Before I post this up, I contemplated for awhile if I should write down my thoughts on this. Thousands of thoughts come to mind as I’m writing this. If I’m having a real life conversation on this topic, the girls would indulge me in a debate / conversation that would probably last a whole night. The male friends however would most likely shrug it off and say that we girls think too much. I can’t help but agree with the latter, for I sometimes do think a little too much like a man. 😛
The debate on whether we subconsciously set certain expectations on our friends have been a topic amongst my girlfriends. I’m sure some of you have had great friendships turn sour due to some minor or silly argument or disagreement. In fact, I have to admit that I don’t speak to some of these friends anymore – it’s an ego thing, I suppose. No one wants to say sorry first.
I do believe however, we tend to trust people more when we get closer. We share more secrets, intimate details of ourselves and often depend on each other for companionship and advice. The debate here is this – do we silently hope that advices or help given in the past should be returned in kind sometime in the future? Whatever happened to sincere giving without receiving? Is this just a saying or do people really practice this?
Sometimes, when we help someone, we secretly tell ourselves that the other person owe us one. We don’t think much about it, of course, but when we need help at one point, we dig up the past and do the accusatory, “I helped you when you needed it!” Why have we turned into this?
Another friendship expectation I have discovered recently happens to long friendships, ie. childhood friends. You think you know each other so well. Errr… not quite. What we fail to notice is that sometimes life experience changes people. The same childhood friend might not think the way he/she used to or choose to behave like before. People change. People grow. Why can’t we accept that you used to love ice-cream but not now anymore? You used to love to party with me but now you just wanna stay home? I mean, c’mon, what’s the big deal. People change?
Or the fact that you’ve put up with a certain flaw of your friend hoping it will soon blow over with time. When your friend had a weird hobby or interest but you thought was just a phase in life. It never went away. Until one day, you’re just fed up and decide to confront him/her about it. Errr…. hello?! Learn to accept it already? Why are you suddenly bringing it up? Some people change and some don’t.
Changes are sometimes for the better but we also have to accept that sometimes for the worst. Whatever it is, even if you know it’s wrong, you either offer your opinions TACTFULLY or just accept the change. Just because you think you know that person doesn’t mean that your opinion HAS to make a difference. Let them be. Be a friend, be supportive even if it seems wrong or if you disagree. The argument is this – I expect her / him to know better! Answer : NOT ALWAYS!!!
Bottom line is this. Although it is true that we have set a certain expectations on friendship, I hope we can all learn to accept people for who they are or what they have turned out to be. I may not practice 100% of what I preach, but I do hope that I’ve tried hard enough.
Another lesson learnt in friendship, don’t judge. We’re friends, why judge? I’ve always tried to be on neutral grounds when it comes to friendship. I learnt that I never really have strong emotions about anything (That’s a separate discussion altogether), I tend to neutralise almost any situation. If it’s a bad thing, I try to make people see the silver lining. If it’s a good thing, I list out the potential downsides (It’s called contingency). 🙂 Well, some might disagree on the approach.
Conclusion : To all my friends out there, I’d like to take the opportunity to apologise for any mistakes or misbehaviour on my part in the past. I also would like to point out that I may not be perfect but I hope you’d learn to love me for who I am – good or bad. Although I might not be able to do anything if you wish to judge or expect anything from me, I hope the friendship we have might just turn out to be a healthy and beautiful one.