It's been an interesting year regarding friends. (don't worry, I won't be talking about anyone who reads this blog - or if they do read this blog, they are stalking me, which is creepy)
Unfriended. That word has become a household word thanks to Facebook. This year, I've been unfriended, both on facebook and in the real world (and technically the facebook unfriending manifests itself in the real world too).
What I find to be sad, but amusing is that a few of these unfriendings are not the first time it's happened. Two words: Junior High. I hated Jr. High. And basically all my secondary education from there on out. The worst part for me was not having to get out of bed (although I did hate that), it wasn't the homework, teachers or having to ride the bus occasionally -very occasionally! Thanks mom :) School sucked because of the drama that ensues between kids.
I'd have friends who I thought were good friends. We'd hang out at school all day, talk on the phone all night, and then, the next day, I'd go to school and said friends would want nothing to do with me. I'd be treated as though I was a vile, infectious disease that was to be avoided at all costs. And it sucked. I hated going to school not knowing if I would have friends that day.
We grew up and I stayed in touch with those "friends" and things were fine. But it's amazing how something like those few years of Jr. High can have a huge impact on my life. I always felt ugly and undesireable because I was literally told those things. I have always been really insecure in friendships, afraid that I might do or say something that will make people stop liking me because in Jr. High, that was my reality. I've gotten a lot better about feeling that insecure; I try to be confident in who I am and realize that my personality was not a mistake.
But I found it to be kind of ironic that I have, once again, been unfriended. by the same people Now, I don't mind being unfriended in theory. I have unfriended people on facebook that I don't talk to ever, that I hardly know, or people who simply wouldn't notice I was no longer one of their 538 friends. But if I have offended someone, someone who is a real friend, I'd rather know and be given a chance to make it right (or at least given an explanation) rather than randomly discover that I have been nixed. I guess some people are good at unfriending... either that or I am good at losing friends? Maybe I really am doing something so annoying or horrible that someone would like me one day and not the next?
Not all of the people who've unfriended me in real life are facebook friends. I was recently unfriended by someone at work because (after 3 months of being ignored and I finally asked what was up and I found out that...) they held me to a high standard and apparently they thought I was only dating Karl because he's cute. Seriously? you might ask... Seriously. Now don't get me wrong, Karl is cute and I think physical attraction is super important. But if I was only in a relationship for "cute" then I wouldn't have waited so long to seriously date someone. I mean, is the world really full of people who are so shallow that they just unfriend people without even giving the person an opportunity to make things right or clear up whatever misunderstanding has taken place?
If someone says something super offensive and it seems out of nowhere, out of character, or extremely personal (but how would they know that about me???) then man up and talk to the person. Chances are there is a good explanation for what was said or what happened.
I've come to realize a few things through all these unfriendings. First, if someone is that shallow, I don't want them as a friend anyway. Second, I've learned what it means to be a real friend thus, I recognize those friends in my own life. Third, some friendships are only for a season and while it's a shame they have to end the way they do, there is no point in trying to force a friendship beyond it's purposed time.
Now, I am not claiming to be a perfect friend. I've definitely been that "bad friend" but situations like this have really made think about how I can be a better friend to those I love. It has also made me realize that we each have different ideas of what it is that others do that show they are a true friend. For me, it's listening during tough times, reaching out to me if I'm not myself (rather than "giving me space"), and weirdly, coming to watch me play hockey. For some reason, that is super high on my list. haha
I'm thankful for all my friends, both in "real life" and those I mostly keep in touch with in cyber world...