Friendship Means Not Having to Say I Hate You

What would it take for you to decide you despised your best friend? To what extent would your closest ally have to go in order to permanently alter your feelings towards them? What could they do that would bring into clear vision the fact that you cannot stand to spend another moment connected to them in any way?

Steal from you? Lie to you? Ruthlessly exploit your vulnerabilities? Hurt someone you love? Threaten to ruin you?

Most people will look the other way if their best friend lifts a fiver from their change jar. They’d probably say something at the $20 mark – maybe ask if their friend was in trouble and see if they could help. But how much is a friendship worth?

If your best friend told you they couldn’t make your lunch date for reasons you knew were untrue, you’d likely steam for a minute or two and then move on. If they made a habit of fibbing to you, you might ask them if anything was wrong. But is there a lie big enough to completely destroy the relationship?

I’ve had friends take advantage of me and still called them friends. I’ve defended friends to loved ones they have hurt in attempts to smooth things over without lasting damage. I simply don’t like to consider friendships terminated without very good reason. Because of this fact, I have probably endured more abuse than was necessary, but I’ve also finally come to learn about the true nature of friendship.

Yeah, yeah; it’s trite: The true nature of friendship is when you care about another more than you care about yourself. And even if you give yourself a break for being selfish and admitting you really love yourself best, at least you acknowledge that you truly care about another individual – that their happiness makes you happy and their sadness makes you sad. That’s friendship.

In light of this, I have realized the one thing that will make me turn my back on someone I once called friend is when that person reveals that, depending on their own personal situation, they would as soon see me ruined as see me happy. When someone who once claimed to love me can suddenly turn around and cavalierly state that they will stop at nothing to destroy me, I can't help but be reminded of something Maya Angelou said:

When someone shows you who they are, believe them.

If someone steals from you, it’s not unfair to assume that person is a thief.

If someone lies to you, it’s probably safe to assume that person is a liar.

And if someone threatens or exploits you, it’s probably a good idea to assume that person is not your friend.

It's nearly impossible for me to let a friendship die. But at least now I can have my closure without anguish or remorse because in this one particular case, there was never a friendship there to begin with. What I have let die was nothing but a lie.

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About kirkstarr

I draw pictures for a living.
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22 Responses to Friendship Means Not Having to Say I Hate You

  1. IG says:

    oh kirk. this is so sad. 😦

  2. Kirk says:

    "oh kirk. this is so sad."Yeah, it is, but not for the reasons I had originally thought.Sorry to be a downer, but I had to let it out. Back to sarcastic humor and artistic endeavors forthwith. 🙂

  3. I hear ya, man. And you're breakin' my heart. I'd give you a hug, but I'm not there. I think you should grab the nearest pet and give 'em a BIG HUG & KISS.

  4. Cat says:

    Kirk, I think I know of what you are speaking of…I too have had "friends" do similar things to me…It's always heartbreaking in the beginning when their mask falls off…but once the heartbreak passes there is freedom. That is sweet. Hugs,Cat

  5. Amanda says:

    Don't you just hate people sometimes? I do. But hooray for closure!

  6. AmyH says:

    You know what's wrong with people?
    People.
    Good luck and be kind to yourself. It's tough to make those calls on who you have in your life. I admire you for ending what is clearly unhealthy.

  7. Emmi says:

    Angelou said it better than I could, but I judge people by their actions, not their words. And unlike you, for me it's one strike and they're out. You and Karin are obviously more patient and forgiving than me.
    You mentioned not wanting to be a "downer" with your posts – it's funny because that's the subject of my next post. Just as an aside.
    By the way, that first sentence should have been "Question of the Day." That would have been perfect.

  8. arbed says:

    yes, it's sad, but a huge relief also – I know exactly what you mean – maybe I'm a doormat but it's happened to me more than once – the ones that hurt the most are when you lose a friend and you have no idea why – but it's good to know when you've reached the point you have, and as I said, a relief

  9. spooktastic says:

    i have recently stopped speaking to a "friend." it wasn't as hard a i thought it would be because i knew deep down inside that the thing that ended things was so profound that there would be no going back. and that it's like a dying limb, it's best to cut it off before it destroys the whole body. i feel your pain. hopefully your days will get better. it's always difficult to lose a friend.

  10. It takes a lot for me to call someone friend. Because I put them on a different level I guess. I have a lot of aquaintances and a small handful of people I call friend. I think it's just that once I consider someone a friend, we hold each other to a code of ethics moreso than an aquaintance. I don't know if this is a good or bad thing. Sorry about whatever happened to have caused you to evaluate the measure of friendship and that this person didn't fit the bill.

  11. The Artist D says:

    That is the best thing Maya Angelou has ever said. I have much higher standards for a best friend. They would never lie, cheat or steal from me. Taking $5 out of my purse is not stealing if you're my best friend. And if they have to make up an excuse as to why not to go out to dinner with me – they aren't a friend at all. Generally, I suppose I would have tossed them to the corner based on a lot less that we'd never even come near a best friend threatening to ruin me. Don't be so nice. There's a way to be fantastic and nice without being too much of either. 😉

  12. I'm glad you've ended such a poisonous relationship. The friend you should place highest is yourself. If any other 'friendships' start harming you they really need to be reassessed. For me it's often not big things, it's the building up of small things that eat away at you that justify ending a bad friendship.Great quote from Maya Angelou.

  13. bouche says:

    I completely understand Gunderson here…I don't have any childhood friends. Well, none that I've seen in about 2 decades… Other kids who I had friendships with were 'friendships of convenience', where I was their friend until someone cooler came along or because I was the only one that was around. In turn for my friendships with these bastards, I was the object of their cruelty and duplicity and it's taught me a lot. From time to time, I'll meet the occasional person who will 'push' or 'try' me and it's then they learn that it's not a wise thing to do if they expect I'd take it in stride. It took me a long time to find a few people who I'll have lifelong relationships with. In those few relationships, we know each other well enough to trust one another with everything. It's rare, it's beautiful, I thank the heavens for them. With them, if they were to disappear for 10 years and reappear, it would seem as nothing had changed between us.I'm sorry if this is an experience you've recently endured. No one should. For the record, I haven't been an angel in a few relationships and on reflection, I can tell you from that perspective, I've felt more than my share of guilt and I had made strides in righting those wrongs and I was lucky they were still cool with me. Nothing like wanting to destroy them, just in my poor attitude towards them. I hope someday, who ever had made you to come to this realization will come to understand the ramification of their actions.

  14. I have one "best" friend. We've been friends since first grade. I moved into her neighborhood, and she came up to my yard at the age of 6 and asked if I wanted to play. This woman has been with me since the age of 6. We have had varying degrees of closeness but when push comes to shove, we are there for each other. This is someone I consider a friend. On a daily level we are not in touch; but when it counts… oh hell yes we are there for each other. This is what I call a "friend".

  15. It's nice to have at least one or two people agree with me. The messages I've been getting has made me wonder… I've had a truckload of comments and "private" messages berraging me with various alliances…none of whom I signed up with. Seriously… Unless I've met you in person and at least had a coffee or a drink with you… why do you seriously care what I think????????At any rate…. I'm not the vox token of drama, and I don't understand why I've bee appointed as such, especially when my daily life is so NON-drama..c'est la 'vie I spose….

  16. Auds says:

    Glad you don't have to endure any more abuse from that one. I have to agree with your general trend ending friendships, I'm pretty leniant until I see true ill intent.

  17. Wow… I'm gonna vote for crankypants' blue moon to put a top on this.. :)Happy weekend….

  18. bouche says:

    Seriously… Unless I've met you in person and at least had a coffee or a drink with you… why do you seriously care what I think????????I can see both sides, I'm a net vet having participated in communicating over the computer since 95. It started with billboards that I'd log onto which had time limits, then to telnet chat communities of various types and levels of sophistication. I have taken people pretty seriously for awhile, then events here and there over the years made me reevaluate everything. Places changed, friendships decayed due to people changing for the worse, I've changed, ect. These things happen and I've learned to take things in stride… I have online relationships that have gone on for years and will go on much longer. I haven't ever met some of these people or have even see their pictures, but we know each other well enough to call one another friends. I take what they have to say seriously, but only because the nature of our communication and information we've exchanged in confidence took us to where we are — stuff deeper than what I'd post in my blog (at least publicly, sorry). With these people, I'd go through some lengths to ensure they're alright if there's been a long span without hearing from them on IM or email. Even though we only really know one another with words, it's been all we've really needed. How do I know they are who they are? Trust. And candy. Just kidding. :)I think Gunderson's p.o.v. is healthy. It's especially healthy considering we communicate with text and regardless of how pretty we make it with mark-up or how explicit we believe we are with our messages, sometimes things are taking out of context. I feel on my blog, what I write doesn't really fully represent me. Maybe little bits, tiny pieces. This is how I process other people's blogs as well. Little bits, tiny pieces. 😉 (damn, I'm tired!)

  19. Brown Suga' says:

    Sorry to hear that someone did this to you. But you're right, people forgive more easily than usual when it's their "friend" who steals or lies or whatever.
    I agree with Bouche, I've had my share of "internet" friends who have, amazingly enough, turned out to be far more honest and wonderful than real life friends. But I guess one needs to have a knack of finding out who's genuine and who's not -s something I developed rather quickly.
    I've dumped friends – but I've never done anything to exploit them or ever pull a volte-face. I couldn't have lived with that, and I'm shocked and outraged by people who actually get away with it.
    Glad you've got everything wrapped up now, though. Take care.

  20. Kzinti says:

    This brings up the dual edged sword. On the one side is the quote that says, "Mean people suck". On the other side is the quote from Beavis and Butthead that says, "Without stuff that sucked, how would you ever know what was cool?".
    Just keep using spell checker and we'll leave the light on for you.

  21. Kelly says:

    Great post.I have been a dumped friend for falling off the wayside and ending up lying and hurting that friend of mine. \i tried desperately to make amends and 7 years down the line I still wave the odd olive branch. I loved her and my life was in bits when we fell apart but she will have nothing to do with me. No forgiveness. Hates me. Despite the fact we share the same group of females friends and over the past 7 years many marriages among friends andh children have been born and yet she still cant move on. Luckily our mutual friendssee her as acting a bit over the top which has brough a little confidence because for the first 3 years I avoided going ut, every social event and even friends hen dos.Anway blah blah, I wish she knew me now. I am different but I am the same. I love her but so much time has pasted I can carry on with out getting too dragged down by it all. We were kids when we ended. Maybe 1 day she;ll come round…

  22. devonrex says:

    This is a great post, albeit about a sad topic. Recently, I'm having family issues that are similar. I think family is a bit different in some senses, but very similar at the same time. That Maya Angelou quote is quite powerful…

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