Defining {Friendships}

I’ve written this post because I’ve been thinking a lot lately about friendships – how they change over time but also how my response to friendships has changed.  I’m a very open minded person.  I be-friend people easily and sometimes this doesn’t work out for the best.  Sometimes I’m not the best fit for people and vice versa and (if I’m honest} I just don’t have time for that s**t anymore.  I’ve been in my fair share of what I would call {toxic} friendships {for a variety of reasons} and this has made me cautious.  Sometimes expectations about friendships differ and that can cause a lot of heartache.  

This is not to say I don’t value my friendships.  My friends are up there with the most important people in my life.  As mentioned I have been a part of a few {toxic} friendships which have made me tentative when entering new friendships.  There have been people in my life who {put simply} wanted too much from me.  More than I can or am willing to give.  There have been people who have sought to disrupt my life {usually as a reflection of their own demons}.  There have been people who have been controlling, openly flirted with my husband, judged my children or belittled me.  And quite frankly I’m done with it.  There is a lot of cr*p I will {rightly or wrongly} put up with but even I have a line.  

{photo credit Mark from The Stevenson Life 😉}

Friendships are not conditional.  You don’t need to meet a certain criteria to sit with me.  We could have known eachother 5 minutes, 5 weeks or 5 years.  We could be from completely different parts of the world or only have ever communicated virtually.  

Friendships are secure.  They are supportive.  You can go live your life safe in the knowledge that our friendship will still be here.  We don’t need to be in constant contact and you don’t need to apologise for being busy.  

Friendships are not high maintenance.  I am not your life partner.  I will be always be there for you but my own wellbeing and family come first.  I do not expect the world and in return that is not something I can offer you.  

Friendships are flexible.  We may be virtual friends, school run friends, meet up once a year friends or all of the above.  It doesn’t matter.  As long as we value each other that is all that matters.  

Friendships are not exclusive.  You can have other friends and so can I.  You can have completely different social circles.  So can I.  You don’t need to invite me to everything you do and I won’t be offended.  You do you and I’ll do me.  

Real friends would never put you in a position where you are being asked to put them before your family or yourself.  If they do, maybe those friendships need to be re-evaluated.  As I’ve said, I am tentative when entering new friendships – almost like an understanding needs to be drawn up to say hey we can be friends but we’re not best friends {!}  I’m here for you but my family will always come first.  Basically – if you’re a knob you can’t sit with me. 

I will always be there for my friends when needed in the best possible way I can.  And I know they will always be there for me in the same way.  There are times I retreat into my own bubble and that’s ok too.  This is how I deal with my own well-being and I need to know you’ll still be there when I emerge and not judge or make me feel guilty for it.  I hope my friends know they can turn to me when they are in need.  When they need to have a rant, glass of wine or stomp around the block.  

To put it simply, I no longer have space in my life for anyone bringing toxicity.  I can’t/don’t/won’t engage in high maintenance friendships.  I don’t have ONE best friend.  I have a small group of what I would call my closest friends but this is not a closed group or a “golden ticket” gathering {ha!} Each friendship is different and each has been through its ups and downs.  We don’t always speak or meet up regularly but we will always have eachothers backs and when we do get together the amount of time spent apart falls into insignificance.

How do I define friendships?  I define them as supportive, funny, honest, loyal and uncomplicated.  I define them as free, easy {even through the tough times}, non-judgemental and mutual.  I define them as non-competitive and honest.

I define them as the family I chose to have in my life {and who have also chosen me}. 

3 thoughts on “Defining {Friendships}

  1. This is so true – I’ve also started to be very proactive about distancing myself from people who have a negative impact on my own mental health – because that’s not what friends are for. Whenever people ask me about friends, I happily say “I don’t have many, but those that I do, I’ll never lose” – I look at the Uni group, we can go weeks, months even without seeing each other, we just understand that life is busy, yet we all know that we’re there for each other without exception. And when we do meet up, it’s like we only saw each other yesterday. That’s real friendship!

    Oh, and, pretty sure that pic of you two jumping, I took – I WANT ROYALTIES 😉 (Sure that was either a pre-wedding trip to Dumbledor or whatever its called, and there was that awful downpour?!)

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  2. My closest friends live in different continents, time zines and live completely different lives to me. We speak maybe once a month if that, but when big events happen we make sure to be supportive. You’re right about flexibility, life needs to keep going on and friends are those that will share your good and bad moments be it as it’s happening or later over a cup of tea 🙂

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