Have recently realised that two people in self’s life are quite similar in character to a certain member of self’s family.
It’s strange that have not made any connection whatsoever to this certain family member, because they’re alike in a lot of ways. In the beginning, they’re friendly, confident, wise, generous, cheerful and showed a lot of interest in self as a friend.
Later, their true colours are revealed – they’re manipulative, judgmental, disloyal, two-faced and become cold-shouldered towards self. They impose their personality upon self, slyly pass judgment through their conscious choice of words and subtle actions, and filled self with a lot of doubt and a sense of failure in self.
(The only difference between family member and these two friends is that the family one gets to do all this for the rest of self’s life.)
The unfortunate family member aside, friendships like this has to end, despite self’s naïve hopefulness in making the relationship work. Because there was a reason we were attracted (in a non-sexual way) to each other; despite the emotionally damaging traits they display, they are actually still all the good things they were when we first knew each other. And it is this side self remember that makes self want to forget whatever conflict that happened between us and start all over again.
But we know that leopards don’t change their spots.
In this article Why some friendships have to end by Amanda Riley-Jones (The Star, 5 November 2005), she wrote (some parts edited):
The sad truth is that few friendships last a lifetime. In the days when everyone was much less mobile, children who sat next to each other in junior school would probably be friends for life.
But now we have so many choices and different stages in our lives, we gather an ever-increasing circle of friends.
[…] I have discovered a new pragmatism in myself. I am simply to busy to keep maintaining friendships that I no longer enjoy. Shedding friends is not just unavoidable, it’s healthy.
In an accompanying article by Riley-Jones, she commented further on the ‘best friend’ label (some parts edited):
There are a number of reasons why friendships end. You have fewer values in common, the edgy competition which sustained your friendship becomes irksome, your friend makes you feel guilty and her company ceases to be pleasureable.
“It’s very common for women to maintain relationship they would love to get out of,” says psychologist and author Dorothy Rowe. “We do it out of habit, guilt, apathy, reluctance to hurt someone’s feelings or be seen as hard.”
Sometimes, it’s simply part of the process of growing up.
“As most of us change geographically and intellectually, in terms of our personal development, we’re likely to outgrow most of our friendships, if not our marriages, too,” says Gael Lindenfield, psychotherapist and author.
So it’s time for self to let go. This does not mean that won’t observe the rituals of phatic communion (ie. saying hello and goodbye, engaging in small talk) with these people – but just the necessary amount of it. A larger sense of self-preservation should prevail in our relationship – that means no sharing notes with her unless she is willing to do the same, saying no to any requests that self do not want to fulfil, and quitting any comparison between her and self. (Easier said than done, but it’s a start.)
So good bye, you two biatches!
Dave has an interesting post about friendship.
I’m slightly baffled with the practices of individuals who tend to include strangers as friends on online network groups such as friendster, but more often than not, not keep contact or communicate with each other. One of my friends whom I’ve interviewed said that “it’s fun to post up pictures and then have people look at them, and you get to know other people and know that you’re somehow related to them through your friends.”
But when I asked her if she contacts or talks to these people she added, she hesitantly said no. It’s ironic actually…knowing individuals on a superficial basis (i.e. “oh, I know you, and you know I exist”) and then categorising them as friends.