Failure at Friendship

Failure at Friendship

My cousin is my best friend, and I'm okay with that.

In elementary school you think your friendships will last forever, but sometimes they don't. You get older, your interests change and your friendships fade away. You may not understand why but it's often for the greater good.

I see so many posts from girls that I've known since elementary school who are still friends, maybe they got lucky, or I just wasn't. I've never had a friendship last more than five years. Recently, it's only taken a few months for people to fade out of my life, almost as quickly as they arrived. This summer I had a slight realization that brought me to tears in front of my parents, was I the issue?

But after a lot of thinking, I realized that I'm not. I found out that having a strong personality that you don't change for others is almost unheard of nowadays. Conforming to others to fit in is not what I want to do to have friends. I want friends that support me and my goals in life. I want friends who encourage my personality however annoying I may be at times. I want friends like my cousin.

Yes, she may have an obligation to like me because we're family but she is the strongest friendship I've had in my entire life. One time we didn't talk for six months, but we forgave each other. We both dated idiot boys that the other didn't approve of, but now we both realize that the other was right and we should have listened to them and we wouldn't have wasted our time. The reason why I want more friends like her is because one minute we will be having a serious conversation about school work and how classes are going and then the next we'll be talking about how my future child needs to call her "gawd mutha" (thick Boston accent) and crying laughing about how stupid we looked on spirit day in 2013 and how we ever showed our faces at the high school again. She may get mad at me, she may hold a grudge, and she may make bad decisions but she supports me and doesn't flea.

We share a bond through family that can never be taken away, but we also have a strong friendship that only can become stronger with age. We know everything that has ever happened to each other, there are no secrets. When something happens in my life, she is the first person I call. When our grandmother passed away in 2015, the first question I asked my mom was "Does she know?" and when she said yes I told her that I just needed to talk to my cousin. We then spent hours crying and telling our favorite stories about Gram. Nobody but her knew what I was going through at that time, and I needed a friend that was also family in order to understand my pain and she needed the same.

I've had five "best friends" in my life, and I'm proud to say that my cousin is the only one that stuck around. Thank you for being the greatest person in the world.

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I Don't Rank My Friends, And You Shouldn't Either

All of you earn the title of best, because that’s what you are.

Have you ever hung out with a person who lets you know you aren’t their best friend? They later announce when their real best friend shows up.

They might as well have said, “Oh look, better company!” You’re left laughing at their inside jokes the rest of the night and wishing you had stayed home with your mom instead.

I’ve never understood people who rank their friends. I may have been that person at a time, but thankfully I left that habit in middle school (along with my blue eyeshadow and sparkle Uggs), because the process of placing more value on one person than another just feels wrong.

There is absolutely nothing productive about having only one best friend. The only outcome is hurt among other people you love and the obvious indication that you don’t know how to spread the love. Dude, make new friends & keep the old... Sing it with me!

Now if there is truly only one person you can consider a best friend, then you have more than enough. One true person is better than one hundred fake ones. But if you have a crew of incredible people who make you feel loved and would do anything for you, then it’s time to make it plural. They are all valuable, each as precious as the other.

So shout out to my best friendS. Y’all fill my heart in your own special ways!

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Stop Freeloading On Your Friends

Frankly, it unhealthy to expect someone, regardless of how close you may be, to “be there” for you at all times.

I have one request for the new year, I need people to stop freeloading on others emotional labor.

Your best friend will always be there for you and love you, but they are not your therapists.

I’ve had it happen for me and I’m sure that at one point, I did it to others.

Either way, that sort of behavior is unacceptable.

I think we’ve turned friendship into an all or nothing kind of deal, where at the slightest bit of antagonism or lack of yes saying, we “drop” the people that we say we care about.

Frankly, it is unhealthy to expect someone, regardless of how close you may be, to “be there” for you at all times.

It’s 2018 and it's about time we stop expecting a text back within a five-minute window. Or even expecting people to drop their world at a moment notice to pick up ours.

We all want to be good friends that are always there but as we get older, our lives start to change and at some point, our friends have to understand that we can’t keep expending ourselves in order to do that.

My biggest problem with these types of friendships is that there is always one person putting more work in than the other.

They’re the ones that will pick up the phone at four in the morning, pick you up when you decide to get drunk alone (they also pick up the mess), and undoubtedly go through the same conversations over and over again.

They are constantly being used because of their emotional stability or for the simple fact that they have their shit wrapped up just a bit tighter.

I have anxiety issues, I shut off my phone or my notifications multiple times a week.

I have to stay on top of myself DAILY so that I don’t fall back into unhealthy habits.

I don’t have the time to play nursemaid to a full-grown adult or even a daily basis, and I think most people would agree that I shouldn’t have to.

I don’t think anyone should have to, regardless of whether their issues are greater or smaller than mine.

We’re in college and things are just going to get harder, it's not fair to trap your friends or anyone else for that matter in a continuous pattern of free therapy.

It’s not fair to them and if you really need someone to talk to, seek out a professional, start a journal or a private blog.

Find an outlet that works for YOU and doesn’t leave others continuously working to make you better instead of themselves.

I don’t believe that we should all keep our feelings bottled up inside, because I know I’d hate it if one of my friends felt they could never go to me to seek out advice or a listening ear.

But I do believe that we should all be a little more aware of the strain we put on each other and the possible limits our friends have.

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