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Author Topic: Some Random Thoughts on Friendship...  (Read 1849 times)

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Offline PixiliciousTopic starter

Some Random Thoughts on Friendship...
« on: July 18, 2010, 09:05:10 PM »
Disclaimer:  This is not meant to target anyone on this site in particular.  This is just some random musing from my mind.  Those that I am referring to, will be mentioned, and not in any bad light.  Thank you! :)

"Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart."
- Anon

So...We all have friends.  It's inevitable that you'll make some throughout your life.  Online friends, to me, aren't any different.  You befriend someone, get close to them, get to know them.  They become a part of your daily routine.  You talk to them regularly, and even though you may not live near that person, you trust them enough, and they care about you enough to want to be part of your life in some way or another.

For me, and this is no surprise to most people, I have a few close online friends on here that are very near and dear to my heart, and I'm sure that they'll stay that way for a long time to come.  These are the people I feel comfortable with, whom I speak to every day.  We can relate to each other, and understand each other on what I think, is a level that goes past the superficial "Hey...How are you?  So about our story...".  These individuals know me just as well as my friends that live next door.

So...with that in mind, some things that I've been pondering recently...  Well, how does one distinguish whether they've known a person well-enough to move ahead of the pack and become a worthy friend of someone else?   In other words, how do you distinguish the acquaintances from the close friends?

For me, it's the people that I feel comfortable with.  If I don't feel comfortable with you, I'm not going to open up to you on a personal level. 

Most of you on here see the always smiling, always happy, always cheerful Pixilicious.  Well, the truth is, Pixilicious isn't always happy, cheerful and smiling.  I have my moments just like anyone else where I get upset, angry, frustrated and vulnerable.  To me, the friends, are the ones that get to see my tantrums, the times when I'm fuming, and the times when I cry.  The friends are the ones that, throughout all of that craziness, still stick around.  I trust them enough to let them see me at my most vulnerable, and they have in some way or another, earned that trust from me.

And those are the ones that I will stick by.  Those are the ones that have been around, and I know that unless some major disaster strikes, which, knock on wood, that doesn't happen, they will be the ones that continue to stay around. 

Friendships are not one-sided deals.  You have to give in order to get.  You have to show interest in things that mean anything to you, and receive that same interest in return, people included.  Otherwise, there is no point in staying in a friendship where one is the only person of two pulling the weight.

Sometimes though, one can be in denial about being in a one-sided deal.  When is enough truly enough?  When do you decide to call it quits after so much time and effort has been put in, without any hope of reciprocity?   Since there is the ability to earn trust, with me, there is the ability to lose trust, and have a friendship fall apart.

But this in turn, begs the question...Was there ever anything of substance there to begin with if something that you consider to be so strong and mean so much to you, is so easily broken, and/or replaced?  Was there any hope at all from the beginning, or were you just part of the Joker's harem, being made to play along until there was no end in sight?


Or perhaps you're part of a deal that includes being the flavor of the week...  Being the friend until the shiny, pretty new toy comes along, and then you're tossed aside like yesterday's trash.  How do you deal with that?  Is there anyway for you to spot these people before you've invested your time and energy into them?  It would surely save a lot of time and heartache, no?

With all of this in one's mind, what is the point of having a friendship?  What's the point of putting yourself out there when there's so much that can go wrong, and so many fake people for you to fall prey to?

For me, you if I hadn't found a few lumps of coal, it would not have enabled me to end up with the gems that I've found.  And those, my dear Elliquines, I would not trade for the world.

~Pixilicious~

Offline MzNurse

Re: Some Random Thoughts on Friendship...
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2010, 09:34:09 PM »
I couldn't have said it better, Pixi. I don't have answers to all your questions, but I understand completely the sentiments behind them.

Offline alxnjsh

Re: Some Random Thoughts on Friendship...
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2010, 09:43:13 PM »
Like Mz, I completely agree. When I talk about people I met online some of my IRL friends don't get the concept. I don't care though - online friends are just as important.

Offline Elina

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Re: Some Random Thoughts on Friendship...
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2010, 10:49:36 PM »
I agree.  I have very real friendships with people online.  My RL friends and family don't usually get it, either. But really, I spend more time with you and my other online friends every day than I do with anyone else not in my immediate family. The anonymity that comes with a friendship born online allows for more familiarity, as well.  I can easily say that with the exception of my best friend, my friends online know me better than anyone else in my life.  I can share intimacies with here that I can't elsewhere.  This is an interesting blog, Pix.  I'm glad we're friends.

Offline Nim

Re: Some Random Thoughts on Friendship...
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2010, 11:09:50 PM »
Quote
I can easily say that with the exception of my best friend, my friends online know me better than anyone else in my life.  I can share intimacies with here that I can't elsewhere.  This is an interesting blog, Pix.  I'm glad we're friends.

I agree as well with the idea of friends on line being just as valid and real as our "RL" friends.

And I really think Elina hit the nail square on the head.  With my online friends it just seems that I can be more fully myself without feeling as if I am being judged for everything I say or do.  Its one of the few places where kick off your shoes and stay a while actually means just that.

There have been times when I have mourned the loss of an on line friend because they have vanished without a trace more than I have mourned moving away from RL or I guess physical friends might be more accurate term.   

And like Mz I also don't know what all the answers might be but I guess in some cases there are places where lines are drawn.  Its just a little more difficult to see where they are than it is to read someones on's and off's which actually seem to change with time and experience.  At least I know mine have. 

Offline Elina

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Re: Some Random Thoughts on Friendship...
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2010, 11:15:06 PM »
I may have hit the nail on the head, but my grammar could have been better in that post.  Perhaps rather than goofing off with a certain pixie all day, I should work on my command of the English language.

Offline Brumak

Re: Some Random Thoughts on Friendship...
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2010, 10:09:36 AM »
In my travels I met a few really cool people. Yes some are ones that seem to view you as the flavor of the week but others even more rarer in my case are always long haul friends. I have only been here for not even a month but I have met some really cool people who have broadened my horizon's in so many ways. I know some of my IRL friends don't get it either but a few of them do playing online games developing friendships and such the same way we do here. Good Blog post Pixi kinda makes me wanna start one ....I'll have to keep my eye out over here more often.

Offline PixiliciousTopic starter

Re: Some Random Thoughts on Friendship...
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2010, 10:29:00 PM »
I may have hit the nail on the head, but my grammar could have been better in that post.  Perhaps rather than goofing off with a certain pixie all day, I should work on my command of the English language.

I'm an English education major.  Perhaps I should...Teach you... ^-^

Offline Braioch

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Re: Some Random Thoughts on Friendship...
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2010, 09:12:52 PM »
(First response to Blog, and then praises)

I would have to say that the cutoff point, when you realize it's not going anywhere other than you giving, while they take, or barely give, is an intuitive and tested method. It might take a couple of tries, and sometimes longer than you would have liked that you allowed before it hits you.

Example: Had a RL friend who I met at school, we hit it off, both of us highly energetic and excitable people. Mind you she was(is) bi-polar, and she told me this rather quickly. Now I had no problem with that, even when I began to realize what that meant (through experiencing it) the problems started when I realized there was more to the story. Such as the fact that the line 'you have a disease, you are not the disease' didn't quite apply to her and her abuse/neglect of her meds didn't help.

I can't tell you the number of times I helped her through so many of her downs, watching over her and even trying to make sure she took her meds. Helping her through sooooo many downs that were fueled by heartbreak and the added problems that come with that. It was exhausting at times, to the point that I just couldn't feel much of my own emotions when I should have. Seems odd to write that as I never though of myself as a very sacrificial person, perhaps I should ponder that later.

Anyways, I thought that after a couple of falling outs, we were good. She had moved out of her old place, obtained herself a good job and a great apartment and was doing well. I was (and still am not) in such a great spot, but I didn't begrudge her her happiness. That is until I hung out with a mutual friend with ours who informed me that my 'friend' had been talking quite the massive amount of infuriating and hurtful shit. Apparently I was sleeping with my roommate (which I wasn't) was still doing hard drugs (I wasn't even addicted when I had been doing them, and this occurred a year after I had given up the recreational use of drugs) and that I wasn't going anywhere with my life, ever.

Needless to say, there was the cut-off point, I haven't spoke to her since and she still sends me messages asking why. That was a year ago, and I'm still furious when I think about it.

That long winded example being an extreme one where I should have seen it coming, but I'm a bit dumb when it comes to other people that I care about. It's a prime example of why people should be more careful in establishing who you trust, because sometimes they don't show their true colors until several months down the road. Taking all that you gave them, all that you put stock into, and shit all over it, throwing it back into your face.

Then again you can have friends like my best friend, who I've known for almost 4 years, and I could go on and on about. But I won't go into that and steal more from the blog.

Speaking of, very well done on that Pixi, I couldn't agree more with everything that you put out. It's something more people should think of when they choose their friends.

Offline mongoose

Re: Some Random Thoughts on Friendship...
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2010, 01:15:56 PM »
That was a wonderful post Pixilicious and you ask some very thought provoking questions.  I know, for me personally, my online friends are just as important to me as real life friends.  The way I am on the internet is the way I am in real life, though perhaps slightly looser on the internet since I don't have to meet acceptable standards for work, etc.  The friends I meet online are just as important to me as those I meet face to face (the concept of "in real life" has always bugged me because we're not in a time warp when we're on the internet - the people we're meeting are real people, even if the personality they are portraying might be somewhat fake) and my significant other doesn't understand that at all.  No matter how I explain it, I don't think they will either because they don't include the internet as part of the things they enjoy doing so they'll never develop those kinds of friendships.  Like many, I've been burned by people I considered friends - either because their personality on the internet turned out to be a fake one or they disappeared without warning or burned me with something I trusted them with, etc, leaving me wondering the same types of things you asked in your post.  In the end, though, I have to fall back on the concept that life comes with risks and relationships, be they face to face or over the internet, are no different.  If we want to truly connect with others, we have to put ourselves out there and risk being hurt.  It's as simple as that.  And if we are hurt, we do what we can to get through it, same as we would if it were a face to face friend.  How we do that is different for everyone of course - me, I tend to lose myself in my interests for a few days, letting my angst roll around in my head for a bit until I finally stab it with a vengeance and purge it from my mind - and how long it takes is also.  Also, trust your instincts.  If something feels off with an online friend, be more reserved, etc.  It's not foolproof by any means but it helps.

Offline sartracker

Re: Some Random Thoughts on Friendship...
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2010, 11:33:28 AM »
May I comment?

I have to agree with you, Unfortunately on line friends as well as those we develop in real life take time. Over time we develop friendhips based on many different character qualities. Over time those qualities are either appealing out not and based on that friendships either flourish or die, It is unfortunate that people can be misleading either intentionally or unintentionally and as result we can get hurt. I think we put ourselves out there hoping and looking for the best in people, which leaves us vulnerable to the  unpleasantness's of life.

Offline PixiliciousTopic starter

Re: Some Random Thoughts on Friendship...
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2010, 05:21:24 PM »
May I comment?

I have to agree with you, Unfortunately on line friends as well as those we develop in real life take time. Over time we develop friendhips based on many different character qualities. Over time those qualities are either appealing out not and based on that friendships either flourish or die, It is unfortunate that people can be misleading either intentionally or unintentionally and as result we can get hurt. I think we put ourselves out there hoping and looking for the best in people, which leaves us vulnerable to the  unpleasantness's of life.

I agree with everything that you've said, sartracker!  I have learned that the part that I've bolded in your comment is especially true!  It's also my belief that friendships take work to maintain, and sometimes people are just not willing to put in that work that is needed.  Do you agree or disagree with this?  I'm highly interested in hearing what you have to say and thank you for your comments! :)

Offline Kitsunetsuki

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Re: Some Random Thoughts on Friendship...
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2010, 05:49:47 PM »
I couldn't agree more with your post Pixilicious. Many of my friends do not understand about online "life" and friendships, but my "online only" friends are just as important as my "real life" friends. Maybe it's because I have been online for such a very long time, but I've never really made a distinction between the two. Quite a few of my "online only" friends have become "real life" friends, as well. (As an example, I met my ex online, long before it was commonplace to do so, and we lasted for over 9 yrs together.) They are all very important to me, and if I didn't talk with some of them everyday, I would certainly feel it. I'm closer with some, but I think that that is something that just comes with time. Or chemistry - sometimes two people just naturally get along better with each other than with others. *shrugs*

It's also my belief that friendships take work to maintain, and sometimes people are just not willing to put in that work that is needed.

You're very right, sometimes people just don't want to make the effort. Those are usually the ones left wondering why they have no close friends, as well. In my (ever so humble) opinion, all relationships require maintenance, just like a garden. Sometimes, you have to weed out past hurts and move on. Sometimes, you have to fertilize and "feed" the relationship, giving them more love and attention when they need it. Sometimes, time may pass and you may forget to keep up with things, but when you come back you find that things are just as they were, if not better, fuller, more wonderful than before. It is mutual effort, a "give and take" mentality, that makes your garden/relationship grow beautiful and strong. ;)

Offline mongoose

Re: Some Random Thoughts on Friendship...
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2010, 05:59:06 PM »
You're very right, sometimes people just don't want to make the effort. Those are usually the ones left wondering why they have no close friends, as well. In my (ever so humble) opinion, all relationships require maintenance, just like a garden. Sometimes, you have to weed out past hurts and move on. Sometimes, you have to fertilize and "feed" the relationship, giving them more love and attention when they need it. Sometimes, time may pass and you may forget to keep up with things, but when you come back you find that things are just as they were, if not better, fuller, more wonderful than before. It is mutual effort, a "give and take" mentality, that makes your garden/relationship grow beautiful and strong. ;)

I couldn't have said this better myself if I tried.  Wonderful way to summarize it, Kit.  Absolutely wonderful.

Offline Kitsunetsuki

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Re: Some Random Thoughts on Friendship...
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2010, 07:44:45 PM »
I couldn't have said this better myself if I tried.  Wonderful way to summarize it, Kit.  Absolutely wonderful.
*beams* Thank you! I blame reading "The Secret Garden" one too many times as a child. ;D

The analogy goes on and on, really...For instance, if you leave it alone for too long, sometimes it withers up and dies. :(

(I don't want to beat a dead horse. ;) So, I'll stop there.)

Offline mongoose

Re: Some Random Thoughts on Friendship...
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2010, 08:22:30 PM »
*beams* Thank you! I blame reading "The Secret Garden" one too many times as a child. ;D
The analogy goes on and on, really...For instance, if you leave it alone for too long, sometimes it withers up and dies. :(
(I don't want to beat a dead horse. ;) So, I'll stop there.)

You're very welcome!  As for beating a dead horse, I dare say I've been guilty of that a time or two myself!

Offline PixiliciousTopic starter

Re: Some Random Thoughts on Friendship...
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2010, 09:38:28 PM »
I couldn't agree more with your post Pixilicious. Many of my friends do not understand about online "life" and friendships, but my "online only" friends are just as important as my "real life" friends. Maybe it's because I have been online for such a very long time, but I've never really made a distinction between the two. Quite a few of my "online only" friends have become "real life" friends, as well. (As an example, I met my ex online, long before it was commonplace to do so, and we lasted for over 9 yrs together.) They are all very important to me, and if I didn't talk with some of them everyday, I would certainly feel it. I'm closer with some, but I think that that is something that just comes with time. Or chemistry - sometimes two people just naturally get along better with each other than with others. *shrugs*

You're very right, sometimes people just don't want to make the effort. Those are usually the ones left wondering why they have no close friends, as well. In my (ever so humble) opinion, all relationships require maintenance, just like a garden. Sometimes, you have to weed out past hurts and move on. Sometimes, you have to fertilize and "feed" the relationship, giving them more love and attention when they need it. Sometimes, time may pass and you may forget to keep up with things, but when you come back you find that things are just as they were, if not better, fuller, more wonderful than before. It is mutual effort, a "give and take" mentality, that makes your garden/relationship grow beautiful and strong. ;)

Thanks for the kind words, Kit! :D  In regards to the first part of your post, I'll have to admit that I don't distinguish between my online and offline friends.  When I talk to my offline friends, and I mention one of my online friends, it's always.."My friend Nic, or my friend Alex..".  Another term that really bugs me about this, is when people say..."Their real-life friends"  To me, that term suggests that the people that you are friends with online are not real.  It's invalidating and I don't think any form of friendship, if it's true and genuine, should be invalidated.

And I love your plant analogy! :D

Offline Kitsunetsuki

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Re: Some Random Thoughts on Friendship...
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2010, 09:53:20 PM »

Thanks for the kind words, Kit! :D  In regards to the first part of your post, I'll have to admit that I don't distinguish between my online and offline friends.  When I talk to my offline friends, and I mention one of my online friends, it's always.."My friend Nic, or my friend Alex..".  Another term that really bugs me about this, is when people say..."Their real-life friends"  To me, that term suggests that the people that you are friends with online are not real.  It's invalidating and I don't think any form of friendship, if it's true and genuine, should be invalidated.

And I love your plant analogy! :D

This is why I put the two different terms in quotes; they are terms used by others to make that distinction. I do not distinguish between the two. My friends are my friends, no matter what. I love them all, and hopefully, they know that. :-) Glad you liked the analogy!