With friends like these…

I have had cause recently to re-evaluate a couple of friendships. Not that I'm getting cocky or anything, but you do have to wonder how deep and meaningful a relationship it is if they upset you or make you feel mediocre on a regular basis.

Take today for example. An old university friend was back in the area visiting her parents, and did the 'pop in for and hour and a half before going onto the next person on my list' thing. I perfectly understand that, God I've been in that situation myself. This (childless) friend of 12 years turned up late, mocked my parenting skills and choices, patronised my son, half-ate the cake that I had made especially for her (on her request!) and scooted off with a 'see you in a year' flippancy. I was left feeling aghast, with an untouched Victoria Sandwich and my unimpressed son for company.

Only last week in work, I sobbed my heart out on another 'friend' who was fabulous. Only for her to later completely ridicule me in a 'humorous' manner infront of the entire staffroom. What's that about?

Then at the other end of the spectrum is my oldest friend (not in an age sense). I'm two years older than her and have known her since her birth. My mum used to look after her, she lived opposite, her brothers and sisters were/are friends with mine. We were thrown together as a matter of course. At various points in our time we've been closer than others; the worse and greatest absence is when we got married (no, not to each other!). Her husband and I didn't like each other. 9 years down the line and we hadn't seen each other since her eldest (8yrs) was born. However when I texted her to tell her about dad's cancer, by the time I'd put the phone down, it was ringing. Last May she texted me to say her and hubby were splitting up & I rang straightaway. It was 11pm at night. Since she's moved back to the area we have a new-found friendship on a level like never before. And The Boy adores her.

Another friend pointed out to me earlier "Friends are meant to make you feel good, help, pick you up when you feel rubbish, etc. Not criticise condemn and complain!" She has a very good point. I know we can't always be there, but surely it's a questionable relationship if you get nothing positive from it?

And then you get the friend who does this to cheer you up:

Thank you for being so thoughtful and kind.

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  1. Mcai7td3 says

    Unfortunately some people don't realise what friendship is, or sometimes just even plain manners! Those cakes looked fantastic, shame on her fir not appreciating it. I would have devoured every last one!! Hugs!!

  2. says

    Someone once told me you have friends for a time, a reason or a season and this helped me when I felt a lot of my friendships had reached the end of their 'season'. As our lives inevitably tame different paths we are going to experience things which will change us, sometimes for the good, sometimes the not so good. It's always sad when the realisation of the end of a friendship comes, but when you have had the chance to lay it to rest it is normally replaced by a new greater friendship.

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      I think you're right. I do think that we need different friends for different reasons. I am so happy that the old friend is back in my life; I don't think I had realised how much I had missed her until she was back. There were times in the past that being with her made me feel second-rate but I don't put myself in those situations anymore; I work the friendship to it's best and am now never disappointed.

  3. says

    I do feel for you – friends are like holding water in my eyes let the majority slip through your fingers and grab the ones that are worthwhile! I would rather have a few great friends than a lot of crap ones… Over the years the numbers have got smaller but I know I can actually call them Friends! If you can ring a friend after 3 months of not speaking and talk like you saw them yesterday than that's something special x

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      I think since discovering other friends, either virtual or through my baby and toddler group, I have been analysing other 'friendships' and have come to the conclusion that some are incredibly superficial or mere acquaintances.

  4. says

    omg I have tears in my eyes! in fact they have just fallen onto my cheeks! I have been through similar with a certain 'friend' recently and to be honest I'm glad to have them out of my day to day life (unfortunately there will still be times that our paths have to cross). Another (good) friend said to me that she would prefer not to have any friends at all than friends like that, and I think she is right, why have friends that always make you feel bad, that criticise what you do, that snap at you for unknown reasons just to make themselves feel better about their crap lives!!


    • TheBoyAndMe says

      I'm sorry!

      You're right though, friends who make you feel worthless in order to make themselves feel better are not worth having in your life. One or two good ones are more important!

  5. Mammywoo says

    I totally agree with your friend.
    Having been carted from one country to another growing up, I found myself at 21 not really having 'school friends' that grew up together, cos I was always on the move. My oldest friend, whom I lobe and speak to infrequently but when we do it's like no time has passed lives on the other side of the world now. I fell , or found a group of 'friends' when I was 22 after college. It felt great to be part of a group, wanted, grounded and always having company and great laughs. I remember thinking – this is what I've been searching for- true friendship and contentment. I 'hung around' with them for 3 years and then my brother died. They rallied round but after a month would say things like 'come on Lexy it's been a month' move on. And slowly began to label me a drama queen and pull away. I was devastated and realised once again, these people aren't friends. Thats when I realised I did have true friends from school and from travelling. They just lived no where near me. That seemed to stop mattering.
    @specialj21 travelled 3 hours to see me when he died And I remember thinking. So they live miles away. It doesn't matter.
    I have another 'mate' Louise who walked all over me, only called me She needed me and generally made me feel shit. She lived around the corner So I put up with it.
    Only recently have I cut her out of my life. I dont need people in my life to criticise And use me. I do that enough to myself!
    My best friends are as follows. One lives in Canada. One lives in London. One lives in Carlisle. One just moved to the area (Woop) and one lives in Wales.
    They listen, we laugh, we encourage, we talk, we pick each other up, make each other smile and we do not critisize condemn or complain – unless it's about men ;0)
    They don't all live close but I speak to at least one, sometimes two everyday.
    They are my rocks.
    And no, I can't pop for tea. But I have my little boy to keep me company. Sure he doesn't understand or show much interest in make up and boy trouble and how to cook chicken, or whether I need to go to drs but he makes me smile. And he's right here!
    (but thank god for modern technology. Geography doesn't matter!)

    A lovely post. A lovely reminder of how lucky I am.
    Victoria sponge?? Yes please! :0)

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      I am incredibly lucky to have married my best friend. Another one is my mum. You don't need to see a friend on a daily basis to have a connection; one of my closest friends lives in Reading. We used to work together and were never that close at the time. That was 7 years ago and we still see each other several times a year.

      Like I've said before; friends make you feel good about yourself or think very carefully about what would make you feel better and act on it. I'm lucky to have friends like that!

  6. Alysonsblog says

    A friend of mine says that friends are either radiators or drains, as a radiatot they either fill you up and keep you warm inside, or if a drain , they drain you when they are around, use and disappear. it's a good analogy and one I'm thinking and using a lot recently xxx

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