I am not a good friend, and I might continue to be one for a really long time.

source: https://unsplash.com/photos/UiiHVEyxtyA

For the longest time, I have always wanted to be needed and I thought I will be if I am a ‘good friend’. There are so many things I did for those I wanted to stay friends with; But more so, compromises and adjustments were made to meet my own standards of being a good friend. I cannot justify whether I am doing these uncalled-for things to please people or because it is just who I am.

What does it take to be a good friend?

Personally, I would say that a ‘good friend’ respects, appreciates, and is willing to find a way to understand and compromise with me. It is ideal that this good friend is almost always there for me — in good and in bad times. It does not have to be physically present, though. Apart from the pandemic, I also understand that we all have our own lives outside our friendship.

Communication is definitely a must. A good friend must also be open to constructive criticisms and be honest about what he/she/they feel. Honesty is something that I value so much; I would rather you tell me directly what is going on than hear it from other people. A good friend who is aggressive in learning new things but still values humility at the end of the day. Leaving is an option if respect and love are not present anymore. Last but not least, someone who knows how to love and receive it willingly.

Why? Because unfortunately, these are the qualities that I lack. And I’d love to know someone who is the opposite of me and hopefully will help me learn them as well.

Who are my good friends?

Growing up, my definition of ‘good friends’ has constantly changed. In grade school, I used to think that all of my classmates are my good friends. I talk to them every day, I grab snacks with some of them during recess, and others are my group mates when we do house-to-house solicitations. I attended a Seventh Day Adventist school and I feel like they instilled in us that everyone in our surroundings is a friend because we are all a child of God. If I would strip off myself from the traumas and disappointments I have accumulated since then, I would probably say that the values of that school were correct. Everyone is a friend because we see each other every day — as simple as that.

In high school, I have had a couple of groups I am friends with. Mostly though, I stayed with a big group of friends who love to listen to emo-pop-punk-rock songs. That group consisted of boys and a few girls who loved to joke around and drink in and out of the school premises. Yes, you read it right, even inside the school premises. That’s how cool (or silly?) we were back in the days.

In college, I also had a couple of groups I am close to. I stayed most of the time with the group that was mostly girls and only had one boy. We called ourselves BSA which stands for “Bitter Sweet Anonymous”. I was also close to many boys in our block section, and they were who I called my best friends. It was a different kind of friendship and feeling of belongingness compared to when I was in high school.

When I started working, I never really had a lot of friends. It was until I started working in my current company that I met my closest friends. Some of them I am still close to up to this day, while others have grown apart with me. I also attended a retreat that allowed me to be a part of a religious community where I met a few more friends.

If I were to count my friends now, I am as honest as I can be when I say that I only have more or less ten. I guess the dramas in the past and the complications of life the past few years made me reassess who I should be considering a ‘good friend’.

I have shared my fears and deepest dark secrets with those whom I called my best friends but they still could not help but touch those. Despite all of that, I could never bring myself to blame or hate them. After all, we are just humans — we are bound to make mistakes and hurt someone along the way regardless of how careful we tend to be.

source: https://www.instagram.com/leozodiacposts/

What WAS I like as a friend?

I used to be a friend who tries to be available for you, day and night. I would listen to everything you would want to tell me because listening is one of my strengths. Once I open my world to you, you will see every part of me — even the darkest and twisted parts. I would never want you to feel alone; Thus, I would most likely go out of my way to make everything comfortable and easy for you.

I would tell you what you would and would not want to hear. You see, I try to be as honest as I can be — I have always wanted to eradicate lies, even the white lies in my system.

These things that I do for people were the fruit of failed friendships ever since I was a kid. Despite all these, I still have lost a lot of good friends along the way. You might think that perhaps it is because I was not enough, or was it because I was too much that I ended up suffocating people?

I say that maybe it is just as simple as people come and go. That when our principles and interests do not align anymore, we grow apart. And that is ok.

Despite the short amount of time we had together, I did everything with my best intention to be the best friend you could ever have. To me, that is all that matters.

What am I like as a friend right now?

Admittedly, I have not been the ideal friend for a long time now. After going through so much, I chose to lay low and give the love I offer to others to myself instead. It can be as easy as making myself unavailable to things that take away so much of my energy; or as dramatic as not allowing other people to abuse me anymore.

For the past year, I rarely read messages on my social media accounts because I am busy with so many things — I would rather sleep than check my phone — unless it is urgent or from my family. I feel worn out rather easily, and I assume it is most likely because I lack sleep. Or perhaps because my anxiety is at its peak?

I also do not offer advice about my friends’ struggles more than thrice — unless you are way too younger than I am. I am a woman with little to no patience because I value my time so much. I know this one does not sound good and I am trying to work on it. Albeit cruel, I guess this is my way of telling them that they already know the answer to their questions. Moreover, if they are expecting me to push them to do something that they are not yet ready for — I am not the person they should be checking in. Maybe this is what they call ‘tough love’.

I am still generous as heck, but no one will ever be able to abuse my kindness anymore. This pandemic taught me self-respect through our family dramas, and I plan to hold on to those lessons for as long as it takes. People might think I am selfish and I will accept that; If that is what it takes to love and respect myself, then so be it.

I am always absent, and I never try to make excuses for it. If I am not available for you as soon as you need me to, that is not because we are no longer friends. It is most likely because I just really cannot make time for you. As I have said, I am a busy person, and I do not have the time or the energy to make adjustments that will possibly be taken for granted anyway. However, when I am available for you, I really mean it.

What happened in the past made me realize that I should be careful of who I invest myself with.

I am a friend who does not have expectations anymore. Stay with me? Thank you. Leave me because you are through with me? Still, thank you. I have long accepted that I have no control over who stays and who does not. I know now that your world does not revolve around me and that you deserve more than to stay in a friendship if it no longer helps you to grow as an individual. I cannot promise that I will not cry and get hurt — but expect me to respect you and your decisions nonetheless.

Regardless of whether we are still friends or not, I will still continue hoping that you get to be happy and one day be that somebody you have always wanted to be.

source: https://unsplash.com/photos/zli4eDX3IPQ

You see, I used to be a friend who expects to be reciprocated and does not want to feel neglected or abandoned. I have always thought that it is because I have friends who have a lot of shortcomings and are not willing to make compromises for me.

Now I have realized that I am the only one to blame for why I feel lonely, neglected, unloved, and abandoned.

I have always thought it is ok to go out of my way for the people I love even though I end up feeling empty. Guess what — I have learned the hard way that it is not ok to abandon yourself for the happiness of other people, let alone feel empty for them. Cliche as it can be, I guess we really cannot give what we do not have. If we do so, we will just end up being indebted to ourselves in ways we can never imagine.

Trust me — it is hard to make amends for the years you have neglected yourself for other people. Aside from pulling yourself away from that addiction, it is also hard to start making the necessary step to change because you have been so used to ignoring what you feel for the sake of other peoples’ happiness.

One promise I plan to keep until the day I die is to choose myself at all times and give only what is in excess. To attend to me first, no matter if no one understands. I may be selfish in this aspect, but I cannot risk hurting people again because of my unhealed scars and unforgotten traumas. Until then, I shall pour myself with so much love, care, rest, and self hugs no matter how long it takes so I can heal and love everybody else properly.

If being a bad friend is what it takes to keep this promise, I guess I will continue being one for a long time.

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An eccentric, vulnerable, and crappy damsel blessed with a resting bitch face.

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heyyeahshaioh

heyyeahshaioh

An eccentric, vulnerable, and crappy damsel blessed with a resting bitch face.

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