Welcome to Ask April, a no-nonsense advice column focusing on what it is you can do to correct things that need correcting. While we all know much in life is out of our control, and sometimes, our reaction is all we CAN control- we really do have a lot of personal power, thankfully. Our will is just as important as the wills of others around us, and while we need to be considerate, we also need to make sure others are equally considerate of us. It is my hope that when you write in to me, asking advice, that I can help you make a good decision that somehow improves whatever situation you’ve found yourself in. As with anything I share, I recommend people don’t automatically take my word for anything, but include my advice in with the rest of the things that help them make a decision. I wish you well. Read on.
Every other week, I answer a call for advice, and every other week, I share my views on something I observed- I call this Observational Wisdom.
Maybe people’s nerves are fried after the holidays. Maybe something is in the planets. I’m not studied in astrology well enough to know. Whatever it is, all I know is the New Year rolled around and I started seeing countless fights erupt. I am seeing countless friendships shatter. Occasionally, a thing like that will happen, but it feels like I am seeing a LOT more of it all at once.
Now is a good time to take stock of your relationships and think about who is worth keeping. We would all like to think our friends value us, and we value our friends. But what, in your book, justifies a deal breaker, or is enough to cause a “friend divorce”?
Is it one disagreement? Is it that you no longer spend time together? Are there relationships that have been strained for a while, and you are just waiting for that last straw that will break the camel’s back? Have you been tolerating certain people out of respect for somebody you love who likes them? Do you have a friend who you feel is kind of a convenient friend or a pain in the ass, and you are just sick of dealing with them?
Maybe it IS them. Maybe they write you off because you don’t blow smoke up their ass enough. Maybe they think you are no fun, even though you never claimed to do things other than what you have always done. Maybe they never really cared about you anyways, and you no longer serve a purpose for them. Maybe they mistreated you, so you had a talk with them about it, and they decided a relationship is too much work. Maybe they were using you for something, and you explained you won’t be used, so they went bye-bye.
Good riddance to them, then.
Maybe it’s you.
Are you the kind of person who cuts off relationships if your friend maintains a friendship with somebody you now loathe? Even if the other person has done nothing to anybody else?
Are you somebody who will take a side in a situation you are not involved in, and then fight like crazy, even after your friends have disengaged from said situation with one another?
Are you someone who only circles with those who happen to be in the general vicinity of where you are busy at any given time? Do you lose touch with people who you used to conveniently be around regularly because you are preoccupied with your new things instead?
Do you go out of your way to let people know what a great person you think you are? Do you list all the “good things” you do for others, decrying how little you get in return?
Are you a chronic complainer who always expects other people to fix your problems, and make everything better? Do you only surround yourself with people who are doing things for you?
If any of these scenarios describe you, then you are not a friend. You are pure drama, and people will get tired of it.
Friends are the people who make life worth living.
Let’s face it, there are times when everything is going our way, and we are just effortlessly going about our days without a care in the world. There are other days when it seems like everything we touch turns to shit, and we need people to pull us through it. Without friends, you would be unable to make it.
Friends are the people who understand us and accept us, imperfections and all. Though, many of us are blessed to have friends who call us on our shit so we can learn to be better versions of the people we are.
Friends share the joys of life. They are there with us to share rites of passage, like marriage, divorce, and the deaths of family members. Friends are also the ones who will visit us when we are sick, and stay overnight with us when we have to go to the hospital. They help nurse us back to health, and give us a reason to get better, because we have a lot of good times with them to look forward to.
Tragedies and life changing things aside, friends are the ones who pass the time with us. Some of my best days and evenings were spent bullshitting around with friends, doing nothing constructive. Stuffing our faces, and watching movies, going for walks and jabbering, hitting the bookstore together, doing craft nights, studying music together, visiting over tea or coffee, cooking together, and tons of other things are what we do with friends to make life for each other good.
I’m just like anybody else and people have come and gone from my life. The difference between me and some others is that I still FEEL the loss. No matter what reasons we parted, I still love the people who have gone the same I did at times when we were together.
I am seeing some people act like it is as easy for them to discard friends as it is to cast off a stray eyelash or dead skin. I can’t understand it.
Maybe you are somebody who casts people off and you think I am a bitch for saying you make no sense to me. Fine, stay away, then. I don’t want to be one of your relationship casualties.
Maybe you feel like you have been unfairly cast off by somebody who did not value you. You can do better.
Maybe you are one of the people who cherishes friends. Get a hold of me. We should get together.
May your friendships be strong, and the love you share for one another be stronger.
May nothing come between you.
May your friendships be forever, no matter where life will take you.
May you see false friends coming from a mile away,
and may you be able to avoid being sucked into their shit.
May you and your friends be happy together,
and may you be strong together in whatever unhappy times life throws at you.
If somebody you loved and were a good friend to discards you,
may your heart recover,
and may the rest of your friends you have in life be better,
and be with you for all of your days.
So Be It.