Some say friends make the world go round, some say they make life worth living. Others claim friends are worth their weight in gold (man I must be worth a lot!), I've even heard people state they would rather die then go without their friends.
I pretty much agree with all these statements, but I am a realist. Friends are hard work. I can't think of many things in life that you get for free.. so it makes sense that friendship is just another product of hard labour.
Either way, in this last little while I have really come to appreciate the complexity of friendships.. and have learnt the hard way, how easy it is to stuff friendships up.
I do believe though, that if you can overcome the trials and tribulations that friendship brings, you will find happiness in its purest form.
Here are some of the snags I have come up against, in my time as a friend to anyone:
Too much 'friend time'.
There are those moments when you have hung out with your friends for far too long.
Either you are staying with them during a holiday break, maximising your 'friend time' during your days off (to make up for all the solitude whilst working), or you just figure because you love each other so much, spending 7 days back to back in each others company should be no problem right?
Wrong. Cabin fever applies to all dynamics, even BFF's... while her endless humming of "Tale as Old of Time" only used to grate your nerves ever so slightly, you are now on the verge of stuffing her head into a tiny teapot, and not a cute singing and dancing one either!
Other things that may bother you during this time are: The volume at which they chew, the sound they make when they sneeze, the way they type like they have a personal grudge against the keyboard, how close to other cars they drive, how they drive exactly 1k under the speed limit at all times... I could go on, but my point is all these itty bitty little things they do can cause rage blackouts if you have spent too long in their presence. My advice? spend your friend time wisely. Quality is better than quantity in many cases. Avoid each other at 'that time of the month' and if you plan to spend longer than a week in each others company, throw a few 'Me' days in there somewhere.. to give you space to breath!
Oh no you didn't!
Then there is that moment in time, when you say something you really just wish you didn't. I am a girl so I like to blame all these moments on it being "that time of month" but reality is, if you are friends with someone, you are probably going to p*** them off at some point or other.. unless you are the Queen of Tact.(I for one am far from it!)
The thing you say may not matter, it could be said in the heat of the moment, (too much friend time?), or maybe you really meant it, perhaps you were just trying to help them out, in your own round-a-bout kind of way.. regardless of the cause, these "oh no you didn't!" moments usually work themselves out. My personal solution is time, followed by a sincere apology. Time gives you the chance to be sincere about it, and them the time to heal the wound & hopefully miss you a bit too.
Just remember, next time they say they are feeling a little puffy, NOT to liken their face to Elephantitus!
Boys, love and all things mooshy.
If you are a girl, there HAS to have been a time atleast ONCE in your life, you have shared a crush on a boy with your best friend. If you are both lucky, he will deign to notice either of you exist, but often is the case he chooses one of you over the other.. and then things get kind of messy.
If you are good friends, you will decide that friendship conquers all, and one will be happy for the other, should they luck in on love. But if you are a human being, and have any feelings, they will probably get squashed.. you will no doubt be prone to the odd spot of jelousy. Just try to remember, other guys will come along, and by that time she will probably believe romance is dead and love is akin to climbing mountains. You can flaunt your new found enthusiasm for love and all things cheesy til the cows come home! Just keep in mind, if things go asunder, you do still want her to be there to pick you up, so maybe go easy on the flaunting!!
Don't forget those friends that you never get around to seeing, you could almost be worlds apart. It's not that you love them any less, or that you don't miss them from time to time, but fate just never quite coincides with the meeting of your two souls.. errr... I mean.. your just too lazy.
Anyway, the longer you haven't spoken to this friend, the later you leave it, the awkwarder it becomes. You search your brain for an excuse to explain away the months inbetween your last catch up... the years you have let pile up since you last sought them out.. basically poking a needle in your eye is a more attractive option than picking up that phone right now.
My advice? Try to remember that THEY haven't contacted YOU either, and probably feel equally guilty. I bet if you made the first move, they would be too grateful to ask you anything awkward like "so why haven't I heard from you beyotch?"
The last problem I will talk about is Deaf Friends. I am not talking about the hearing impaired (unless by choice), rather I am talking about the friends, who no matter the countless times they ask for your advice, just never seem to take it.
The friends who seem to make the same mistakes over and over, despite your best efforts to dissuade them. The friends who walk into trouble with their eyes closed and fingers in their ears, all the while you are desperately trying to steer them in a safer direction!
Unfortunately this is a trial that nearly every friendship must face, and I believe it is the true test of friendship.
A true friend, will love you, not for your bad decisions, as numerous as they may be, but for your best intentions, even if they don't understand why you do half the things you do. My theory? they aren't listening, not because they don't value your advice, it is just that sometimes in life we all need to make our own mistakes in order to learn from them. So just be a good friend, listen, give out advice if you want to, but don't get too hung up on whether they follow through or not, the important thing is just to be there for them if things get messy.
In summary, friends are multi faceted things, much like precious gems... they sparkle, they glimmer, they make you feel fabulous... but they can also be pricey, so when you have them, you don't want to lose them... they can be hard to replace.
Treat with care and treasure them with your heart.
Some friends may resemble a lump of coal at times, but underneath they may be a diamond, think carefully before tossing them.