The Truth About Some “Friendships”

This post is going to be something a little different then usual… and MUCH closer to home for me.

Recently,  I have really been feeling like I need to re-evaluate the people who I surround myself with. With two little girls, a husband, a home, a Master’s program and the hours spent daily on this blog, it is important to have people in my life that support me and that are uplifting, not constantly negative and completely oblivious to what’s going on in my life.

I’m busy, yes. I’m a mom and that’s a full-time job in and of itself, duh. That doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to have real and deep friendships.

Sadly, when you take the time to look at your relationships with those around you, it makes you really take a harder look at what they are bringing into your life.

One of the things that I can not deal with when it comes to people calling themselves a “friend” is selfishness. I work hard to be the most loving, caring and loyal friend I can be because I don’t make extremely close friends very easily. The introvert in me makes more of a “handful of besties” type rather than a “best friends with everyone” type. Not that this is bad, I quite love the bonds that I have with my few super close friends.

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Troubles In Friendships

We all have those friends somewhere in our lives that don’t give as much as the take in the friendship. They may think that you doing everything and anything  for them partnered with their being there when it’s convenient for them is an appropriate way to have a friendship. It may even be that they take advantage of your friendship with them, or treat you like some sort of acquaintance rather than a person that they care about and value.

The immediate reaction that I have to this and to rudeness is anger. But I’m not upfront and “in you face” with my anger. I’m good at putting on a happy face and waiting until I’m no longer around that person to fume and vent about them (usually to my husband, poor guy). Mind you I said “vent“, not “gossip”.  These are two completely different animals… we will save that for another day.

It feels like we want to force those people to change and see the error in their ways. Maybe even get them to say “thank you” for the love that you pour into the friendship even though you get next to nothing in return. Not that we need the appreciation, it’s just nice to hear sometimes.

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Have you ever tried to make a mean person nice? It seems almost impossible to do.

But in all reality, what does repaying evil and rudeness with more evil and rudeness do? Have you ever tried to take revenge on someone, especially a friend who you are fighting with, and it just starts a war? Eventually that friendship will be broken and ruined because it can never fully come back after that.

Repay evil with good. Romans 12:21

Those that are rude and the largest annoyance are the ones that we are supposed to love the most, even though this is by far the hardest thing to do. It seems almost impossible to continue working hard in a friendship and loving your friend when the other person is not putting in the same amount of effort.

So why do it? Why be by kind and show goodness towards these types of people?

Well, in my opinion, we do it because if we try to take revenge and let pride get the better of our being treated poorly, then we are no better than the “friends” that were not so great to us to begin with. It puts us right down there on the same level.

As I look at the friends I have and how much they all mean to me, I realize that the ones that are the most frustrating and the ones that seem not to care, are the ones that I need to be the kindest to. If ever the phrase “kill them with kindness” meant something in my life, it is right now.

I do have some really wonderful, life-long friends that I am beyond thankful for. Not to mention in the past month or so, I have developed some wonderful relationships with other bloggers, and ladies that I would, without hesitation, now call my “friends” . All of these people are so support, quick to help when I ask for it, and have shown me nothing but kindness and appreciation for just being myself.

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THIS IS TRUE FRIENDSHIP

To all my friends out there, I love you all. Thank you for being you!

*Cheers to showing love to those that don’t always love us*

joanna at motherhood and merlot

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33 comments

  1. “The introvert in me makes more of a “handful of besties” type rather than a “best friends with everyone” type” – That describes me as well.

    This post really hit home because I’ve had friends (best friends) that have been in my life since I was a child to only have to make that hard decision to part ways because of their negative/chaotic behavior or I finally saw them for who they were “fair-weathered” friends.

  2. Oh man, it’s so hard sometimes when someone who is supposedly a good “friend” is acting anything but one. I had one person in my life whose friendship I eventually had to let go because I realized I was wasting so much negative energy feeling frustrated and angry with her. It really wasn’t good for either one of us. Sadly, I think this person needs a lot of love in her life, but she unfortunately seems to end up pushing so many people away. Maybe I could have killed her with kindness, but at that point in my life I didn’t have it in me.

  3. I have learned that friendships go through seasons of pruning. You’re going to have enduring relationships and you’re going to have some that come and go as things in your life change. It is really hard to let go of friendships that are no longer healthy for you. Sometimes things just fizzle out and sometimes there is a more finite break. Neither of those things are fun.

    Since you are clearly a believing person, I’ll say that I really believe the old saying about God opening windows when He closes doors.

    Online friends are real friends, Joanna. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I know this was hard hard to write. I like the new cover, by they way, but then again, I like anything that shows me a picture of a wine bottle. Have a wonderful week!

    1. I have had friendships that come and go before, but something about this season in my life is really opening my eyes. I feel like the Lord is trying to tell me that I need to take a hard look at who I surround myself with. It’s tough, and a rude awakening, but totally necessary!
      And online friends are absolutely real friends, that’s for sure!
      I’m glad you like it:) Wine and me… that’s a life-long friendship for sure!

  4. Blogging friend, I have been here for the exact same reasons. People who you willingly give everything to, and yet they still want more. I have given money, moral support, a shoulder to cry on, bought groceries and even gave someone a place to stay rent free two summer’s in a row. And somehow it was never enough. They still asked for and expected more. When she finally started expecting more not only from me but my family too I knew I would never be enough. When I had nothing else left to give, they were gone. For years I would beat myself up over it. I was always asking myself what more could I have done? And I would be angry at her that I was never enough. It took me about eight years before I could finally reach out and tell her that I was choosing to forgive. I know beget than to ever be friends again but I don’t carry around that anger and drama on my shouders anymore. And that has been very freeing. Just remember you have to care about you and your family first. Don’t let guilt and anger eat you up after you make this tough decision to part ways. You’re doing the right thing and life is to hard and way too short for fake friends. 😉

    1. It takes such a big person to forgive, even if the person doesn’t care about your forgiveness and it doesn’t patch up the friendship. Life is WAY WAY WAY too short for fake friends, plus it makes things so much more difficult then they already can be:)
      Thank you for sharing!

  5. Thanks for sharing! I know how this feels and it’s not fun. It’s happened quite a few times in my life and I ended up noticing that some people I gave and gave to were just extremely selfish and were never there for me when I needed them. It’s normal to want our friends to be there for US when we are having a rough time (or in fun times!) and it sucks when they’re not there afterall.

  6. Love this! I’ve never had tons of friends. Even in high school, I chose to have a small circle of best friends. You’re so right about being nice to the unloving people because they need it the most.

  7. Thanks for opening up on the topic — I can relate, especially now that I am a mother and realizing that some people come in your life for only a short time and aren’t meant to be life-long friends unfortunately. I think it’s sad that when you enter motherhood you can’t always keep old relationships – but it happens. I think it’s also difficult to keep some friendships when you each are in different “stages” in life and don’t have the same connections. I think MANY of us go through this. I find myself with only 2-3 close friends too, but it is those friends who I can rely the most on!

    1. Friendship changes so much once you become a mother, and as you get older and either grow up or don’t. I absolutely believe we should be kind to everyone, but I also don’t think we should try to force friendships or try to maintain fake ones. I would never want to teach my girls “have as many friends as you can, even if they are crappy ones.”

  8. I love this post. It sounds like you and I are a lot of like. We don’t appreciate when we get the short end of the stick but we try to smile and still give those people “another chance” I guess. As hard as it can be sometimes, killing with kindness is the best medicine. Thanks!

  9. i couldn’t possibly relate more to this post. I recently went through this with a friend. I let it go and let her go. I am still kind but have no space in my life for people like that. Kill them with kindness– yes, for sure. However, continuing a friendship with someone who brings you down or infuriates you…. Noooo thanks! It’s really hard to do this tho! Especially if you are a forgiving person, which I 100% am. I get excited when I hit it off with someone and then when their real colors show, I make excuses for far their behavior for far too long. This removal from my life was really liberating. Great post Joanna!

  10. I believe that when we grow up we grow out of a lot of relationships. We want to hold on but we need to realize that much like a relationship with a boyfriend/husband can be toxic so can a friendship. I’ve been through it several times and I’ve been a lot more picky when it comes to choosing new friends. Much like you I rather keep a small group.

  11. Great read. Sometimes you have to just “Bless and Release.” I do not have very many close friends myself, but I have a LOT of on-line friends. I am very careful who I let into my inner circle.

  12. I feel blessed to call you a friend! It’s so hard when friends don’t live up to our expectations or put into the relationship what we do. I always try to give them the benefit of the doubt because I can’t know everything that is going on in their lives, but sometimes I do end up pulling away to protect myself, too. I hope that this friend recognizes how wonderful you are and how lucky she is to have you in her life! Talking to her directly about how you feel may help her share why she’s been acting so distant. Good luck!

    1. Aww thank you:) it’s just difficult to put so much effort, even into a conversation, because you just know they won’t be receptive to what you’re saying at all. It’s sad, but sometimes you just have to take a step back.

  13. It’s funny…you think that once you hit adulthood that friendships get easier, but they’re always evolving and changing, sometimes for the better, sometimes the worse. And, unfortunately, sometimes those friendships just disappear or you have to drift away from the relationship. However, I feel like with age you start to recognize those friendships that are worth having and those that should be kept at arms’ length. Good points throughout…

  14. Wonderful post. As an adult, I’m constantly looking at/evaluating my relationships. I just don’t have time for negativity or drama. However, I do find if God is calling me to stick with a challenging person, situation… I will do it. I too am a “handful of besties” kind of person. Quality over quantity is often my motto in a lot of areas in my life.

    Thanks so much for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    I love having you visit and share.

    Wishing you a lovely weekend.
    xoxo

    1. “Quality over Quantity” has also been something that I follow in so many different areas of my life. It is so difficult to try and stick beside the people that hurt us the most, but as you said, sometimes it is what we need to do!
      Thank you for stopping by:)

  15. It’s so hard to watch friendships change, but it happens, especially if you find yourselves on different paths. And I agree with you – pretty tough to make a mean person nice.

  16. Hi there, visiting from the Sits share. Very thoughtful post. I know of what you speak! I’m an introvert as well and getting older, having a child–I just don’t have time for the drama anymore, at least not any drama that doesn’t come from my 4yo. I appreciate your reference to the difference between gossip and venting. It can be such a confusing area.

    1. Hi! Thank you for stopping by. I think most people try to defend their need to gossip by calling it “venting” which drives me nuts. One is clearly hurtful and mean while the other is purely airing your feelings to someone you trust.

  17. Friendship is something I have been struggling with lately. I have 1 great friend who is in a new marriage and I don’t see or talk to her often. I do however know that if I needed her she would be there in a heart beat. Other than that I have a few people who call themselves my friends but in reality I don’t think they are that great of friends. I have days I wish I had someone who was in the same stage of life as me to be a great friend I could see and talk to often. This was a great post. Thanks for sharing.

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