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On friendships

I try my best not to regret things in life, or spend too much time mulling over decisions that I've made.  But I think it's inevitable that, as time goes by, you look at the things that have changed in your life over the years - for better or for worse.  I have been thinking a lot about friendship over the last few days - in particular thinking about friends that I no longer have; either through us gradually growing apart, moving away or (on one occasion) an unsolvable disagreement.


When you're very young, it's easy to make or break friendships without any worry or stress. (In fact, I think the older we get the more we complicate things!) If you wanted someone to be your friend, you could just ask (you might even do so by passing them a note with yes/no/maybe tickboxes - did anyone else do that?!) And if that person then proved themselves to not be a very good friend, well, then you'd just tell them you didn't want to be their friend any more.  Now, I'm not suggesting brutal honesty is always the best policy, but when you find yourself in a situation where a friendship isn't really working out, it's a difficult one to deal with.

I'm a great believer that any relationship should enhance your life and make it better, rather than causing any complication or stress.  This might seem really obvious, and simple, but it's actually only over the last few years that I've begun to realise that you don't have to put up with people who constantly bring you down.  It is also difficult at times to realise who your true friends are - mainly, I find, because sometimes the ones who are your true friends are found in the most unexpected of places.  True friends present themselves when you have problems that need solving, or you need someone around, and it's only about you - not about them.  True friends are the ones that remember your birthday, the ones that offer to bring round magazines and lemon Fanta when you're poorly.  They're the ones who will drop what they're doing when you need them - and not try and make you feel bad about it.


But I think the hard part comes when you know in your heart of hearts that you have a friend that wouldn't do any of those things.  When you have a friend who makes you feel bad just to make them feel better.  They wouldn't be that person who turns up with a bag of popcorn and Pretty Woman on DVD when you feel down (because they're too busy).  They are that person who always forgets to ask if you're okay.  That person who forgets your birthday but expects you to chip in to the celebrations for theirs.  That person who doesn't want to hear about your boyfriend, because they don't have one at the moment.  Because when you're 26, well, you can't just say "I don't want to be your friend anymore," can you?

20 comments

  1. so true! just did a post kinda related to this, to do with my best friend. I'm only fourteen, so I guess I have loads of time to find like my 'proper' friends but it seems a little impossible at the moment haha.

    http://ramzandtheflock.blogspot.com/

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  2. Another bloody amazing post Rosie, excuse my language ;) I was thinking about this earlier, so sad when friendships end but even sadder when they just seem to fade away. It really makes me appreciate those who are still here after everything. xx

    PS. Lemon Fanta is the only Fanta ;)

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  3. I love this post.
    I also used to write notes with ticky boxes lol. Got to relate the the friend that makes you feel rubbish about yourself, sure wev all had one of them!

    Really loved this post.

    xx

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  4. I love ya girlie - you write the most incredible posts! <3

    You know, my best friends have always treated me like crap. One time I tried to talk to one of them about a problem I had and she said "There's something called suicide that you may wanna try..." Can you believe that?? :(

    Making new friends when you're a shy, insecure 25 year old is so stupidly difficult though.

    Bit of a tragic comment this one - sorryy. xoxox

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  5. OHHH ROSIE! You put my feelings into words in the perfect way!! I feel exactly the same, I too have felt a lot about friendships in recent times. It sounds a bit harsh, but i really have tried to ween out those "toxic" friendships. I have one friend in particular who makes everything into a competition and toxic, I try to keep away, but she just keeps coming! However, if things are tough, she's never there, or won't think to just check how i'm doing. It's all a bit superfical and I find myself thinking, is it really worth this?

    I have only one friend who I really would count as a proper friend in reality, she will text me every now and then if we haven't been able to see each other just to touch base, or if things have been tough she will text a check up or even send me a little card in the post so I know she's there. There's no alteria (sp?!) motives and no secrets or syndiness (sp?!), just good olde fashioned friendship. That's better than 4 "friends" put together! I also count an online friend as a real friend, silly as it sounds, we send each other letters and are there for each other, knowing that support is there.

    xxx

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  6. Such a brilliant post! I was discussing friendships with one of my friends as she'd recently had an argument/fallen out with someone. I think all we ended up deciding was that our friendship is pretty awesome :P No seriously we were saying that the really great friendships are the ones where you don't have to talk all the time, but just always know the other person will be therefore you. You don't have to meet up every week because you don't need to. I was doing placement in a school last week and one of the girls said to me 'I don't like Ellie anymore because she invited Sarah round her house and not me' I couldn't help but smile!

    L x

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  7. I totally agree with everything you've written here!
    Beautifully written, seriously!
    I think every girl has been through this at some point in their life, a 'friend' putting them down. It's true, we should all get rid of people that are a negative influence on our lives...life is far too short.

    Ayeisha
    x

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  8. Just to say I truly loved this post, some of the things you've said are so amazingly true. I've had a best friend since I was very young, we drifted a part a tad in senior school, but now we are closer than ever, and I do feel I'm blessed to have someone I can constantly turn too xxx

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  9. Beautifully written and something I really relate to. I've had a few friendships disintergrate over the last couple of years and I think we underestimate how difficult it can be when you work out that your friend isn't really your friend, or as you say, that friend is not the one who'll listen to you sob down the phone and propose sropping out of your 4 year degree course 6 weeks before the last exam. Worse still is when you realise someone you though was a friend becomes the person bullying you. Without sounding like a complete hanger on wanting self promotion, I'd appreciate you're take on a post Ayden, Michelle, Bee and I wrote on bullying by friends a while back. http://bit.ly/qT0n4x and http://bit.ly/rf3tAw

    Again, great writing and something people seem really reluctant to talk honestly about.

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  10. After breaking up with a boyfriend and realising that some of my friends actually were a little bit smug that we'd broken up (after 20 months together) I started to realise going to uni was going to be a good opportunity to see what happened. We have stayed in touch but I now know that they don't need to be around permanently for me to be happy.

    Great post!

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  11. This is such a great post, and sums up how I feel about some friendships I am hesitant to cut lies with. These individuals are people I've grown apart from, and would still be there when I REALLY need them, but I also need friends who want to hang out and be there for the fun, every day and silly stuff.
    I started following you after I saw your "You Can Do It" post. I was so inspired by that and I feel the same for this post. Keep up the great work doll!

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  12. Hear, hear! Friendship is such a beautiful but difficult thing, sometimes. I've learned a lot about my friends this year... and who I really love having in my life.

    x Michelle | thefeatherden.net

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  13. This is a lovely post! (: It's so true as well, as I've grown older and moved to uni I've really realised who my real friends are and whose friendship I would value. I even think that moving away from so many of my friends has helped me grow closer to some of them! This is a wonderful reminder that all friendships need to be valued because you never know what's around the corner! (: x

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  14. This was a brilliant post! Friendships do get much more tricky as you get older. I used to not have much trouble getting away from bad friendships (usually I used the route of teenage drama!) but these days it's more of a phase them out time of situation.

    I'm currently in need of walking away from someone but I just can't do it because they work too far into my social group and they won't let me go no matter how I try. I feel nothing else is left but do see the rest of university out and not stay in contact. x

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  15. This post couldn't have been timed any better, I had this exact problem only this week. It was my birthday last Saturday and who I thought was my best friend didn't even send me a text message, she only ever seems to contact me when it suited her, or when she needed something. I got fed up with being used and abused and so on Friday i told her not to bother contacting me again and that i no longer wished to be friends with her. So my answer to this question would be yes, you can still do this even at the age of 26. If we wouldn't accept behaviour like that as a child, why should we accept it as adults? xxx

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  16. This post has really touched a spot with me and it was so much easier when we were yonger. I know it is silly but I still think back to a Best Friend I had at school and we broke up. A few years later I tried to contact her, we both said we were sorry and that was that.

    Losing a friend is so much harder than losing a parter (I think) when we are younger at least.

    I am now at the stage where I live with my boyfriend (also such a great bestfriend), have great family around me then have work friends (who I get on well with at work). It suits me and I do miss having a bestfriend as a girl but I am happy and try not to dwel on it.

    http://thekeypieces.blogspot.com

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  17. ar this is such an insightful post. its such a shame when this happens when youve spent years building up such a strong bond for it to fade away.

    Helen, X
    http://areyoudressingupordressingdown.blogspot.com

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  18. This is sweet, you give good advice!

    xo Maddy
    http://madelinerouton.blogspot.com

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  19. Oh Rosie! I was dealing with this last year! I had friends whom I've known since kindergarten turn their backs on me. They would only come around when it was convenient to them, never bothered to answer the phone, not even a hello. Then they would try to guilt trip me for any reason they could find. It was ridiculous. I finally had enough of it and cut off contact. I've been happier since :)

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  20. This post is so relevant to me right now it's like you've just posted my feelings on a blog post.

    You wrote it so beautifully and not in a one sided way.

    But I guess times change and friends are just lost on the way. Since starting university two years ago(away from home) it's really taught me which friends were my true friends and whom would be there for me even when a month would go by without contact, they would still be there for me. Others not so much...

    thank you for such a great blog post :) x

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Thank you in advance for your lovely comments, they mean the world to me! If you have a question or want to get in touch, tweet me at @rosieoutlook.