Why Is Friendship So Hard?

Posted by Lisa Stevens on

Do you remember being a kid and having friends? How did we ever get those friends? I remember walking down the street to the park, if there was a kid there and we said hi....now we are friends, it was that easy. None of this, do you like the same things? Do our personalities go together? We were just kids and did kid stuff and became friends. 

As a child, I had different sets of friends....my parents friends had kids, we were friends....my neighbourhood had kids, we were friends....my school had kids, we were friends. As I got older more of my friends came from school or church, some friends I only saw at school/church and some I got together with outside of school. 

My kids do not go to public school, but they still have friends. Not as many as I did, but I don't think that is a bad thing. Some of my friends were good for me (helped keep me out of trouble) but other ones influenced me to make bad choices....those choices were usually fun but not always the best choices for me. hahahaha

A common question as an adult was were you popular when you were a child/teenager. I do not believe I was, but I had different groups of friends in middle/high school...depending on what was happening would depend on who I spent my time with, I was never without someone to hang with.

I have had a few "best friends" in my early years....but as time went on I actually stopped using that designation for any of my friends. I cannot pinpoint exactly when I decided not to use it, but it did happen and stays that way to this day. I consider Ben (my husband) my best friend and give no other person (male or female) that title. My kids think it is odd (actually Ben thinks so too....) they keep asking why I don't have a best friend besides Ben. But for me, I had one best friend in Elementary school that I hurt, she never told me I hurt her but I know now that what I did to her was a very jerky hurting thing to do. At the time, I honestly did not intend to hurt her, but I should have been more considerate for someone I called my best friend. 

I will tell you the story. In elementary school I had one "best friend", I had other friends as well, but my lunches and recesses were spent mostly with this one girl. We shared everything...we got along really well. Then one day I realized I was not who I wanted to be...I didn't want to be the mouse in the corner anymore (that is what we were, unoriginal, plain, no one took much notice of us and we were happy with that....until I decided I was not). So, the summer before we left elementary and entered junior high, I took this friend and I was completely honest with her (in a not so compassionate way), I told her that once junior high started I was going to find other friends. I told her that I wanted to stop being so shy and I needed to branch out and find new friends. I came right out and said "We can say hi in the hallways and all, but I won't be hanging with you anymore". (I know....trust me I know how horrible this sounds, I cringe when I think about actually saying that to someone....especially someone I had been calling my best friend for years). She took it in stride, I could tell she was upset, but really what choice did she have? 

I know some people will say it was good of me to be honest, rather than just "ghosting" her....but in hindsight really I should have invited her to join me in my new adventure. I guess it never crossed my mind, I assumed she would not want to....or maybe I was scared that it would be too easy to revert back to my introvert ways if she was there too. Either way, that is not what I did...I just flat out told her our friendship was over....and all because I was not who I wanted to be and I thought it would be too hard to become that with her as my best friend. 

And the sad part of this story is that it would have been too hard....cause she was a good person, she was kind and sweet and quiet, she kept to herself and was never, through the rest of our schooling, outgoing or "popular"...to this day I honestly have no idea where she ended up after high school, but I am sure she is still the same good soul she was when I abandoned her. I did meet new friends, I got into loads of trouble...I had a lot of fun, I got exactly what I was looking for....but I do often wonder where I would be today if I had not done all that....if I had stayed friends with this girl and life went different. Cause along with the fun, I had lots of heartbreak and many regrets with my new friends. 

Thankfully by high school I had smartened up a little...I still got into trouble and still had lots of fun, but I choose better friends or better friends choose me. My sister (who is 14 months older than me) welcomed me into her group of friends and kept some of my trouble making skills to a minimum...lol 

I think there are a lot of "friend" stories that I could share...and I will in future blogs, but today it was really all about this one elementary school friend who I wronged. Yesterday was anti-bully day...and while it might not have been "bullying" it was definitely not one of my best moments. If you are reading this (I will not share your name....but hopefully you know who you are....or maybe it didn't affect you the way I envisioned all these years) know that I am truly sorry and do regret treating you in such a horrible manner. 

With that being said, I wish I had learned my lesson way back then....but in all those years since I have had friends come and go, I might not have told them straight out that I no longer wanted to be their friend, but life got in the way and I just let them go....cause that was the easiest route. 

We actually took a few years off from having friends (Ben and I)...were hurt by many people we considered friends and we needed some down time. But time has healed some of those hurts and we have been trying to get back into the "friend scene" but it is hard as an adult. lol Everyone has their own lives and their own issues and people who did not become hermits still have their friends and maybe do not have room for more....but we keep plugging away, we keep trying. I don't have time for drama (my own personal life has enough of that) in a friendship...I just want to have someone to talk with, do things with that we enjoy and share with. 

I have 42 years of friendships to look back on, and even though my favourite is my friendship with Ben...I do miss having more friends...although most days I would rather still stay home....so maybe I need to find friends who don't mind coming to me, I can feed you...hahahaha Or maybe I just need another dog...:P 


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