I saw the quote that was used for the image on this post and thought it would make a good follow up to my blog post regarding the difference between “nice” and “kind,” mainly because I suspect so many people have fallen prey to the lie (and it is a lie) that drawing a boundary, saying “Enough” or even altering or ending a friendship is somehow an unkind or evil thing to do. I’m here to tell you that not only is that NOT the case, but in some cases, it can actually be the most healthy thing you can do.
The quote, in case it’s hard to read, can also be seen here.
I believe that the quotation speaks for itself clearly and well enough that I don’t need to give a whole dissertation explaining it. I will, however, say this. I have, only recently, begun to realize that all friendships are not the same. I know that for a lot of you that’s a no brainer but it hasn’t been for me. Falling on the autistic spectrum, I have had a linear way of seeing things; i.e., “Friends are friends. Friends do this, they don’t do this.” However, I have come to realize that there are friendships and people who are valuable and worthwhile, and there are “friendships” and people who are not. (**Note – I am not saying that the people themselves are not worthwhile, rather that the relationship with them is not, or traits of their personality make them not a worthwhile person with whom to pursue a friendship)
The ones that are worthwhile are mutually beneficial in that they uplift and encourage, and they are a two-way street. Most importantly, they are either completely or relatively “drama-free.” They are the kinds of friendships that I know that when I speak to the person, as they do with me, that an honest answer to an honest question will be given, and that even if it hurts, a hard truth will be given rather than a soft, “nice” lie.
Those are the kinds of friendships to hang on to, because they will in all likelihood be very few and far between. (Remember – in terms of true friends, it’s QUALITY, not QUANTITY. Facebook can go pound sand with their ‘you’re my friend because you’re on my list’ nonsense)
Conversely, the other “friendships” do not possess those qualities. They are one way streets, generally only active when the person wants/needs something from you or you’re doing something they want to do. They can be toxic and demanding, in which one day you’re friends and the next day you’re not, or it’s a constant up and down of trying to figure out what to do to keep the person ‘happy’ so you stay ‘friends.’ In most cases, they are very superficial and less than honest, existing only to stroke the ego of one or both parties but dissolving as soon as either a better ego stroke is found, or one person in the relationship actually has the moxy to tell the truth and the other doesn’t want to hear it. (That happened in my case when a girl I grew up with, cared deeply for, and who had professed what a great friend I was and how much she loved and cared about me suddenly broke off all contact with me after I was honest enough to call her on a number of lies she had told me. She, unfortunately, died having never spoken to me again.)
These are the kinds of friendships that I believe are so eloquently spoken of in the last stanza of the reading in which the author speaks of not getting mad, not being spiteful but instead, being smart and changing the person’s role in their life – because when they’re done, there’s no looking back. Sometimes, some relationships need to change. Distance needs to be added. People need to not be an integral part of your life. In some cases, they need to end, and you need to go on. There’s nothing evil, or morally wrong about that. It’s part of life. Don’t let people guilt trip you into staying in a friendship that is all about them, and nothing about you, or one in which they take whatever liberties they want with you whenever they choose, and then go on as though nothing happened.
You’re better than that. You have more self-worth than that. Life is too short.
Learn to say “Enough!”
God bless today, my friends.