Friday, 11 July 2008

True Friendship

During the past few days, apart from following the world's latest news and doing my part to spread socialist values in the corner I inhabit, I have also turned my attention to some lifestyle blogs. I found a number of blogs that were quite interesting and have added them to my blog list.

Whilst reading a post on one of these blogs, I came across the following passage:

"When I mentioned how I hadn’t heard from a certain friend in months, mom asked, “So, why didn’t you call her?”

“Why should I?” I shot back angrily. “It’s always me. I’m always the one chasing after people to hang out with me. Do you know [how] that makes me feel? Like some loser who has to try and convince people to hang out with me all of the time. If they can’t be bothered to pick up the fucking phone or shoot me an e-mail every now and again, then why should I bother wasting any more of my time? I’m so sick of this shit.”

During my university years, I managed to develop some friendships with a number of classmates. Over the four years that I spent at university, some of those friendships grew quite strongly. The shocking part of the story is that almost immediately after the graduation ceremony, most of those people just drifted away. I used to send emails, call them over the phone to meet....I eventually realised that I was usually the one chasing these "friends". One of them got married around a year after we left university; he did not bother to invite me to his wedding. By the way, I was the person who had introduced him to the girl he married!!!

Nowadays, even though I am very happily married, there are still times when I feel that I have to chase certain people in order to do something together. I find this issue quite disturbing. As a person, I do not smoke or use any drugs whatsoever. If I drink, I only do so on a social basis and I never go overboard. I have countless interests and enjoy laughing. Financially, I could be in a better position, but it is not so easy to be very rich when you are working in a country that promotes its low operating costs to attract foreign investors! Why, I ask myself, do many people seem to get invited to events almost every weekend whilst I - with all the qualities I have - frequently end up being the one to chase another person to organise something?

In the past, I have often wondered whether I expect too much from those individuals that I consider to be true friends. I am aware that we live in a fast-paced world with several things to do in a relatively short span of time. Yet, with all the technological advances witnessed during the last few years, I find it extremely hard to believe that a person cannot find a couple of minutes to send an email, a text message, or to make a quick phone call. Is it really that complicated to show some care towards another human being, to say something like "Hi there, just wanted to make sure that you are fine! Can't wait to meet up sometime soon...!?" It took me a few seconds to write those words myself! LOL

Throughout the past ten years or so, many people have crossed my life path. The vast majority of them ended up drifting away for one reason or another. A few of them were initially very friendly, but ended up hurting me a great deal. Of course, you do learn from every experience, but the painful memories also add up. Every time a so-called "friend" drifted away, I felt abandoned, used, lonely, sad...

In spite of the above, I still believe in the existence of true friendship. To me, a real friend is one that will always stand by you. That person might not agree with you about everything (anyway, is that ever possible?), but he/she will always care about your well-being. It is a pity, though, that it seems to be so hard to find such people. Long live true friendship!!!


Amel's Realm said...

This post reminds me of "friends of a season, friends of a reason, and friends for a lifetime". I'm someone who doesn't like hanging out too much, but I DO need to have friends whom I can talk to or turn to whenever I need to.

But you're's tiring to go chasing someone who "doesn't want to be chased". If you really care about someone, then you should at least spend a little time to send an email or a text message.

But life is life...I hope you won't experience too many more "abandonment and sadness" that you mentioned in this post.

ninuhadida said...

great post David!

I can relate to most of the points mentioned, and to be honest, I have thought about them before also!

Although younger than you (no pun intended of course), I already experienced some of the things you mentioned, like people drifting away from your life.. It happened with secondary school mates, and now with JC ones.

And when I get over the "why do I have to be the one to call my friends to meet up sometime", and decide to approach them to organise something.. it's like trying to convince them to enter a lion's den.

I never really understood it, except that I learned to except it and practically 'lose' people that I used to spend time with, and if it wasn't for them, the experience we've been going through would have been a lot lot more boring!

La delirante said...

I totally agree with Amelia and Ninuhadida. I don't like to chase people. I hate it actually. I might organize something and call and text or email but if I believe that the feeling is not reciprocated I leave it there.

I believe in true friendship but sometimes circumstances change and those people who you believed were your friends forget about you...then it is sad to realize that they were never real friends. Real friends are always there for you, even if it's on the phone or the internet.

It is sad to see people you believe were your friends were just fake or even worse, were just using you. When I saw what happened to the guy you thought was your friend and how difficult it was to meet up with him and that he was just interested in you proof reading his documents, I was appalled and I remember I clearly told you that he was certainly not your friend and probably never was. Sad but true. Then one has to move on, ignore them if you see them again in the streets and eventually true friends will come again, one day and it will take time but hopefully they will be there, somewhere. You see, how many good friends we have so far and we have just lived in Malta for a couple of years :) Hopefully things will get even better!

GleGer said...

Jien f'hajti kelli hafna hbieb. Izda, hbieb ta' veru kelli ftit li xejn! Fl-opinjoni tieghi habib ta' veru tkun meta tasal tifhem id-difetti ta' siehbek. Meta tibqa mieghu w tighnu fil-mumenti difficli. Meta ma siehbek tkun open fi kliemek u mhux hafna tidwir mal-lewza, ghax fil-hbieberijja ta' veru m'hemmx lok ghal misthijja zejda! Hbieberijja ta' veru 'ggib hafna kuntentizza fil-hajja ta' min ikun qed jighxa, u ghalkemm veru li mhux facli li 'ssibt persuna li maghha tkun habib ta' veru, worth it li tibqa tfittex!!!

Good post David!

Bitter Chocolate said...

I absolutely know how you feel. I personally can only handle a very limited amount of chasing after people. The world self-respect has been invented for a reason :)

Michael Carøe Andersen said...

This reminds me of Facebook's friend feature. When is someone a 'friend'? An acquaintance or someone you know is that a 'friend'?

On Facebook I have a lot of friends but when I really get down to it there is only a few I would call "true friends" who I know I can always rely on. A lot of my friendships has been geographically determined, once we didn't live in the same place we lost touch.

I like Amel's "friends of a season, friends for a reason, and friends for a lifetime". Sometimes you loss friends or they drift away.

How has it been being married - do you get couple-friends?

Heart Of Darkness said...

You know, I found myself chasing after people, constantly, and unless I call them, we never get together. Which kinda makes me think how much they appreciate me - not.

Maybe I'm taking this the wrong way, but in conclusion, you need nurturing people in your life, people that bring something to the table, that, after a meeting with them, you don't feel emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted. At least not in a bad way...

Red said...

Thanks to everyone for taking such an active interest in this topic! :))

One of the points about which I would like to dwell on a bit more is the false perception of friendship that the Internet can sometimes create in a person's mind. The fact that it is so easy to use a number of Internet applications to add hundreds of "friends" to one's site might make one feel as though they are spoilt for choice when it comes to friends! Sadly, there are phases when one goes through the list of "friends", only to realise that many of them barely ever enquire about your welfare!

I do believe that long-distance friendships are possible, even though they surely take more effort to maintain than a friendship whereby the friend lives in the same city or country.

I also think that friendships work out when there are common goals. Not many people show a genuine interest about another person's well-being, but when two people really have this same common goal (among many other similar goals), a friendly relationship can really grow strong.

Sadly, I have noticed that many people tend to show an interest in being friends when one is in a fairly good socio-economic position. If one has a lousy income, lives in a matchbox apartment, does not have a car, etc., several individuals seem to transmit the following message: you do not have much to offer me and I, therefore, prefer to spend my time with people from whom I have a better chance to obtain certain benefits! I have seen this happening in a number of workplaces; the richest guys are always getting phone calls or messages to plan the next social event.

Many people are very selfish, but I still believe that true friendship exists. :)