15 Things I’ve Learnt About Friendships  (And Myself)

Painting by RHADS

Painting by RHADS

I’ve learnt that they’re built on how we work through our differences/disagreements, and I can only do my part as honestly and openly as I can.

I can only be sorry for what I do – not what you do. If you can’t see your part, or honestly and openly communicate your side so I can understand it, there’s not much I can do.

I’ve learnt that as I grow some people aren’t going to like my changes. That’s okay, I realize that I’m the one who’s changed, not you.

That a mutual acceptance of boundaries is necessary – if I can’t accept yours, I’ll ask myself why not, and if need be, discuss and/or move on. If you can’t accept mine, please grant me the same. I don’t appreciate others trying to move my goalposts/disrespect them. I set them for very good reason. I stay in control of myself so I don’t have to try and control you.

We’re all different – and that’s okay. Some people enjoy conflict and aggression in their personal relationships and thrive on it. I don’t. I thrive on the complete opposite. I have enough battles in the world outside my personal space thank you very much. I’d prefer to just agree to disagree, and just be mere acquaintances rather than friends. Neither of us has to be ‘right’.

That some people will just kick you when you’re down because they think it’s all about them. That’s okay, I won’t kick you back – just don’t expect me to stay there to let you kick me again.

That with some people, even though they’ve said that they’ll be there for me (as I’ve been there for them countless times over the years) when the shit has hit my fan I’ve not seen them for dust. That’s okay, I got fooled, not you. You won’t get to fool me again. Unless my first point kicks in, in which case, YAY! :)

That some people just can’t step up for whatever reason (even if they’ve said they would). That’s okay too. Especially if it’s communicated in a caring manner.

In most cases, with friendships that don’t work out, it would be nice if we could just be civil when we have to encounter each other – albeit at a polite distance.

It isn’t okay to apologise, then do the exact same thing again and again (just in a different way). It’s gamey.

Neither is it okay with me to triangulate others into your issues (rather than sorting them out with me directly), making up stuff that I haven’t even done, and/or just completely ignoring me/brushing me off when I send a text/say hello (rather than sorting any issues out with me directly).

Neither is deleting me in a fit of pique No, I’m not the type to bleat, ‘why did you delete meeeeeee?’ if I notice. This behaviour will turn me off rather than draw me to you.

Understand, you’re welcome to your opinion of me, just don’t expect me to take it on board as my truth. If you find others to collude in your opinion, it doesn’t make it any truer, and says more about you than it ever will do about me.

Take those PA tendencies (and I’m not talking about personal assistants) and fuck off.

Your behaviour is your business. I am not going to continue to try to work things out when confronted with the above, it’s too draining.

Know that I am no longer the type to run after and try and fix what I didn’t break in the first place.

Know that it has really hurt me to realise some of my friendships were anything but, and in the absence of healing, I’ve let you go so you won’t get the chance to affect me again.

Know that I am incredibly grateful to the friends who have stood by me and been there for me, and given me support – old and new and growing. Thanks to you lot I learn how to accept love and support, and what healthy true nuturing friendships are.

Sometimes things are just a misunderstanding and easily resolved, but sometimes a line gets crossed and there’s no going back.

Written by Wenzday Jones