As we grow older the number of friends we make decreases and sadly so do the number that stay. When I was in school in each corner lurked a potential friend where now lurks a frenemy (Okay acquaintance. I shouldn’t be so quick to judge!). If you can spot it right from the outset, it will save you from a ton of drama.
Friends of convenience aren’t really friends. I can’t make a sweeping statement that they are no one’s friends. May be they are. The fact of the matter is I am too old for this. Being genuine can’t possibly be so hard. One doesn’t always have to put up an act and play stupid games or be peaceable to stop someone from leaving or worse guilt trip someone into staying. Nearly half my life is gone and my energy reserves are pretty limited. I don’t want to put up with negativity which has no basis in reality and only conspires to bring me down.
People who only look after their agendas, and if your agenda doesn’t match with them, they won’t think twice before dropping you like hot coals, aren’t your friends. In fact they will cross your name from their friend list (=people who always help them and put them first) when they know you are not so handy as you used to be or will not relent because the truth has dawned on you (cliched but true). People change as they grow and I too have changed, but in some ways I remain the same. I am less stubborn than I used to be but in some cases I refuse to budge come hell or high-water.
I am not a fan of simpering smiles and false compliments. I’d rather we had a real conversation or you told me what you really thought of me to my face instead of tearing me to shreds behind my back but smiling benignly when I am in front of you. I might burst into tears or I might enter into a shouting match with you but I will never hate you for telling me your truth. (One of the many perks of growing up is realizing that truth has multiple versions.) People who say what they don’t mean and hide under snide comments are not your friends either. The worst of the lot are the ones who try to gloss over things when they really should be talked about in the open.
I always get a bad rap for being vocal about how I feel and being the first one to point out when things aren’t going well (pessimist or practical you tell me). Sometimes I try to play along and act but it always gets to me. I’m constantly on my guard lest anything slips (Freudian slip is real folks!) which can complicate things further.
Saying it like it is and clearing the air is what I prefer but sometimes the situation demands silence. Which is different from the silent treatment which I used to be the queen of. So lately I have stopped blabbering and started tiptoeing around people but that doesn’t solve anything (BTW it’s better than an outburst because you are not making a fool of yourself but giving the appearance of maintaining a stoic silence. If you didn’t know appearance is everything then you have a lot of growing up to do my friend). But in life you have to smile in many places, and at many people you’d rather not. Life is a paradox and we have to live in this world with our sanity intact.
I have never been a believer of keeping up appearances for the sake of keeping up appearances when things are far from hunky dory but now I am learning to walk through hell with a smile and walk away quietly when there is nothing left to salvage. Having the last word is terribly overrated.
I hate backstabbers like everyone else. Nowadays people don’t mind stabbing anywhere they find bare or tender skin. Stab away, don’t be shy. But don’t think I will take it lying down.