I was thinking about all the friends I have made over the years. Friends from high school to college to various jobs I have held, some I am in touch with and others got left behind (or they moved on, can’t sometimes tell which one happened). As life changed, I realized that I had developed friendships with many different kinds of people: single, married, divorced, males, females, older, younger! All of them fulfilled different kinds of needs at different times. And I am grateful for having them.
As I was reminiscing about my friends and all kinds of situations and events, happy and sad times these people have been there for me, I thought about how my own needs and preferences had changed over time. And it amazes me to think how much influence my friends have had in shaping my personality and in the decisions I have taken.
And as we go through various phases in life, our views of the world and people we hang out with also keeps changing. There have been times when I have had to let go of some friend because they became too dominating and controlling, or when I felt my values conflicted with the other person’ values. One of the freshest examples of this is from my work when this person started answering my personal phone calls and would forget to inform me. There were too many interferences that became difficult to ignore! Of course I didn’t stop my interactions with them on just one go, it happened many times and eventually became a problem. It was emotionally draining but I had to break off that relationship.
This sort of thing is possible only amongst friends though, not with other relationships, for example you cannot break off with a family member when in a strong disagreement. I get along with most people even when they are not in my ‘generation’ so to speak, both older and younger! Getting along well with your friends from all professions and of all ages, is also possible only because there are no expectations from these friend-relationships. We are happy with whatever we are able to ‘share’ with our friends, without making demands. And if there are undue demands from one party to another, we can always move on and find new friends.
Why then families/relatives cannot learn to live like that? like friends, expecting less and just being there when they can?
And it is important to have friends that are going to help you grow. Letting go of people whose values do not match with yours is essential to make room for newer friendships and learn from them.
What do you think? Do you think its more important to be loyal to your friends or yourself? Would you break off with a long time friend if your values changed?