Wednesday, June 01, 2016

DG Random Thoughts on Friendship: 2016 Version

Buckle up, buttercup.  Why am I being so philosophical lately?  Is there something in the stars?  Whutup?  Well... whatever... here it is...

A real friend stopped by last night.  I have known him for about 15 years.  He's a good and decent person and reminds me of what that means exactly.  He also elevates me - which is what a real friend should do (not bring you down).   He IS the kind of person I could call in the middle of the night with a problem (even though he's married and has kids and an incredibly demanding job - one of the most demanding in the country, no joke).  He's That Guy.

I have other friends that I can count on like that.  Bunny, for example.  And then there's Creed Man. And Kaz, of course.  KAC Girl and Ms. New York.  They call out of the blue just to check on me. Not because they need something, but because of a genuine interest in how I'm doing. (I love you guys by the way.)

Fair Weather Friends

Friendship is a 2-way street. So is loyalty (of all kinds).   I don't drop friends at the closure  of an opportunity period and I  expect them not to drop me, but it happens and I feel like I'm on the receiving end; sometimes after years of supporting the needy and drama-ridden.

And I really must learn (after all these years inside my own head) to listen to my inner voice.  If you don't think that someone genuinely likes you (or isn't sincere with you)  they probably don't/aren't. Takers are always going to take.  Givers are always going to give.  We're all different.  Know when to walk away from the takers.  This has been a difficult lesson for me to learn, but I have started by identifying who they are and then learning to cease the giving.  Of time.  Of resources. Of attention. Of thoughts. Of energy.

Sidebar:  I haven't been able to read tarot cards in almost a year because of all the negative energy around me.  I have been through a cleansing process/reflection/meditation and I'm finally getting back to ME.

It's karma, bitches

I learned this from my sister
(who has helped MANY)
Here is my personal belief/creed:  You do the best you can for people; whatever it takes.  Give of your time, of yourself, and whatever you can spare. Know that you've done the right thing to the best of your ability.  Some of my friends over the years have eluded to the "doormat" theory; that maybe I'm "too nice" or give too much.  F that. (And it has taken me a long time to be able to say that with confidence;  without questioning if I am too nice/soft or not.)   I feel good about myself and I'm an EFNJ so it makes me happy when I can help. I am who I am and I am happy with who I am. (As my dad said, "Follow your heart and you will never go wrong.")  IF I get taken advantage of by people who don't share the same values as I do, that is between them and their God, their karma.  I have been blessed in SO MANY ways and I know it. I know that it is coming back around.


I also believe in the power of gratitude.  To me, showing gratitude isn't about that one person. You're not necessarily giving thanks only to the person or people who have done you a kindness; but you're thanking God in the process.  Gratitude is a powerful thing and I think my mother instilled that in me at an early age ("Always write a thank you note.")  It has stayed with me.  "You don't need to thank me, it's just my job."  Uh yeah, I do too need to thank you.  It isn't about just you.  It goes into the Universe as love.  Flowers, thank you notes, blog posts to recommend people who have given me great services.  It all goes into the same pot:  Gratitude.

So why do some people find it so hard to do?  Why do they feel like they have to get one over on you?  No one should do something for the reason of receiving gratitude.  But when it doesn't come after you've really tried hard to sincerely make someone happy or comfortable, it is painful.

I love entertaining.  I used to have gatherings at my home (big place in Rumaithiya).  Went on for years every Friday night - "Desert Girl Diwaniya";  and every Saturday morning, I was alone with a mess to clean up and no one to help me. I invited all kinds of people, friends, friends of friends, people I didn't know.  Different Fridays; different types of people.  Some were not very nice to me; sometimes just walking in without even bothering to introduce themselves. Some were not nice to my dog ("koshing offense" leading to being kicked out of my home).    How many invitations did I receive in return: Maybe over the course of 3 years: 3 invitations.  And not by the people I considered my "real friends" from my inner circle who frequented the gatherings the most.  You know - the ones who drank all my refreshments and never returned the favor;   Those ones.  Where are all those people now?  Oh, the refreshments ran out and apparently so did the "friendships."  I invite very few people into my home now - and they better be good, sincere friends from the heart or they're not welcome (including those who don't like my dog).

If people are trying to bring you down, it only means that you're above them

Recently, bad-friend-trend has been to try to belittle me or elevate themselves somehow to show me up. Yes yes, you are so much more important, have so much more professional experience and knowledge. Education.  Money.  Whatever.  You are so much "better" than me in so many ways.  . Good luck with all that.  I don't care.  I honestly don't.  Good for you.  I'm happy for  you.  I wish you the best.  However, my advice would be:  Just don't forget to be grateful to the people who have helped you move to the next step in your journey.  Don't turn your back because you never know what might be coming up later behind you.  It all comes back around.  And sincere people will always be able to spot fakers.

"I'm busy" isn't an excuse with me. I'm busy too.  I'm not too busy for real friends. And real friends are never too busy for me.  And guess what?  The next time you call me for something, fair-weather friend, I am probably too busy to talk to you.  I'm far too important to my self worth.

When you introduce your friend to a friend and then they become friends and forget you

Mean girls suck. 
I've written about this before:  Introducing friends to friends who then become close friends and forget you.  It has happened throughout the course of my blogging journey.  I introduce people (statistically, those who I have met through the blog with people in my "real" life) and then they get along great; which I am very happy about until.... they forget me in the process.  My thought process on this one:  I assign the same importance to friendships that I would in a love relationship:  If you are cheating on me with her and have to make a decision between both of us; choose her, because if I was really that important to you, there wouldn't be a decision and you would still be calling me or hanging with me.  Just don't expect me to be there for you later. 'I'm too busy.'

I bet you think this post is about you

Now, what I said in my previous post about not being able to write about the juicy stuff because too many friends and acquaintances know who I am:  The people I am depicting in this story are "too busy or too important" to bother with me or my little blog,  I'm sure. (Ironically, that is how I met several friends as I've said.)  In the off chance that they do read this - great!   If we had spoken like mature adults (or wait - actual friends), they would already understand the way I feel and wouldn't be reading about it here.

The moral of this story is   

We all go through this process in our lives.  I think women more often than men because we over-analyze everything and tend to be more emotional about our relationships.  At least, that is what I think from a female-biased perspective.  (Maybe not in the Arab world... ha.)  If you are in the middle of a reflection process, you're not alone.  Others go through the same thing.

I was just talking to my handsome friend about this last night.  It seems like the older we get, the more important decent, kind, sincere friends become to us.   Those are the ones to hang onto when our circles get smaller.  To keep in touch with.  Not everyone is going to stay on your ride with you.

In gratitude, thank you for reading down this far and helping me with my therapy.


Unknown said...

I was that friend once. Got carried away with so-called new cool friends and gave least priority to my best friend. But thanks to god that she chose to be my best friend even after that but my so-called new cool friends were all gone, "REAL FRIENDS" loves you and stays with you no matter what.. learned my lesson!!! Now no matter who walks in my life.. My best friend will always be my shining star!! Even if that person is iisuperwomanii (she is The famous YouTuber btw n i love her).
Cheers to the friends who choose to be REAL.

Anonymous said...

Therapeutic. Thanks, Desert Girl...

Anonymous said...

I love reading your blog. It is my "comfort" site for my upcoming trip to Kuwait. I have my reservations of Kuwait having lived in Dubai and California and your blog helps me through it. True friends are for life. They are the ones you can pickup even though you live miles apart. I left a bunch of good friends when I moved to another country but they are the ones I can call anytime, any day and know that they will be there for me, miles apart.

Unknown said...

Beautifully written! What you said about gratitude is absolutely right. It's very powerful, unfortunately with close friends we just have so many expectations that we forget to thank them even if do half of what we expected. Appreciation can go a long way even if it is for the smallest of things.