July 12, 2011 § 5 Comments
The conversation today with the girls was on friendship, and what is thought-provoking is what we need in a friend, and when to know to let go of a friendship. Sometimes, no letting go was necessary, or explicitly stated at least. It just died off. Sometimes the greater sin, and that which we are more likely to fall into, is to neglect doing something, rather than to explicitly do something to damage the relationship. Anyway, I was comforted (is that bad?) that I’m not the only one who is thinking of letting go of certain friendships. Not that I’m happy that my friends are thinking of that, but I need someone who understands.
The indicator we agreed to, it seemed, boiled down not to how well we could connect with a person or even how the person made us feel, but whether the person was putting in effort in maintaining the friendship and whether such effort was mutual. I wonder if I have higher expectations, but I would go on further to say that if the effort is not consistent, I would rather not maintain it at all, unless of course we have something really special going on. I want people to share lives with, not meet up to chat once in a blue moon. By the time we meet, we might have drifted so far apart I don’t know where to start, and I might feel I don’t know you anymore.
But how about those friendships in which the other person is most of the time, self-absorbed, only wanting to talk about herself, not interested in finding out about you, or self-absorbed in another sense, or being too busy for you? It doesn’t help that I need a friend who will make time and whom I can connect emotionally with. I’ll say it first, as much as we should accept people as they are, they also have to accept that the person that we are requires certain things from them, like time. And if one party wants to be accepted but can’t accept the other party, then the friendship is a logical impossibility. I think compromise is the way to go, and to a certain extent, friendships hang on this. I can’t have a friend who thinks I should accept everything about her but doesn’t care about how her flaws affect me. Then she is not a friend. Friends look out for the other, and it’s a pity, such people are pretty hard to find. I’m keeping the one I have and please knock my head if I say I want out.
Sometimes, when I decide to let go of a friendship, I have wondered if it was ethical. Should I put in more effort? Is it ethical if the other person is not putting in any effort? I still don’t know if this is the way to go. Jesus would never let go of a friendship..or would he, if our hearts shut him off? But the fact still remains that he would never initiate. Or he would never neglect a friendship, tantamount to initiating the break-up.
Yet I, in my horribleness, would give up at the slightest sign and move on, not wanting to be hurt. What is the answer to our tiny hearts? The kind of heart which thinks she can do it all on her own, and looks out for herself? I hope I never come to that.