The influence of friends 1.0

>> Monday, April 6, 2009

Hey people. Happy new week. I love Mondays (not really). There's so much drama in my family these days. Or actually, there's always been plenty of drama! Just a lil over the top now. Turns out my BIL is unsure after all and that affects certain other family members quite severely. Guess who, lol. I'll keep you updated. I won't believe it until he touches ground in Naija.

So, I've been thinking about friends a lot lately and thought I'd do a post about it. I'll try to keep it short, but you know me...
I've had a lot friends in my short lifetime (highlight HAD), which isn't really that good. I've had trouble fitting in all my life. When I was little I was confident and extremely tall for my age, and of course was bullied for that. No big deal, all kids bully and most get bullied sooner or later. But due to my confidence and rightenousness I always ended up defending all the kids who were getting bullied. I didn't respect the social cliques and the popular ones, and of course they'll make you pay for that. That's how it was at my school when I was growing up anyway.
As I grew older I got my own group of friends, but never felt like I really belonged because I was way ahead of my age. I cared about deep, challenging and philosophical ideas and didn't feel they were on my page. To talk about the latest clothes and the upcoming party just didn't do it for me. Or "boys" for that matter. Going crazy and screaming and say "ohhh my god he's so CUTE!!!" was not my thing at all.. My life also took dramatic turns and I experienced a lot that made me grow up even faster. That only made the gap between me and them grow bigger. I've always been very serious but that forced my seriousness up to a whole new level. That's not a fun for people to be around is it?
I am also a very loving and caring friend - I can do anything for you and will always be there. People can easily take advantage of that and it has happened several times. I never got even half of what I gave in return. When I needed them, when I was hospitalized, I was all on my own. No one could bother caring. When I got married early, I lost most of the friends I had left. My life was filled with responsibilities of people 10 years older and my priorities were different.
I had a few years of just pure hustling and no time for anything, now that I've finally started to recover I can try to get out there and meet more like minded people. I have a few set of close friends now, and I rather have them than 10 shady friends. I think why I have so few is because I haven't been very compromising after my burns. I have a lot of acquintances, but I'm not going to bring you into my life if you're not up to understanding a little of what I'm all about. Is that bad?

I've learnt through my own experiences, but also watching people around me, how friends can negatively effect you. You know, the kind that is a little "more" than you and make you feel small? They talk you into doing things you don't want, because they make you unsure of your beliefs and make you feel stuck up if you don't follow their way? The ones that "knows everything" and pretends they really care for you while they're really just taking advantage of you? God have I watched people fall into that trap too many times.

I had a girlfriend in highschool who was 2 years older than me and I thought really cared about me. She skipped school a lot and was a lil crazy, but very nice to me. Bitchy to others. Somehow she managed into talking me into skipping school too. I had NEVER skipped school before or ever done anything "wrong" but with her I was on the beginning of a path of destruction. Needless to say we are no longer in much contact. She sometimes calls me just to get something, information, favours or etc. Other than that, she doesn't even ask how I'm doing.
I thought I was so strong and independently minded but I know now that ANYONE can be affected by their friends, most especially when they think that that person genuinly cares for you. The truth is, most people are ultimately quite selfish. Yes. I am deeply grateful for those who aren't. Selfishness ain't good. Taking care of oneself is not selfish by the way. It's something I'm still trying to learn better because I naturally always take care of others before myself. Therefore, after I reached rock bottom in several ways at the age of 17, I decided that from then on, I was going to start consciously surrounding myself with the people that brings out the best of me.

Good friends are friends who encourage your spiritual growth and have your best interests at heart. The ones who remember the little things. The ones who do something nice when it actually cost them something, not just to put you in a debt of gratitude so you can do them a favour later. The ones who can go out of their way to help you if you truly need it. The ones who wait for you when you go crazy and forgive you for losing your head, who try to protect you when you can't see the truth clearly.

If you have a signifcant other and are experiencing problems, good friends will be dead honest with you. If you're doing something wrong, they'll tell you and not be an enabler to your continuing mistakes. If you are ending up becoming too attatched to your boyfriend for example, to the point where it isn't healthy anymore and you guys are strangeling each other - they'll try to make you see that for your own sake and encourage you to balance it. On the other hand they will NOT pull you out to get drunk and make you party and do things that can jeopardize your whole relationship and encourage you to not care. There's a fine balance. Don't be a pushover!

I have so much on my chest, but I will rather make a part two and tell some stories from my own life and others. Sometimes we need to be made aware of the kind of people we are actually surrounding ourselves with and how good (or not) they are for us, especially in our youth. All of you who have really good friends, appreciate them! It's a true blessing. We all need to share the walk of life with them.


jhazmyn April 6, 2009 at 2:09 PM  

Can feel there's a lot you just want to share with this post...sad as it is, we still need friends cos as they say, no one's an island right?
Thank God for the good and then for the bad cos the bad helps us appreciate the good more...
Hope we (blogging fam) pass the test of true friendship...

BSNC April 6, 2009 at 3:24 PM  

yes its good to take things off your chest. you are so right, some friends can influence you negatively and they can make you feel like a rag.

thats the beauty of having goodfriends. they always help you keep your head up. this is a very nice post.

Writefreak April 6, 2009 at 3:25 PM  

I feel you on disappointments in friendships but the truth i've learnt is that not everyone is meant to be my friend. There are few good ones that God has given me and i know they'll be there when i need them!

posekyere April 6, 2009 at 3:27 PM  

I am reading the life of a serious, strong, spirited, philosophical, intelligent and wonderful woman!
It seems to me that you are the sort of person who doesn't suffer fools easily nor do you find comfort in the frivolous, the mundane and the silly persuasions that seem to occupy the attention of many people these days.
That, I suppose, is a good thing, but never retract from the comfort and fellowship of true friends. I read soewhere that everybody needs three or four good friends for a balanced healthy lifestyle.
Also I read somewhere in one of your recent posts about your gifted instinct to read a person's character by simply looking into their eyes.
I humbly suggest that you learn to apply that to all potential friendships. Open up a little bit of space and allow true and strong friendship to develop.
You won't regret it.

Bless you, Adaeze, my friend!

Doja 2.0 April 6, 2009 at 3:36 PM  

Grew up with 6 sisters, it ruined my life because I never made friends(had all the friends I wanted at home), Friends are very importnant long as you can friend the one you can really trust.

Adaeze April 6, 2009 at 4:00 PM  

@ Jhazmyn - I couldn't agree with you more. We all need friends to keep us grounded.

@ BSNC - I know right. Good friends are the best. What would we do without them.

@ Writefreak - I've learnt the same thing as well. It's better to a have a few good than many half-way!

@ Posekyere - Wow, thank you for your warm comment. You are right about that. And no worries about your advice, I am already on it, haha.. As I said in my honest post, I'm trying to be a little more jolly. But I thank you deeply for reminding me so I can continue to grow. You're a true friend for that ;-)

@ Doja - That's a interesting perspective..I've never had a sister and always wished I had one. Well, it's a blessing nevertheless, right? Thanks for your comment.

blogoratti April 6, 2009 at 5:30 PM  

In life there are people you connect with immediately,and there are just some people you'll never connect with..
I've found that i connect more with people with whom i have several things in common with,as against people i can't relate with...

True friends are hard to come by!
Thanks for sharing.

Cidersweet April 6, 2009 at 9:04 PM  

This was so nicely written. I've been thinking about friendship lately too.

My World April 7, 2009 at 12:13 PM  

Well said,though we need friends i doubt if every1's 2b calld dt..
9ice post,keep offloadn n we'l keep readn.

Enkay April 7, 2009 at 4:04 PM  

True talk.
I also have quite a bit to say about friends. I don't have too many but the few I do have are great!

I sense from your post that you're pretty deep and fickle friends just won't cut it.

I'll be waiting for the rest of the story.

Adaeze April 8, 2009 at 10:51 AM  

@ Blogoratti - as usual, I agree with everything you said :-) there's def people we'll never connect with yes, lol

@ Cidersweet - thank you for your sweet comment!

@ My world - yes, I know..and thanks :)

@ Enkay - you sensed right. Thanks for your sweet comment. I hope to read more of your stories soon too - I miss em

Waffarian April 8, 2009 at 12:22 PM  

Wow! So much to read, I feel like I really need to start from the begining!

Friends are important in life but like everything in life, some will come, some will go, some will always be there. I think the most important think is to always be honest with yourself about how you feel at all times and everything else will sort itself out.

I don't know when last I had "issues" with anybody. The last person that tried to do all that "you said this, bla bla, you said that", all that juvenile crap, was about a couple of years ago, and immediately, I realised that was not a kind of friendship that I would like to maintain.

Nowadays, I surround myself with people who are also honest with themselves and are also on their own paths in life. I don't have to ever explain why I did not call or why I am calling.

However, it has taken me many years to be brave enough to be myself and allow others see the real me.

Friends are important in life, they are there to support you, sometimes even guide you on the right path, also, one is less lonely in life. We all need friends.

Happy Easter.
lots of love

Rose April 8, 2009 at 2:53 PM  

I guess friends do have an impact On our lives...hence the need to surround ourselves with those,who reciprocate our affection...
No man is indeed an island...

StandTall-The Activist April 8, 2009 at 3:00 PM  

“I've learnt through my own experiences, but also watching people around me, how friends can negatively effect you. You know, the kind that is a little "more" than you and make you feel small? They talk you into doing things you don't want, because they make you unsure of your beliefs and make you feel stuck up if you don't follow their way? The ones that "knows everything" and pretends they really care for you while they're really just taking advantage of you? God have I watched people fall into that trap too many times”

The aove statment spoke volume! I have being there my there. I have cut off families and friends. And when I look back no regrets. I have decided to stick to and appreciate those few friends that are trylly friends. That when they make mistakes that affect you is not intentional. You can say this cuz you know and trust them. You can forgive their errors as they forgive yours.

I ecxamined myself too to see the type of friends that I am t these people. Am I the type that will impose on them? Am I the type that will think I am better than them? Adn so on. I know I am liberal and appreciative of those few friends and they are still a part of me.

The ones that betrayed, that made me feel like a nobody while I thought they love are no more in my life. I ahve concluded that a relationship that does not imapct me positively is no longer worth it!

Nice post my lady!

tobenna April 9, 2009 at 10:03 AM  

Anybody remember - 'good friends are hard to find, I think I'll keep mine. Thank you Kessingsheen'

Good Naija Girl April 10, 2009 at 4:43 AM  

You've broken this down beautifully. Some people focus on acquiring large numbers of friends (in person and on facebook), not focusing on quality, but when you go through a rough time and you see who actually ends up being there for you, then you know who your true friends are.

And of course the important thing to remember too is you should be the sort of friend you want others to be to you. A lot of people who are good listeners get used for that quality by friend after friend who dump on them. But when the good listener needs his or her own listening ear, that "dumper" is suddenly not available, which really sucks.

(Sorry about the drama with your BIL. What a shame that he's not taking the return to Naija as well as I hoped from your previous entry. We're going through a very similar situation right aggravating!)

Lolia April 13, 2009 at 5:17 PM  

The ones who do something nice when it actually cost them something

Love it! You're absolutely correct...about everything really...I'm one of those people who used to think that everyone was my 'best friend' and then as I got older I realized that even my 'friends' are so much fewer than I realized and that they're not even necessarily the people I see everyday which sucks because I like to share and tell people stuff so I don't feel like I'm alone...

You're still right though :)

Hope you have a great week x

Olufunke April 14, 2009 at 4:13 PM  

Very deep topic.
I really think God has made us to walk through life's journey with friends.
We would have disappointing times, but I think the advantages of friendships far outweigh the disadvantages.
I also know I have been good friends to some people and I have been less to some other I am learning to forgive , let go and let God.

See you in part 2...........

Cidersweet April 15, 2009 at 8:44 PM  

I've tagged you, please :-)

SOLOMONSYDELLE April 15, 2009 at 11:19 PM  

very deep...will wait for part 2 before digging in and commenting properly.

How are you?

Adaeze April 16, 2009 at 4:43 PM  

@ Waffarian - Thanks for stopping by!I love your comment, all so true.Indeed, some will go, some will come, some will remain. And I feel you on it taking many years to be brave enough to reveal your real self. Lots of love back at ya.

@ Rose - Yes, that is so true my friend.

@ Standtall - Thanks for your wonderful long comment! You always inspire me to be stronger. I agree with everything and like you said it's also important to examine ourselves and ask the kind of friend we are to people.

@ Tobenna - thanks for stopping by. That quote is a collection of few but so true words and no need to say anymore, right?

@ GNG - Aww thank you :-) So true we should be the kind of friend we want others to be. The golden rule!And thanks for caring about the situation with my BIL. I know it is so aggravating. feel so powerless. Seems he wants to stay now :-S I hope the situation in your family works out.

@ Lolia - Wow girl you sound just like me. We have a lot in common! I can relate to 100% of what you just said. Thanks and I am wishing you a wonderful week too.

@ Olafunke - Thank you for your comment. We are all learning how to forgive and let go aren't we! What you are saying is so true.

@ Cidersweet - Thanks! I will do it as soon as I can, promise ;-)

@ Solomonsydelle - thanks for stopping by I know you are soooo busy. I am alright, how are you and the cutiekids :-D

Omo Oba April 16, 2009 at 6:57 PM  

I have been meaning to comment on this post for a minute now. girl, I am with you on this. Can I say I know exactly how you feel? I used to think there was something wrong with me for a long time because I just cannot bare to be around overly-materialistic people. chai, I could strangle them, honestly. Anyways, I dont have many people who I will call real friends either, and it is just what it is...true friends are rare.

Here, There, Elsewhere... and more April 27, 2009 at 12:57 PM  

I can so, so relate to this post and the comments are fascinating too :)

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