The Darker Side of Friendship
Bonnie Moss 2007-02
Sometimes, people we welcome into our lives as friends can cause us so much pain and grief. Thomas Hood 1835
The most fatal disease of friendship is gradual decay or decline; hourly increased by causes too slender for complaint and too numerous for removal.
Those who are angry may be reconciled.Samuel Johnson- The Idler 1758
The best of friends can fall out. A friendship can go from wonderful to harmful. This is not a perfect world. We all have our faults,a common denominator in the human race. Paths do separate, some amicably, others in severe conflict.
As with any relationship, disagreements, misunderstanding,negligence, petty provocation and conflict can slowly erode the bonds that keep friends together. These can start as minor tiffs, but can slowly grow to tear apart friends beyond redemption.
What do you expect from a friend when you are at the giving end? How much of yourself, your time, your financial and other resources do you give to a friend? Is there a mutual give and take in the relationship? Ingratitude can be a major issue between friends. Remember, it has been said that of all the Virtues, gratitude has the shortest memory. Do you expect a payback when you do your friend a favor?
Gossip is hurtful, damaging, unkind and at times it is far from the truth. Gossip is cheap talk, a cheap shot at a friend. How would you feel if you were the topic of a gossip? If you have nothing good or nice to say about anyone, zip it up. Gossip is a betrayal of trust between friends.
Codependent relationships are unhealthy, mentally,physically exhausting and exasperating, and spiritually undernourished. Some call co-dependency a relationship addiction, riddled with feelings of inadequacy, lack of fulfillment, strong need to be in control, no sense of boundaries and irrational. Codependent friends are always ready to reach out, at times at great sacrifice of their own personal needs. Some blame the world for all their problems, gets too absorbed with their own needs and at times force their points of view to others. They fail to listen to their friends.
Flirting or sleeping with your partner One of the most painful situations for a friend is to find out that the friend is sleeping with his/her partner. How can this happen? This is a betrayal of a sacred trust- a trust in the friendship.But this happens.
Resentment of a friend's success- levelling Clearly, this is envy. A friend should feel happy at the success of a friend. A touch of envy will start the questions of how can you manage this success, what if it does not work out, where will you get all the resources you need? All negative thoughts, instead of sharing the joy of the moment.
Some manipulations are very subtle that you don't know you are being manipulated. Your generosity is abused, your good-natured is taken advantage of, you can be talked into taking responsibilities the other person should shoulder.These are just few examples of subtle manipulation.
Lie for friend
Should you lie for a friend? A lie is a lie. Even an innocent white lie can be harmful. You do this once, you will be expected to do it again. Truth has a way of showing up when least unexpected. You put you credibility on the line when you agree to lie for a friend.
How much exposure can you endure to a friend who has a very negative attitude towards life? It is a function of friendship to give an ear to a friend during dark moments. But be wary of an over-exposure to negativity, especially when you are struggling with issues of your own. It does not mean that you should prepare a checklist before you embark on a friendship. I do not believe in instant friendship.
It takes time to get to know a person, a few bumps along the way is needed to reveal the inner core, a few laughs would be healthy,shared interests would be enhancing and inspiring. Friends who discover new ideasand goals would definitely ensure growth .
Friendship is about mutual caring and sharing that touches deep into the soul.