Choose Your Friends, Don’t Let Them Choose For You

I’ve wanted to do this post for a while now. Now’s the time, but I hate that now it just seems like a response to someone, rather than me wanting to say something or share something I’ve learned.

The last thing I want is for this blog to turn into a quagmire of angst ridden posts, like my livejournal had become back in high school and after.

But alas, it is what it is. This will be the second to last time I am going to talk about non!friend. I have a post planned regarding my situation where I have to mention her (though briefly), so I can’t say this will be the last, last time.

But trust me tomorrow’s post will be on brighter subjects.

So let’s carry on.

I finally came to write this post because non!friend is still ranting in my comments.  I’m not going to publish the latest bit, but if she comments to this one, I’ll let them in.

The reason I don’t approve them is because I don’t want to bring a fight to this blog. This is my place and I get to decide what goes down here. Well, that’s one reason. The second reason is that I don’t want her identified.

I haven’t used her name, but she has. I’m protecting her privacy….or at least trying to. Also she’s using names and bringing up personal stuff that shouldn’t be brought up in a public place (I haven’t used names or used specific details, so I’m hoping she’d give me the same courtesy).

Ah well.

Anyways, this isn’t about her. This is about the situation I had with her.

My point of view of that situation.

If you want to know hers, I’ll approve her comments where I’m sure she’ll gladly grace us with it.

But lets get started already.

Friendship.

Here’s the thing about it that I’ve learn; my personal conclusion and opinion. Now I will admit that I have only one or two good close friends (and tons of other wonderful friends that I love, but don’t see or talk to on a daily basis, I love you all!). So, it’s not like I’m an expert at having and keeping friends. But I do feel that I’ve had a few crappy friends and it’s my fault as much, if not more, than theirs.

It all comes down to choice.

There’s a difference between choosing your friends and letting them choose you. It’s a VITALLY important difference that can make a person miserable.

But, what IS the difference?

When I was young, I never really sought friends. I sort of just stood there, looking around and waited for someone to be my friend.

This is a very bad way of getting friends, I’ve learned. Cause then anyone will just step up and say, “Okay, you’re my bitch, I mean friend!”

All my life, I kept attracting the same best friend. I’ve attracted it at least three times in my life. A young Caucasian girl the same age as me, slightly overweight (I have no idea why), and for at least two of those times (well for the first one, we were in elementary so I guess that’s understandable) they were charismatic, popular and promiscuous.

To this day, I don’t why I kept attracting this type. Thinking about it, I wonder if I was just attracting my exact opposite, which is what I thought I needed to be. Maybe I hated myself so much back then I became friends with the opposite because I wanted to be like them.

But when I attract, I really mean attract like an invisible magnet. I didn’t do anything. They just sort of zoomed in on me and poor, friend-starved Amber, didn’t really think twice of saying, “OKAY! I’ll totally be your friend, I mean bitch.”

(Let me take a brief fraction of a second and define what I mean by close friend. In this sense, I mean that friend you hang out with on a daily basis. The friend you do everything with. Not the friends you say Hi and occasionally go to the movies with in a group, or your friends from school or work. I mean the ones you do almost everything with, which in my case, was non!friend.)

See, the point to this is compatibility. I’ve learned that you can’t accept close friends just because you like the same T.V. shows or books or movies or even because they want to hang out with you. This is kind of obvious once you get older, but I was young and stupid, even stupider because I didn’t get it till like a month ago.

When it comes to true friends, it’s not these superficial things you have in common with. It’s the deeper things you have in common. Same morality, same outlook on certain things, same open or closed mind.

One of my most cherished close friends, who I love to death, is not really like me…and yet at the same time, she is. She always does her best not to offend others and makes them feel welcome in her home. She never judges, NEVER.  No matter what. I could rant and rant about things she has absolutely no interest in, and she’d not only listen, she’d even nod and smile and make maybe a tiny comment (trust me, this is a big thing, non!friend would just change the subject and ignore that I even spoke).

It’s something I would do.

And yet, we don’t like the same music, same type of shows or movies, she doesn’t read fantasy, and she already graduated college EARLY with a BUSINESS degree, which you can say is an art degree’s polar opposite.

Meanwhile, non!friend and I had some things in common. We like certain t.v. shows, books, sometimes we’ll agree with music, movies, etc. She even wanted to be an actress once, which I wouldn’t mind dabbling in now.

But like I said earlier, she was promiscuous. Boys were largely on her mind. Now, this is not a bad thing. But it’s the completely opposite of me. Due to stuff in my past, I don’t make any real attempts to get boys and whenever I do try, it always ends up horribly for me. I’m just not good at it and it’s fine, cause like I said in an earlier post, I’m completely through with purely sexual relationships.

We also share different viewpoints of the world. She’s an “eye for an eye” type of girl. I’m more of a “don’t look for trouble” sort of person. If someone did something mean to me, I’d just try to eliminate that element from my life instead of try to get even.  I guess I’m the sort that turns the other cheek…then runs the hell out of there after getting smacked again.

So, while we like the same material things, when it comes to who WE ARE, we’re opposites.

And I realized…I never really CHOSE non!friend for a friend. She was simple the only one who called me and asked to hang out. And I suppose since I was alone I should be grateful for her for that and I am…to an extent.

The problem is…well there are a lot of problems.

One of which, her world is not my world and I don’t want her world to be my world anyways. So whenever we hang out, I’m usually in a situation I don’t like or wouldn’t want to be in. She drinks and smokes, and all sorts of things that I have little interest for. Like I said, it’s not a bad thing that she likes to do these things. It’s bad that I don’t want to do these things but in order to be a good friend I surround myself with these things.

Worse, the saying about how “you are who your friends are” is true. I was beginning to act more like her and it was making me miserable.

This is not healthy. More than not, I felt more alone when I was with her than when I am alone….and this pretty much is the reason why I broke off our friendship.

I was just tired of my friend making me feel like crap.

It’s hard to not let things affect me. And I can dedicate my life to not let the things she says and does bother me, but it’s much easier to just move on.

But lets back track. This is getting too personal. The point of this is the lesson I learned from all this.

It’s rather quite simple.

Real friends make you feel good and you make them feel good. Non!friends make you feel like shit. And usually it’s because real!friends affirm who YOU are, while non!friends USE YOU to affirm who THEY are.

That is the conclusion I’ve come to.

My cherished friends, I WANT to be like them. I admire them. I love them, even if I don’t know how to show it sometimes.

I don’t admire non!friend. I don’t envy her. Maybe once I did. But not anymore. I don’t want anything to do with her.

That is the honest truth (and you guys already know how honest I am).

So for the love of all that is pure and wonderful, choose your friends wisely. Don’t think you don’t have that choice. You do.

Don’t ever let them decide for you that you’re their friend and thus make you feel obligated to be their bitch.

And that is all.

So, anyone else have advice or stories about friendship, good or bad?

 

(On a much lighter mood: SUPERNATURAL TONIGHT! YES!)

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4 thoughts on “Choose Your Friends, Don’t Let Them Choose For You

  1. Ugh! This is going to be long. I’m going to try to make it quick because I have a midterm this evening and need to re-hit the books. First off, Hola readers! I’m the non-friend. I have nothing to hide so I don’t mind telling you my name or anything of the sort. I don’t come on the internet to pretend to be something I’m not or to talk bad about other people (unless they do it first, then of course I stick up for myself, as I would do for my friends). I am no stranger to internet drama, seeing as how a few years back fangirls of a certain band started obsessing over me dating a band member just because they saw us hang out at a couple of shows. Eh, drifting off topic – moving on! I will explain everything, a little about who I am and what is being said about me, a little bit about how this “friendship started” and perhaps a little bit about Amber, since she was kind enough to talk about me.
    So, let’s begin! My name is Ivonne and before you start assuming I’m some loser or some kid on the computer – I’d like to mention that I am 25 years old, I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice and this is my first year as a law student (midterm today! Ah!!). I’m big into animal rights and in all three universities I’ve been a student of, I’ve gotten involved with animal rights charities. I’m a member of The Order of the Eastern Star and with that I do a lot of charity as well. I actually led a project to fix up this old man’s house so it could be suitable for him and his sick wife. Yup. I’m a monster.
    Before I get into the non-friendship, I’d like to clear up a few things that made me seem like a totally different person than who I really am. First off, promiscuous. I’m actually shocked that she would use that word because sex to me is like… eh, “overrated”? Actually, I was talking to a friend about that last night before this blog was even posted so if you guys need proof, I can tell him to pop online later. I also hate the idea of one night stands and such, I think that’s gross. However, I don’t think a kiss is bad and I’ll admit that. Doesn’t mean I’ll kiss everyone but yeah – hopefully you get the picture. Perhaps, “promiscuous” means something else to Amber. Although I don’t go around screwing everyone, I do go out with guys a lot, but mind you a lot of times these guys don’t even get a good night kiss when the date is over. Anyways, yeah I am overweight, was actually talking about that to a friend last night too, belly just won’t go down! Charismatic? Maybe. Probably not the word I would use though. I just like to meet people and make friends, networking. I pride myself in my friend skills. I’ve had friends for years and years. However, you mess up – the war is on. I don’t take sh*t. I’ve lost friends for stupid reasons too, many of them over the fact that I don’t smoke pot and they do, some girls because they think I’m hooking up with their boyfriend but we are just friends. As for drinking and smoking, I feel like nonfriend made me sound like an alcoholic and a chain smoker. I don’t drink a lot, lately I only do it with my parents when I’m home for the weekend or I have a beer (Smirnoff Apple, no more than 2) or Black Label sour (no more than one) with my friends. I smoke. My favorite cigarettes are Djarum Black Clove Cigarettes, hard to find and expensive so sometimes when I really need a fix, I settle. I don’t chain smoke unless I’m super stressed or if I’m drinking/having conversation. Lungs, forgive me.

    I’ve known Amber since high school. We weren’t exactly close but we had a friend in common, I won’t mention her name since Amber doesn’t like it, but yeah if she reads this she knows who she is. The common friend was a bit of a geek/nerd (she knows this, so I know she won’t be offended by it if she reads it) and although I was “popular” I always had the best time with her, I could geek out and we could have sleepovers and watch anime and Disney movies. That girl was the “geek”, Amber was the “weirdo” (she had a tendency to talk to herself), I was “senior class president”; trust me I can’t count the times that people asked me why I hung out with them. Well, wait, let me rephrase, the times people asked me why I hung out with Amber, because the other girl, our families knew each other from way back when and I knew her since I started school at age 3.
    This isn’t about high school though. After high school graduation, everyone went their own way (I pretty much keep in touch with everyone because well, I have to! Speaking off, some of the kids that moved away will be here for the holidays and we are planning a dinner. Amber, not sure if you’d like to be a part of that since when you ended our “friendship” you spoke not-so-nice things about people from high school and I told them). Amber failed at keeping in touch, with anyone and everyone. I don’t exactly remember when and I don’t remember how I found out but through the grapevine I heard that Amber’s mother had passed away. I knew Amber didn’t have a father and I knew her older brother was in Florida, I knew she had no one and didn’t want her to go through that alone. Little did I know, it had happened a while before. Regardless, I invited her over to my house and we started talking and hanging out, watching movies, and being “friends”. She could come over when she had nothing better to do, she’d come over for dinner, she’d come to the pool, we’d go shopping, for the holidays I’d invite her to spend them with my family so she wouldn’t be alone, there was always a present for her under the tree. My mom and I even threw her this mini surprise birthday party with my friends. My friends became Amber’s friends because I’m like the peace pipe – I bring people together XD No, but really, I always travel in a pack and sometimes I meet up with my other pack and it is just one big pack!
    When things go sour – Amber, as you may know, has very strong beliefs and big goals and dreams and although me, and our friends, support that we also feel the need to bring her back to reality and make sure she doesn’t float away. We don’t mean harm by it or to crush her dreams but Amber has a tendency to live in her head and forget about the outside world. If things go wrong and she gets depressed she won’t go out (not even to work), she won’t eat, she won’t shower, she won’t do anything. It worries us. Even my mother has told Amber to get help but Amber says it doesn’t help any. We (and by we, I mean the people who went to school with Amber) support her dreams, we know some of her stories have a lot of potential but we feel like if she doesn’t do something else with her life, she won’t be in a good place for long. Amber works part time at a fast-food place – that is it. She doesn’t want to look for another job and says things are fine (economically). Yes, they’re okay now but what happens if something in your house needs to be repaired? If you car breaks down? What happens when you have to pay off the student loans? That’s what we, as friends, or non-friends, worry about. We encouraged her to stay in school and after 7 or 8 attempts, it hasn’t worked for her. I told her if college wasn’t working for her, then she should stop spending money on it or try something else. She was very good at the paramedic thing she did in the Air Force and she can do that a tech school here in a year or so. She’ll have a degree, she’ll get paid more and if she doesn’t want to work in that and wants to keep writing, she’ll have something to fall back on if writing doesn’t turn out the way she thought we would.
    Amber thinks a friend is someone who agrees with you and supports your plans 100%. I think a real friend will be honest with you, even if you don’t like what they’re saying and will support your dream but will give you viable options to make it happen. Amber thinks a friend will not make fun of you. Well, this is partially true. Making fun is rude but sometimes Amber just takes it a little personal. Most of the friends we had in common, we were all really close because we went to school together forever, so our friendship was more like a sibling relationship so we would make fun of each other and laugh it off – Amber would take it personally and get mad and offend people.
    The day Amber stopped talking to me deserves an explanation as well – it [loosely] had to do with a boy. I won’t go into that though. This is long enough as it is. Amber, if she approves it (I tried to keep it G and not bad mouth her so she would approve and you guys could see a larger picture) will probably comment on it and then I’ll jump in with the truth (or at least my side/perhaps his side). The entire fight is pretty stupid; however the principles of trust and friendship are there and were betrayed.

    http://ObivonneKenobi.tumblr.com
    ^If by any chance any of you, readers, are curious about the real me and not the monster I’m being presented as.

    1. I don’t particularly want to get involved in this fight, but I’ll just correct one of the misperceptions that came across in your comment (assuming you read this) that seems like a relatively innocuous subject (innocuous compared to any other topic here, but still fairly volatile), just because I can’t help but put my two cents in, even when it’s not needed/wanted/helpful. So, here goes:

      Having degrees and being involved in volunteering doesn’t make you a better person by any means, and when you make a point of beating people over the head with it, it makes you come across as conceited and obnoxious, not as a moral saint. Same goes for any “good” acts.

      That’s it. Enjoy, hope you don’t take it too personally, but from the admittedly relatively unfounded impressions I have of you (one person who’s obviously not on good terms with you’s opinions and reports and one of your own comments) I find that unlikely. Can’t be bothered checking out your links to get to know you better, so I’ll just stick with my possibly misguided opinions, which I’m sure would be only slightly more valid if I’d read your blog/checked your twitter thingys (I don’t use twitter, but tumblr’s a blog hosting site right?).

  2. I feel this is none of my business, so all I’m going to say is this is a blog for a young woman aspiring to be a published author and artist, not HS, so I hope the non-drama stops here. I personally can’t stand it when people get defensive about themselves–especially to a bunch of strangers and that’s how this response from Ivonne comes off to me. Right or wrong, is telling about the person.

    Just my two cents. *shrugs*

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