goes “With friends like these, who needs enemies?”  I had one such friend, about 10 years ago.  She was a highly neurotic, compulsive liar and to top it off, also a stalker!  Several times, I spotted her car behind me in traffic for no apparent reason.  Once, I purposely drove into a dead-end street to see what she would do.  She panicked, backed out of there at full speed and never followed me again.  Every conversation with her included a litany of the same complaints over and over, to the point where I could recite them by rote.  Her idea of good-natured teasing was to mock and if I didn’t return a phone call within a couple of hours, she called again!  Life is much too short to put up with these types of friends, don’t you think?

toxic friends

[credit]

What is a true friend?  Opinions may vary, but the general traits are consistent, I believe.  
A true friend will:
- Know you better than anyone else, except your mate
- Love you despite all your faults and quirks
- Be honest with you
- Respect your opinion and agree to disagree, in case of opposing viewpoints
- Support your endeavours 
- Defend you when necessary
- Offer sympathy and moral support
- Be willing to go above and beyond the minimum commitment level
♦♦♦♦♦
How many such friends do you have?  I can count mine on one hand!
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What’s your take on friendship?
Do you have many true friends?
Looking forward to your comments!
Debbie
Blog carnival participants, please leave a comment, grab the badge and add your link, below:
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Debbie

The “Doglady”. Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada. Writer/blogger, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature & cinema buff. Eternal hippie/rockchick. Bi-national, German/Canadian and multilingual. Currently working on a memoir of the dogs she has known during her years as a pet sitter, along with other memoirs and creative writing pieces.

Debbie

Debbie

Debbie

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40 Comments

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40 Responses to REFLECTIONS ON FRIENDSHIP

  1. Hi, Debbie,
    excellent descriptions of different kinds of friends.
    My *true friends* are my “Root Friends.” I have about 5 of them, whom have been there FOREVER :) and still love me. WOW. xx
    My Inner Chick recently posted…Behind the Mask 0f DepressionMy Profile

  2. Cathy
    Twitter:

    This is great, Debbie. You’ve described all the kinds of friends so well. That toxic friend of yours sounded downright scary. I haven’t experienced that thank goodness but I have had friends who liked to put me down to make them feel good about themselves. Or the types where you do everything to please them and they could care less. Been there, done that as the cliche goes. Now I’m thinking of that Looney Tunes cartoon as I write this, you know the one with Spike and Chester. I’m tired of being a Chester. No more Doormat for me! GRRR!
    Cathy recently posted…FriendsMy Profile

    • Hi Cathy; I used to get taken advantage of all the time when I was young, which makes me choosier now. No more doormat – good for you! :) The image of Spike and Chester brought a chuckle; I remember them well. I was so relieved to break ties to that crazy person and it was easier than I thought it would be. She got the hint after I stopped returning her calls and even though she only lives a couple of blocks away, I haven’t seen her in years.
      Debbie recently posted…#MusicMonday: THE MOODY BLUESMy Profile

  3. I really liked the prompt but was not sure what to write. Have finally added my post. Have a great week ahead. Thanks for a lovely post on friendship and true ones a truly rare commodity.
    Inderpreet Kaur Uppal recently posted…You Are Invited!My Profile

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  5. I was nodding right along with you on this, Debbie. So true.

    I had a toxic friend years ago, though not as full of the cray-cray as yours was. It was hard, but I did distance myself and was better for it.

    Great post!

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  8. Now this is funny. I wrote my comment and they wouldn’t accept it because there weren’t enough words. It felt weird getting reprimanded by a computer. All I said was – Sure lookin’ good, Debbie!
    Carol Graham recently posted…How to Double Your Chance To Win – GiveawayMy Profile

  9. There are as many kinds of friendships as there are human beings, I guess! If only we had some of the “wisdom of experience” earlier in life, eh? Ah well, it’s all grist for the mill, and what I hope for everyone is to find the niche that fits each. Great post, as usual, Debbie.
    Sammy D recently posted…A Change Is Comin’My Profile

    • Thanks for dropping by, Sammy. :) Yes, different people play different roles, but what I cannot stand is the users and abusers. Definitely more of a problem when one is young and naive. Have a great weekend! P.S. Did you notice I got rid of the sidebar stuff on the post page? (It’s still on the Home page.) No distractions IS better, but the footer has some navigation tools, etc.
      Debbie recently posted…HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO US! 41 YEARS ALREADY?!My Profile

  10. Too often when I was younger I let toxic people come into or stay in my life because I was very insecure with myself. I’ve had to learn not to blame myself for this. I was a lonely kid and was hungry for companionship. Unfortunately as an adult, I tend to only allow superficial relationships because it’s hard for me to trust people.
    Thanks for visiting us at KHEL 666 Radio Netherworld.
    Wanda Psycho recently posted…Bryan Adams: I’ll Always Be Right ThereMy Profile

  11. Debbie – I love the new look of your blog. I enjoyed your description of a friend. Don’t you find it interesting that we (women) have different friends for different phases of our lives? I also believe that we can have people in our lives that consider us close friends but it is a one-way street. By that I mean – there are a few people in my life that believe I am their “bestest” friend because I am ‘there’ for them, and that’s okay. But I wouldn’t confide in them, for a variety of reasons.
    Carol Graham recently posted…How to Double Your Chance To Win – GiveawayMy Profile

    • Hi Carol; I thought you might like the new post pages. :) (The home page still has all the cool sidebar stuff and so does the footer, here. You’re on my “Top Commenters” list.) There are all kinds of friends in life and most people have many casual friendships, but a true friend is hard to find. This extends to the internet and I consider you a good friend, Carol. :) Good point about the one-sided friendships. Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend.
      Debbie recently posted…HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO US! 41 YEARS ALREADY?!My Profile

  12. That’s quite a sensible analysis of different kinds of friendships! It takes all kinds to run the world, I suppose :)
    The true and genuine friends are always just a handful, and perhaps it is better that way. We can’t be fully ourselves and unguarded with a lot of people, at least I can’t be :) By nature a reserved person, I can only open up with just a very few people and prefer it that way. Overall, I feel as long as we can have a sincere goodwill and good feeling towards others (whom we can’t see as our close friends) that is fine.
    Enjoyed your post, Debbie.
    Beloo Mehra recently posted…Cholamandal on the Blog, againMy Profile

  13. Nibha
    Twitter:

    yes. i had that kind of friends too who disappeared as soon as we lost touch never to contact again or just in the times of need!
    Nibha recently posted…Decoding Friendship!My Profile

  14. What a beautiful post Debbie!

    I don’t have a lot of real life friends but the ones I do I have a great relationship with. There is one who I see probably once a year but when I do we hug and talk for hours. But my BFF is my husband…quirky huh?

    I have a lot of online friends, you being one of them and I cherish them just as much as I do my real-life friendships.

    As far as toxic friendships, I’m lucky to have not had one. But I have had a toxic relationship :).

    Beautifully written Debbie! Happy Wednesday hun!

    • Hi Corina; A toxic relationship is even worse than toxic friends and I’m sorry you suffered through that! :( Real friends can just pick up where they left off, no matter how much time has passed. Hubby is my best friend too. We started off disliking each other, then became platonic friends before we got together romantically. Friendship is important to any long-term relationship and heightens the sense of commitment. I too have many online friends, including you and have even met three of them in person. These are definitely real friendships, contrary to what some people think. Glad you enjoyed the article. Have a great weekend! :)
      Debbie recently posted…HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO US! 41 YEARS ALREADY?!My Profile

  15. It’s like the old poem:

    Make new friends, but keep the old.
    One is silver and the other’s gold.
    LuAnn Braley recently posted…BES – #ISWG – Write TribeMy Profile

  16. Hi Debbie!

    True friends are definitely hard to come by. I can count on 1 hand who I know I can count on. Sad but true. I mean, I communicate with a lot of people but they always seem to be about them or want something in return. I wear my heart on my sleeve and that hurts. But as long as I have a few good friends that I can call my own, I’m good to go. My bestest friend is my hubs and my dog and they matter most.

    Great article Debbie. Makes one really think.
    Brenda Lee recently posted…Dear 46-Year Old MeMy Profile

    • Hi Brenda; You and I are in the same situation. I’ve been badly burned to so-called “friends” over the years and that’s left me more than a tad cynical about people’s motives. Hubby is my best friend too and so was our Dalmatian. I used to sing to her. :) No dog at the moment, but I have client’s dogs here all the time and they are my good buddies. Glad you enjoyed the article. Thanks for visiting!
      Debbie recently posted…HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO US! 41 YEARS ALREADY?!My Profile

  17. I’m surely going to post on this Debbie … I have a lot to share on friendships not too many good friends though..But then it’s always better to have one good friend instead of many bad ones…
    nabanita recently posted…Just a short list…My Profile

  18. Sulekha

    I have a lot of friends, but the ones I consider true friends are the ones I met during my school and college days. They have remained close to me even after all these years and the best part is we haven’t been writing to each other regularly but when I need a true friend they are there. Love your blog carnival theme, am on it.

  19. Friends are the mainstay of my life, Debbie! I cherish them, honor them and respect them. Sure there have been some ups and downs, but I consider them all part of life and a learning experience. So glad you are hosting this for Write Tribe. :-)
    Vidya Sury recently posted…And the Curtain Rises on #WhatTheBlackMy Profile

  20. I can count them in one hand too. :) Happy Friendship day. :)
    Jyothi Nair recently posted…Pile of LifelinesMy Profile

  21. Mike
    Twitter:

    Just so I don’t forget to mention, yes I’ve had toxic friendships and had to cut that chord off or distance myself from those emotional vampires quickly. With that out of the way I’ve been blessed with a ton of friends over my lifetime that are still in my life today. Most of it being me growing up and choosing what I wanted to be as a person within. Then immediately going into a life saving volunteer activity with search and rescue, becoming a medic then going in a life long high risk career. All of that builds a character of wanting friendship and support around you. My career field has probably the tightest bond of any along with the military. Over the past year I’ve really opened up more publicly and I will use Facebook for example, I had no idea how many people were behind me despite being told that for years. A little lack of self confidence. Probably the biggest attribute to my friends is that I AM a great friend first. I’m honest, genuinely polite, always caring and fiercely loyal. That has applied to my blogging as well, Debbie. And going full circle to the toxic friendships I’m in for mutual blogging friendship to support each other’s writing pursuits but there has to be consistent give and take. Or I will set them free and soon be blessed with someone else who does want to make that investment. Good post :)
    Mike recently posted…Flowing Tide Pub Reno, Nevada Is An Escape To The Old WorldMy Profile

    • Hi Mike; Thanks for sharing more about your life. I have noticed you getting more prolific in that area lately. :) I can understand how facing constant high-risk situations drives a need for companionship and support and you are fortunate to have so many true friends. Like you, I too am a great friend; honest, empathic and loyal. That’s probably why we get along so well, plus our mutual love of dogs and food. :D Your take on blogging friendships is spot on! Too often, the commitments are one-sided and this is a waste of one’s valuable time. Hope you and Phoenix have a great weekend.

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