Goop about a "Friendship Divorce" today and it really made me think. The subject was around this statement:
What do you do when you realize that although you may have years of history, and found real value in each other in times past, that you kind of don't like a friend anymore? That, after time spent with this person, you feel drained, empty, belittled or insulted. My father always used to tell me that, ‘you can't make new old friends.’ How do you distinguish if someone in your life makes you change for the better or if you are better off without them?
My favorite quotes from the article are:
In essence, our friends are the life-affirming fountain from which we drink. Good friends fill us up with warmth, honesty and a sense of well-being. If you feel drained, empty, belittled and insulted by a friend you should acknowledge that this is diminishing your life experience and not enhancing it. In this case, I would move away from this person, honor whatever good you did get from them in the past, and move toward those friends in life that only want to help light your way! - Dr. Karen Binder-Brynes, Psychologist
“Old friends” and “true friends” are not necessarily identical. Old friends have stood the test of time; true friends are timeless. True friends may have been in your life since your childhood or they may have shown up only yesterday, but it’s from the quality of the heart that you know them, not the number of years you’ve logged together. - Cynthia Bourgeault, Priest
Assess your friendships. If they are supporting you in your growth and change, then cherish them. If they diminish you, then you diminish them. But, once again, a friend is always a friend. Though they may no longer be a constant presence in your life nevertheless if there is an opportunity to help you should, always be open, for true friendship never ends. - Michael Berg, Kabbalah scholar and author.
I value my friendships a lot and I guess somewhere along the line I've expected the same in return. That doesn't really mean daily phone calls or always having to see each other all the time (most of my best friends live all across the nation). In fact, I sort of loathe talking on the phone and I'm super flaky about returning calls. For me, the test is when I know I can contact a friend if I really needed them (not matter how long its been), and they would be there. Reliable, understanding and willing to listen. I have definitely had friendships end, change or just diminish over time. Its always the most shocking when it happens over something random, or they behave in a way that finally lets you see their truly personality. Its so draining and depressing and I have spent a lot of time and energy thinking about and festering over lost friendships.
I don't have many friends in Boston and its been a huge change for me. After I finished school, where I was constantly surrounded by friends, and started working I felt so alone. I was traveling 5 days a week and all my friends had moved all of the place. Its taken years and I've done a lot of growing up but now I actually cherish my alone time. Although maybe its bad that I'm becoming more of a hermit and I am so used to spending a Friday night in my PJs watching TV alone or with my husband. I'm just used to my social interactions being email, gchat, facebook, text messaging, etc. Blogging (weddingbee in particular) has allowed me to build friendships with people I haven't even actually met before.
I digress and I'm not really sure what I am trying to say. Just that my ideas of what a friend should be have changed over the years and that although I am always looking to create new friendships, I am happy with my core group of friends I've developed over the past 28 years.
Have you ended a friendship or relationship that at some point meant an incredible amount to you? What's your philosophy on friends? Any advice? For some reason, this has come up multiple times in my life so I love hearing stories and advice on this.
And because I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy, here are some of my favorite girls. Ignore the fact that 90% of them are with Indian outfits on - there just have been a lot of weddings in the past few years :)