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Forums / Staying well / True Friendships

Topic: True Friendships

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. Optimist_Prime
    Optimist_Prime avatar
    5 posts
    8 August 2015

    In order to have a true friend, you first have to be a true friend. I've lived my life by that, because my Mom taught me that truth at a very young age. And for many years, I had so many close, beautiful friendships (and we are still in touch, but by facebook or some other online medium (sorry no offense beyond blue- you're awesome and you helps me and many others, but it's not the same as a close friend face to face or even the phone!))... but ironically, as I've gotten older, when I feel really down... I always realize that actually don't have anyone to call.  Those that I might call, I actually know they don't truly care. I haven't had a real friend in many years. I am certain it is partly because I've pulled away from people due to hurt from failed friendships too many times, especially as I got older, it's like failed friendships became more painful... and there are probably many other factors. But now I'm not really sure how to go out and make a true friend again. I'm involved in a lot of hobbies and I know heaps and heaps of people from work, etc. But I feel like I've lost how to truly connect with one person.

    I think it is because I'm scared of being vulnerable. I think my facade of being strong and living a "successful" life is working too well (why do I put quotes on successful... well, I think success would be if I could feel content and give contentedness to the world, but society thinks success is based on other things- money in the bank, job, status, etc.... so people THINK I'm successful, but I know differently)... I'm too afraid to tear down my facade though... Why? Maybe a stupid reason, but I'll be honest. It is because there are people who prey on weakness.. and want those of us they view as strong to fail and those are the people I fear as they do hurt me.. regardless if I pretend they don't...

    I think everyone struggles with issues of different sorts, but most of us hide them. And it's good in a way, because you can't walk around feeling sorry for yourself... that is a very deep hole that perhaps you'll never climb out once you climb in, but it also doesn't allow you to have deep and meaningful relationships.

    Just curious of others thoughts on this massive topic? Thank you for "listening."

  2. white knight
    Community Champion
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    white knight avatar
    9779 posts
    8 August 2015 in reply to Optimist_Prime

    Hi Optimist,

    My wife has one true close friend. They are inseparable in terms of their bond. Her in Victoria, her friend in Qld. It is such a special bond I actively promote us visiting twice a year if we can manage it.

    As for me, same as you. No true close friend. I thought I had one from school. We were close until he married a woman that wanted me les sin my friends life. He buckled and that was the beginning of the end.

    What is a close friend? I suppose its one whereby you have 100% trust, faith in each other, care, no obligations or expectations and so on. Is this possible- sure it is, but it is also something that has to happen naturally between the two parties. It isn't something you can create. I suppose you can make yourself available for a close friendship and that would increase your chances but that will also invite some that aren't worthy.

    I think its more difficult than it seems, to find true close friends.

    Tony WK

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Vegetarian Marshmallow
    Vegetarian Marshmallow avatar
    269 posts
    8 August 2015 in reply to Optimist_Prime

    "It is because there are people who prey on weakness.. and want those of us they view as strong to fail and those are the people I fear as they do hurt me.. regardless if I pretend they don't..."

    What are you talking about, here?  Taken on its own, this snippet could mean a few different types of interactions with people, but the context of that paragraph makes me wonder at which you mean.  By what metric do they view you as strong, why do you think they want to hurt you, and what happens if they do hurt you?

    I think the measurement of "money, job, status" is an approximation for "the freedom/power to do what you want in the world".  Not exclusively (there are other ways to get what you want, and what you want may not require those things), but I think it works as a general rule.

    One very easy thing a person who has monetary success can do to give contentedness to the world is to give some of that money to causes related to bringing other peoples' more basic needs (food, shelter, health, education) up to a better standard.

    I agree with white knight's largest paragraph.  Sometimes a friendship will even sneak up on you without you even noticing, just by spending time with someone and coming to understand them.  But of course you can be proactive; facilitate spending time together by inviting them to things, ringing them rather than waiting for them to ring you, etc.; facilitate understanding them and building an empathic bond by asking about how they work and attempting to internalise it, rather than having your interactions with them revolve around shallow topics of conversation.

  4. Narniakid
    Valued Contributor
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    Narniakid avatar
    348 posts
    9 August 2015 in reply to Optimist_Prime

    Hi Optimist_Prime (love the username by the way)

    I can definitely see where you're coming from, I remember thinking all of the same things myself once. I think first you have to define what you want from a friendship, and what you want to give. I agree with what Vegetarian Marshmellow has written - nothing is going to change if you don't initiate meaningful conversation and spend time with them. Like Tony said, is isn't something you can create and plan out, it has to happen naturally. But in order for natural chemistry to play out, you need to put yourself in a somewhat vulnerable position in order to open up and connect. It is scary, but it's a risk you have to take if you want someone to open up as well. Friendship, like any other kind of relationship, is something that has to be acknowledge, accepted and nurtured by both parties, and that take time and effort to form that trust.


  5. Marys
    Marys avatar
    6 posts
    9 August 2015

    Hi Optimist,

    Yes I can certainly relate to what you are saying. Its really hard to find people you can totally  trust sometimes and who wish you well. And of course you can connect with.  I've learned that lesson very recently - a bit too late.  And its caused me much headache in the last two weeks..(though would rather not go into it...),...



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