Everyone around me is celebrating Friendship Day – my WhatsApp is flooded with messages on friendship, Facebook is filled with pictures and statuses of people dedicating messages to their friends, even my grandmother has received a friendship band from our cook!
While I have often stated that I don’t believe in celebrating a particular relationship on the basis of a particular assigned day (Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc.), this year my cheerful spirit seems to have achieved a new level of low on this particular occasion of Friendship Day. Somehow, this day seems to be a mockery of sorts!
We’ve all been conditioned to believe that we need friends to get on with life. We’re all aware of the responsibilities and duties a “good” friend is expected to perform:
Friends make our lives beautiful by dividing our sorrows and doubling our happiness. A true friend is always there for you whenever you need them. Friends are understanding, non-judgmental, and they will never let you down. Friends keep your secrets. They know what makes you happy and what bothers you. They know when you are upset, and not only know what to do to make you feel better, they actually go ahead and do everything it takes to ensure you always have a smile on your face.
These are just some of the things that came off the top of my head; I’m sure there are many more! Now, how many of us have friends who can be honestly fitted into these perfect descriptions and definitions? In the real world, people aren’t perfect, and such an ideal friendship does not exist. In reality, every person we encounter is an acquaintance or associate with whom we are in close contact as the equation is mutually beneficial in some way or the other.
All relationships are fluid. We may be extremely close to someone, but after a few years, the person could become as good as a stranger. Once upon a time, you and your friend stuck together like glue. Now, you two meet once in a few months only to catch up over dinner or a movie. There are conflicts now, but there is no attempt made to resolve them – it seems pointless because things will never go back to the way they were, and there is no point in making things worse. Often, their newsfeed is filled with news or events that you weren’t a part of, or you probably hear about significant events in their life from someone else. The transition often hurts, and to cushion the pain, we often live in a world of denial. But, the right thing to do is just accept the things that one can’t change, and move on.
In reality, the only person who can be your “true friend” is you. No one will care for your happiness and wellbeing more than you. No one will put your needs before theirs. Only you can truly look after yourself and take care of your own needs. If you start putting others before you, you are being a bad friend to yourself. As cynical as it may sound, but, we are all alone in this world, and we have to fend for ourselves. There is no glory in sacrificing your wishes to fulfil someone else’s dreams – nine out of ten times, your sacrifice is not going to be appreciated, and you will only end up being taken for granted.
This Friendship Day, resolve to fire those friends who do not allow you to be the best version of yourself. Fire those who expect you to leave everything for them at the drop of a hat, and won’t do the same for you even if you’re stuck in a world of pain. No matter how difficult it is, don’t tell yourself that you don’t have such selfish friends. We all know who they are – let us not welcome and celebrate toxicities in our life.
Spend some time comforting yourself when you’ve had a bad day. No one knows better than you what makes you feel good – instead of waiting for someone to do something, take charge and make yourself feel wonderful. If you need someone to talk, listen to yourself. Pay attention to your thoughts and get in touch with your feelings. Don’t judge yourself for feeling the way you do. Be yourself when you are in your own company. Get rid of the mask! This Friendship Day, resolve to become your own best friend. You are the only person you need.