We have all had friends at some point. Well, we think they are friends and then the going gets tough and you realize they really are not your friends; or you find a friend come out of the wood works. Friendships are very important in life and I believe they shape you in a lot of ways. Yes, your parents are your first critical influence, but your friends help mold your character and fine tune your personality sometimes. They help you learn and understand issues that are hard to deal with or one simply cannot discuss with your parents. They serve as one of your pillars of strength and it’s a significant one at that.
I’ve gone through friends in my life and I’ve been foolish with them or even immature and disrespectful. Over the years, I’m left with 3 friends that are not family and not related to me. Well, I’m kinda fibbing. One of my “friends” is a family friend and well, she is kinda family although she’s not family, but I’m including her in the “friends” category to make me look good. So, there you have it. I’m sticking with the number 3! I have 3, not 2 very good friends!
I’ve never really pondered on what made a good friend and what didn’t, but something happened recently that made me think about this. It’s the topic of secrets. Whom will you hold secrets for? Also, whom would you trust with a secret?
A few weeks ago, I was privy to a secret. I got a call and as we talked I got wind about someone else. Of course, the person who called me said, “don’t tell anyone this. I don’t think s/he would want others to know…” and you get the story. The secret itself wasn’t “impressive”. If I were to grade the gossip, I would give it a B-. Besides, the person who I got the run down on wasn’t a good friend of mine. Was an acquaintance. Wasn’t even someone I dealt with on a regular basis.
A couple of days later, I see some “news” on Facebook. An engagement or something like that. Now, this was interesting because I didn’t even know that the couple who got engaged were dating. This could have been something my friend could have told me about. But she didn’t. I never questioned her. See, the thing is this. The person who got engaged was her best friend and so she was protecting her privacy. Maybe the person who got engaged had told her not to tell anyone that she was even dating. Maybe she didn’t want things to be public ’til it was official. That’s pretty standard psychotic desi protocol – “don’t tell anyone.”
So, a blog post was born. I took a step back and thought about it. It is true. We defend the privacy of our friends that are nearest and dearest to us. We hide their mistakes and make them look good even when they are not there. Don’t talk poorly about our best friends in front of us. We will defend them because we truly love those that are close to us. If I were to talk about someone in a manner that may compromise them, then perhaps, they are not my closest friend and one can gauge who my best friends are based on who I talk about and how.
Sometimes I run into a secret I’m trusted with to not tell anyone and someone calls me to tell me about this secret and I wonder. Is the friend who trusted me with the secret, just telling me something that’s not a secret and pretending to make it a secret? Or does she not trust me, but wants me to believe we have a great friendship? I’m still working on the fake trust part, but friendships are so interesting, but it all boils down to understand and respecting another human being.
In reality, the best principle is to not talk about people whether you like them or not, if you can help it. It’s just the right thing to do. Whoever said doing the right thing was easy?
I step back and think about my friendships. Who are my go to friends? Who are my fun friends? Who are my acquaintances that I love to gossip about? Here’s the thing though. If you do have an acquaintance and you find out you hang out with them long enough to call them a friend, things change. It’s all about truly getting to know someone and having empathy before you decide to not talk about them. Or something like that.
Until next time,