Thursday, 9 August 2012

Friendship

Friendship is one relationship that I never get tired of writing about; so much so that I wrote my Masters dissertation on this topic...The sole credit for this most probably goes to the numerous friends I have made at different stages of my life-span...

My definition of a friend has always been simple: a person with whom I have a good time, whenever I am around him or her, is my 'friend'. I have a lot of friends - and believe me - when I say 'a lot', I mean A LOT! I may have had a conversation with someone for just 10 minutes while waiting for my turn at the doctor's clinic; or I might just have exchanged pleasantries with a person at a random party; but I would have no qualms in acknowledging them as a 'friend' the next time I get a chance of interacting with them. It is perhaps this trait of mine that makes people describe me as being a very friendly person.
Of course the levels of attachment and comfort would differ from one friend to another but I don't think that level depends on the amount of time I have known them. Unlike some of my peers, I have never had a person who has been a constant feature in my life - even when I was in school, I think I was friends with different people at different points of time. In college also, I never really belonged to one particular group and had quite a mixed bag of friends. Like everybody, I made friends in school, college and neighbourhood. Apart from that, I have online friends, friends that I made on a plane journey; and I am even friends with the dogs that I met, fed and played with on my college campus!



I do not know if it is a flaw but I have never managed to maintain friendship with someone for a very long time. I have a tendency of getting bored easily - sometimes I think that the concept of permanence just does not exist for me. I change organizations if I feel the place has nothing new to offer; I get bored of eating the same kind of food - and for each meal, I demand variety; I have never lived in one place for a very long period of time and that is something which does not even bother me because I like changes and the entire array of things that come with any change excite me. Sometimes, I wonder if I outgrow people in the same manner in which I outgrow things...In school, I think I had a new 'best friend' every academic year! Of course in college I managed to have a stable set of friends with whom I still keep in touch - though not as frequently as I would like it to be...
I am definitely not a person who has even had or been a 'Friend Forever' but I value my friendship with each person...While the quality of interaction differs from one person to another depending on a number of factors, I really feel that with each friend, I am a different person because each of them have been exposed to different sides of my personality. The conversations that I have had with each one of them is special and it is this uniqueness that makes me appreciate each person who has been a 'friend' to me - even if it was for a span as short as fifteen minutes or as long as seven years.

There was a time when I harboured rather idealistic notions of friendship until reality played its part and made me realize that not everyone functions the same way or perceives a relationship in the same way as I do. I may have had one perfect friend but that does not mean the rest of the friends I make are also going to be perfect! I make mistakes and so will the others...At the end of the day, it is all about accepting the person as he or she is, and looking beyond the flaws. If the flaws cannot be overlooked, it is probably best to part ways because harnessing false hopes and unreal expectations only causes hurt to both parties.
Like every other relationship, friendship is also built on trust and lots of love. When there is a betrayal, it is as painful and tormenting as is the case in any other relation. People focus a lot on issues in the family and in their romantic relationships but the issues in a friendship are always sidelined. I do not know the reasons for this peculiar phenomena - perhaps, I am the only one who over-analyzes this relationship!

Having lived away from home for a period of over five years, I rely on my friends immensely for a lot of things. In the short course of my life-span, I have made a lot of friends - with some, I have just lost touch; some are people I manage to catch up with on and off; there are some I meet frequently...Then there are those friendships which just did not last - there were some where I made mistakes; others where I felt betrayed and let down...I have had friends who have made my life beautiful and there were some who struck terror in my life while they were there a part of it...

Carl Jung had rightly said, "The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed."
It does not matter if it was a fleeting friendship or a permanent one...It does not matter if someone was a 'good friend' or a 'bad friend'...With each person I have interacted and spent time with, I have learnt something and it has helped me become the person I am today - be it good or bad. We may have only been friends for a few weeks or our friendship may be going strong since seven years and counting, but I would like to thank each and every friend of mine for shaping my life the way it is today - thanks to them, my life is beautiful!

21 comments:

  1. Congrats. Now a days its rare to have a friend for a lifetime due to change in jobs, places. Also i think people now prefer to have friends where they stay snd work . Once they move their friends change. My life also i have lots lots of friends but rarely find someone to talk on day to day basis except for the ones who are colleagues out of which some become friends. I think the meaning of friendship has changed over the years...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think it is rare - I think everybody I know seems to have that friend for a life-time :D The meaning of everything changes with time - however, what one means by friendship depends on every individual...Just like the meaning of love is different for different people, so is the case with friendship!

      Delete
  2. Very well written post. As Emily Dickenson said “My friends are my estate”. Conversation for 10 minutes while waiting at the doctor’s clinic and exchanging pleasantries with a stranger at a random party! Wow. You must be an extreme extrovert. Me too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha!Ha! "Extreme extrovert" - I like that term :) I interact with almost every individual I meet but the extent to which I share intimate details about my life differs - in that sense, I am pretty closed up :P

      Delete
    2. Extreme extrovert is someone who is energized by being around other people. Also friendly and outgoing. I agree with you. That does not necessarily mean we share our intimate details about our life.

      Delete
    3. Alright :D In that sense I am an extreme extrovert, I guess :) :)

      Delete
  3. well written.... everyone who touches our lives makes an impact!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Beautiful post :)

    You really seem to be a very friendly person with so many friends across the world!

    Friends are perhaps the best gift we give ourselves as with them we are ourselves without any qualms..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And a masters dissertation on it surely seems to be such a novel idea... absolutely awesome!

      Delete
  5. Harbouring unrealistic expectations... how true! It really is better to let go most of the time when you realize that things aren't working out. In my case, it takes such a long time, but when I finally do realize it, I sever ties immediately, so much so, that the person might wonder what happened suddenly? But for me, it is just a part of my life that no longer exists - perhaps like a vestigial organ.

    The tendency to take friendship for granted is something is right up there on my list of pet peeves. Given that we are most comfortable with our friends rather than any other group, our friends are the ones taken for granted most of the time. Perhaps, it is also a question of prioritizing our relationships. And no, you are not the only one over-analyzing it. Sometimes, I wonder if it unfair to expect something as simple as a phone call from a friend. Then again, there are some days when I don't call either.

    Love,
    Sanika

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's happened to me as well - If I decide to remove a person from my life, I can do it overnight and they don't know what it is that hit them...We all take things for granted - sometimes, I take my friends for granted too and it hurts when my demands and expectations go unfulfilled...

      Delete
  6. Congratulations!!
    I happen to be just the opposite .. I am extremely choosy about friends .. Even if it is just a group that I hang out with :)
    I totally agree that we have to look beyond shortfalls .. Nobody is perfect .. Neither are we .. So we just have to look at the good side .. Accept and forgive the not so good side .. Isn't that what love in any realationship is all about?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True :) :)
      I have never been choosy about my group of friends - I don't know why :P I just feel I can get along with anybody...At times, it could be a flaw - I actually believe that everyone can be trusted unless proven otherwise...This belief has made me vulnerable a lot of times but I still continue to stay optimistic :) :) I guess that's what love is :D :D

      Delete
  7. I liked the chemical reaction part Divya as friendship is all about right Chemistry:)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Well written post, Divya! I used to over-analyse my friendships, especially the ones that didn't last too long despite me wanting it that way and came to a conclusion similar as yours - everyone has a different take on this. I enjoy being friends with people so long as it's mutual.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi :)
      Welcome back :) It's been quite some time since I saw you here :D
      I still have the tendency of over-analyzing all my relations - but these days I make peace with myself my trying to rationalize stuff and keep it simple...I think in any relationship, the exchange should be mutual and not one-sided :D

      Delete
  9. Divya, you sound like me- are you an aquarian? But jokes apart, I can say that the ability to make friends with people is a unique trait.We may not follow all of them up but when we do meet up again then the bond shows it self to be alive -doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am a Libran :) Librans and Aquarians get along; so, yes, I think the astrological connect makes us like each other ;)

      Everyone has their own ways of making friends - true! And it is true - you don't even realize how strong that bond is until you meet one another the next time and realize that you two did share a meaningful connection :D

      Delete