A friend is someone who helps you enjoy your life when you’re at your best, helps take care of you when you’re at your worst, and is there everywhere else in between.
Or at least, a close friend.
Let’s say that your personality is an ocean, and the people you meet are boats. When boats are built, they are first tested for their integrity, the ability to float. Some boats pass this test, and others simply take a dive. Pun intended.
Now, pretend there is a boat with a lot of great features. You really like this boat, would like to see it sail the oceans forever. Unfortunately, as soon as this boat touches water, it sinks. Well, now what? You really like the boat, but what are you going to do? Change the composition and the size of the ocean to accommodate? Change the boat with respect to the ocean?
Well, since the ocean isn’t going to change, the logical answer seems to be to change the boat…
But I’m sure you know how persistent people can be when asked to change, and
We still try to keep those boats in our life.
For any relationship to be successful, there needs to be mutual appreciation and a somewhat equal aspect of recoprication (Both participants should be taking equal initiatives to make plans, as an example). If one or both of these conditions are unsatisfied, one will find his/her relationship unsatisfactory.
When I was younger, I remember trying to be everyone’s friend. Growing up, I’ve met people with whom I’ve had and have great interactions with, and I’ve met people with whom I’ve had not so great interactions with. Growing up, I’ve learned a lot.
No matter how kind or friendly you are to someone, that someone will never be obligated to treat you the way you treat him/her. You can dedicate all your time and energy wanting someone, but never once will that someone be required to want you even the slightest bit back. Take time out of your life and help someone who asks for it. Generally, that someone will thank you. For some, unfortunately, that someone will bite the hand that feeds. Others,
That someone will go for the wrist.
Should a relationship similar to what’s described above be observed in the wild, that relationship would be labeled, “Parasitic”. One gives more than s/he takes, the other takes more than s/he gives, and the amount that is given and taken does not balance each other. If it helps, try thinking of this quantitatively.
Person A and B have 100 “kindesses” each. Person C and D also have 100 kindnesses. Every interaction A has with B, A gives ten kindesses and asks for ten. B, similarly, gives and asks for ten. A and B, throughout all their interactions, will always have the same amount of kindesses which they started with.
Now, let’s say C gives ten and asks for ten, but D only gives five kindnesses.
C is slowly running out of kindnesses. Hmmm.
Humans learn through experience, and let’s pretend C is a relatively smart person. C recognizes that D isn’t giving C ten kindnesses, but C still wants to be friends with D, so C changes the number of kindnesses C asks for. After a while, C’s original ask of ten becomes seven, to see if D can try to meet C in the middle.
In my experience, if D does meet C in the middle, then C changes the amount C gives to the number that D gives because that is essentially what the relationship has become.
If D does not meet C in the middle and continues to give only five kindnesses, then it’s only a matter of time before C faces reality and decides to drop D. Our “relatively” smart C becomes a truly smart C.
The amount of time it takes, however, can have severe effects on one’s life. Or maybe I just had some poor luck.
There was an individual this past semester who seemed to enjoy spending time with me. This same individual would also need help sometimes. Me being me, I’ll help those who ask, no questions asked, so I did what I could. Soon, the help which was being requested became more and more demanding, and the appreciation I was receiving was, well, wasn’t.
In my past, I accidentally removed a person from my life — a person I saw almost every day — and I know how it can be awkward and not pleasant things can be when I’m in the same room with that person. That was something I didn’t want to recreate in college, and so I tried what I could to make this relationship more comfortable for me.
People aren’t required to say thank you when they are helped, and nothing says that I can’t make the decisions which facilitate my best interests. If something is holding you back, stop holding on to it.
As hard as it was, I dropped him/her.
This experience showed me how significantly people can affect each other’s esteems and lives, brought me awareness to a new kind of relationship, and also showed me who really matters in my life. Showed me the people who would listen to my ramblings on the troubles I was having. Showed me the people who only wanted the best for me.
Showed me my friends.