Monday, March 15, 2010

Friends

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Each friend we have in life touches us in a different way. In so many different ways, really. Friends can:

support us
teach us
push us
make us think
frustrate us
hurt us unintentionally
make us question ourselves
say exactly the right thing at exactly the right time
love us
make us laugh until we cry happy tears

And so on and so forth.

I believe that each friendship teaches us something not only about ourselves but how we interact with others. Whether the friendships stands the test of time or is but a blip in time, we take something from each and every one.

As I think back over my life, I analyze the friendships that have come and gone. Why did they end? Do I miss them?

Sometimes the answer is no. Sometimes it is yes. Sometimes I don't even know.

It's irrelevant really. This life is a journey and each friend is a stop point along the way.

Sometimes though, there is a darker more sinister side. Actually that's a bit dramatic. What I mean is, not all friendships are healthy. Sometimes, in fact, they are quite the opposite.

I am easily influenced by what my friends are doing. If so and so is suddenly into macrame, well by golly gee, I suddenly seem to have developed a need to macrame myself (that sounds dirty but I am pretty sure it's not). That's just a random hypothetical example, trust me I couldn't macrame a bookmark if my life depended on it.

I have noticed this though, and sometimes it is best to distance myself from people because I am being influenced and changing into someone I don't recognize. This is not their fault, it is mine entirely.


I'll give you a better example.

Once I was talking to an acquaintance and she mentioned that she had a friend who was obsessed about what was in every single thing her and her family were eating. I asked the acquaintance if that influenced her to start worrying about that too and she said yes, very much so. To the point that she had to distance herself from this friend because she hardly knew herself anymore.

I found that validating because I too, have done the same. Sometimes, no matter how hard you want a friendship to work or remain, it just isn't the best thing. Sometimes, influence isn't necessarily a good thing because as humans, we all possess, to some extent, the need to keep up the Jone's.

I have this dilemma sometimes. How do I stay true to myself and keep from getting caught up in what my friends' are doing? Have they suddenly taken up macrame? Do I need to take it up too?

Surely I am not the only one who finds themselves being swept up in what others are doing?

Jay is a good sounding board with this kind of thing and for the most part, he keeps me in check.

I am interested though, do you sit back and evaluate things like this? Maybe I need to find a hobby and stop over analyzing?

I want to know what you think. Comments have been down over here of late. You all are coming by but not saying hi (ha, I am a poet and I didn't know it). Maybe this will be the post that gets you to pipe in?

14 comments:

Lori: Teacher Turned Mommy said...

I'm the type of person who doesn't have a lot of friends most of the time. I know there are a lot of reasons for this. I also believe that people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime... you just don't know why at the time. I don't think I take on the personality traits of my friends, but then I don't usually let many people get close to me so I'm sure that has a role in it. At least you can look at yourself and say... hmmm why am I doing this?

BeachMama said...

I can totally see what you are saying. I find that I too have been easily influenced in the past. I am much better now that I am at home and not in a workplace, but I an still find it creeping in now and then. I have stepped back though when I find that someone is influencing me and changing me.

Oliver said...

i don't think there's anything wrong with being influenced by your friends. as long as your friends don't suddenly take up smoking crack, they'll help you expand your world and experience new things. as long as you remain conscious of what you are doing and how it may affect the people close to you.

Angella said...

I think that's why we need to surround ourselves with friends who inspire us to be BETTER. Because, yes, we are influenced by the people we let into our lives.

Which is why I keep you around - you're a good influence. :)

Misty said...

I read often, but I am not the best on commenting anymore - - on all blogs really, since the baby died.

Friendship is a really tricky thing, and I have found myself evaluating each one since I became the lady with the dead boy.

I think friendship needs to consist of mutual love and trust - and also respect and honesty. One needs to be able to be themselves, at all times. Loyalty is important to me, and so is a person being there for me when I really need them.

Ashley said...

Hi! I think that the influence our friends have on our lives whether good or bad shapes us into who we are. We learn our weakness to follow or our strength to do our own thing or walk away when walking our own path becomes too difficult.

To be honest, while I have lots of people who are my friends I have very few close friends. I don't let people in easily and when I do they are "lifers" friends forever. And it's those lifers who have the ability to cause the most damage with word and actions. So quite often I'd rather be alone.

Stacie's Madness said...

i don't see any harm in trying things that interest your friends...it's drawing that line of once you've tried it how do YOU like it...ya know?

i have a girlfriend that I admire BECAUSE of her differences...and she has never pushed her agenda or thoughts onto me, but she has shared her opinions for me to hear her point of view. I love her for it.

I don't know if I answered anything for you, but know that from one over analyzer to another, I think you're just fine.

R Royal Family said...

I'm glad you are my friend :-) who else would I turn to when I need someone to settle an argument between Dev and I lol

Stacie's Madness said...

i have some sunshine for you on my blog.

Hannah said...

I'm also a believer in the "reason, season or lifetime" thing. I remember the first time I heard somebody talk about that at a women's breakfast. I went, "That's IT!!! I finally understand!!" and it really helped me to find that peace and freedom. There have been friends who were in my life for a short time, and that's okay with me now. I no longer worry about "why" we grew apart. I realise that we needed to, and it is okay. Of course I would quite literally DIE without the "lifetime" friends who I hold so dearly. Some have been my friends since Kindergarten, so that's a long time. Like, a quarter of a century! I know our friendships will last forever. Others, I don't think they will. I know they are for a "season".

P.S. Comments are down all over. I blame it on Twitter and Facebook!

Cheryl said...

ok please tell me I was not your motive for this post.....
I think if something that a friend is doing and is passionate about it makes up excited and want to try it...often we tend not to like the same things but what is life without trying new things!!
My issue is when friends become really competitive with me....total turn off..
Macrame???? Please say it isn't so Kami!

Kami said...

Yes. I'm definitely influenced by my friends. I don't think I've ever had to distance myself from a friend because of a negative influence, but there have been times I've had to stop myself from going along with something that I ordinarily wouldn't do, just cause I'm around people who do...like smoke a cigarette. I used to take a few drags now and then when I was with friends who smoked, just cause...even though I hated the way it made me feel and smell. Then there have been positively influenced by my friends, like friends who are really really good about recycling. I think about them every time I consider throwing out something that I really could recycle if I took 2 extra seconds.

Kristin said...

If Macrame is the dark side I am so making out with Darth Vader, besides his deep breathing is hot! Friendships should always offer something, even if it's the opportunity to give of yourself. I've lived in a lot of different places in my life and my favourite things about each of them is the people I've met.
Grab some beads and yarn and come to the dark side. I've actually never tried macrame but it's crafty, that's got to be good.

nicole said...

I find myself more prone to this behavior from reading blogs. I had a sewing machine sit in my entryway for a year because I thought I wanted to learn how to sew. I still kind of do, but I have no time and it is silly to think I do. I have resisted the urge to covet a fancy camera and become some self-taught photography genius.

With real-life friends, I think I can maintain a pretty good balance. But then, I've always been a fairly independent girl, not easily influenced by my peers, so maybe that has kept me in check.

By the way, if you are tired of spam, but want to keep anonymous comments, you could use word verification. It is kind of annoying, but I use it and get very, very minimal comment spam, if any.