I would consider myself a good friend. I always have the best interests of my friends at heart, I’ll be there in a heartbeat if needed and I’ll take secrets to the grave. But, I would also consider myself a bad friend. I can be flaky, I’m not always the best replier and I’ll tell you that we’ll do something soon and often, soon just doesn’t come. Despite all this, I idolise friendships. I’ve grown up witnessing my Mum’s relationship with her best friend from childhood – Sarah and since my childhood, it’s been a relationship I envy.
The ‘best friend’ relationship I’m referring to is one where they’re a phone call away ready to listen to you go on about the same thing…again. The friendship where you can’t wait to share any news with each other and the type of friendship where you can trust them with your life while knowing they’ll be completely honest with you. It’s also the friendship where you don’t need to see each other all the time but know you are there for each other no matter what.
I read Lily Pebbles The F Word and it really got me thinking about my own friendships. In terms of the book, I’d consider myself a mixture of the one who always feels left out – The Sensitive One, the one who says it how it is – The Realist Friend plus a dash of The older sister friend because I love finding out information (I’m very nosey) and giving advice. So basically, I’m very emotional, will always struggle to feel part of the group and will tell you my honest opinion while giving you advice… Who wants to be my friend?! But seriously, reading this book did open my eyes to my attitude towards friends. I can be quite critical of my current friends as well as criticising my own ability to be a friend. It isn’t something I do intentionally, it’s just that I’ve always struggled with friendships.
One reason I’ve struggled is because I am a difficult person to form a relationship with. I can be very closed, reserved and shy and have been told numerous times that I have a very well cemented, stubborn wall. Maturity has also always been a bane in my life when it has come to making/maintaining friendships. I’ve always been mature for my age and struggled with friendships throughout school as I sometimes just couldn’t level with others’ immaturity. I was therefore often friends with people older than me, but those bonds never lasted too long due to the age difference and their lives moving forward naturally, faster than mine. So, it was probably when I was around 15 that I think I really cemented my close friendships with people at school.
It was inspiring to read The F Word, by Lily Pebbles who absolutely idolises her friendships and has a LOT of friends. The book made me appreciate the friends I do have in my life and it made me also understand that all friendships are different. No two people are always going to agree on everything and it’s impossible for two people to always like each other because just like a romantic relationship, friendships are something that needs working on. Everybody needs a good friendship network because whether you need to moan about your day, have chipped a nail, are about to snap at your partner, are crying for no reason, celebrating a new job, a promotion or just needing a good old sesh, it’s your girls you need.
The book also made me see that I’m not too old to make friends. Maybe too awkward and shy but there are plenty of opportunities in life to make friends and sometimes it’s just extending an olive branch. I do think my anxious brain isn’t quite ready to individually send out olive branches to potential friends, but we’ll see.
To cut a long, stream of consciousness, rambly post short, if you’re one of the 4 or 5 friends I have in my life, I love you guys and sorry you must deal with a pain in the ass, miserable at times, opinionated and honest friend like me. Along with those negatives, I am also incredibly funny – even if it is only me that thinks that, a good listener, and believe that you can trust me with your lives. Even if I don’t always message you, or at times flake out on plans, I’m still your biggest supporter and will be here no matter what.
Do you have a stong friendship network?