Well… a few actually. I hardly think they’re particularly inspirational and I’m not going to say that I’m SO experienced so I know EVERYTHING; because I don’t. But what I CAN say is that this might actually be helpful for somebody and anybody could possibly read this and go, “Oh my goodness, this is actually quite true!” Anyway. Enough of that.
But naturally, feel free to comment, because I really want to hear all your comments about the stuff I’m going to say.
I literally keep saying “I’m not going to post anything until the 12th June, buuuuutttt….” So this is one of those moments. This was something I really needed to get off of my chest and now seemed like a good time. This probably seems very random and out of place, but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently. And if you ask any of my friends, it’s pretty dangerous when I think (LOL), but I’m going to go ahead and post my ‘thinkings’ (or thoughts, for all of you who won’t allow me creative license) since this is a rambling blog anyway.
In the past couple of months, there’s been a really big emphasis on the ‘friends’ front for me. When I say ‘friends’, I’m not talking about making new ones so much, I’m more talking about the friends that I currently have/have had. Now, obviously, for any teenager, especially girls, friends play a huge role in our lives. For many of us, friends are super important to us and their attitudes and tastes also could dictate our own lives, if we allow them to.
Now, before I start telling you a few things, I’d just like to clarify: I’m not saying that everybody is like this. My sister, for example, is a person who doesn’t let her friends change who she is (God bless), and I know lots of other girls (and guys) who stay the same, regardless of their friends. But obviously (and I hate to sound like the ‘agony aunt’ here) peer pressure is a huge thing, and it’s more real than any of us like to admit. And I’m not talking about some dodgy guy with a trench coat coming up to us and asking “Hey kids, wanna buy some drugs?” I’m talking about the sort of peer pressure which is so subtle but causes us to completely change aspects of ourselves just so we feel a part of it.
And thus it begins.
Thing 1: Every friendship can teach you something.
This sounds a bit funny I guess, but it’s true. Even the terrible friendships teach you things; that you don’t want to hang out with those kind of people, or how to better handle situations in the future. A lot of friendships can even show you what sort of person you are. For me, a lot of my previous friendships have taught me the sort of things I could never learn from my current friends. For example, when people get angry, they often bring up lots of things from the past, and when me and my friends would argue, sometimes they’d say things about me which were, admittedly, not nice… but also true. This, I guess, kind of put into perspective the sort of person they viewed me as and helped me to change accordingly. I realised that if I wanted to have friends who were trustworthy, kind, reliable, loyal etc. then I had to be that person for other people.
Thing 2: You should never feel uncomfortable with your friends.
I feel like this is the sort of unspoken thing, but nobody really seems to address it. There is literally no excuse for feeling uncomfortable around the people that you call friends. If you’re shy, if you’re an introvert, if you have anxiety; you might be thinking, that’s absolute rubbish, but to be honest, I have friends that are all three of those things, and yet when we’re together you would never even know. Friends are supposed to be the people who you can say whatever (I mean, as long as it’s not offensive – but then again, they can always make you aware of this) to, whenever (especially when you’re having an existential crisis at, like 3 in the morning) and however (because I do some WEIRD voices; I do love a good accent) and not feel worried that they’re going to judge you. You shouldn’t have to hold anything back from your friends of your personality when you’re with them, or alternatively, hide any aspect of who you really are.
Thing 3: Friends don’t flaunt your failures. They help you to make improvements.
They are supposed to be supports, not meant to drag you down. In life, you are going to be friends with people who are negative ALL. THE. TIME. Don’t get me wrong, these people can be genuinely great but eventually, their negativity is going to grate on you and/or even make you more negative. I’m not saying “Ditch all your negative friends” but what I am saying is that you need to be aware of what some people’s intentions are. There are going to be ‘friends’ who are jealous of you and are constantly making you feel like less of the person that you really are. For ages, I’ve been friends with people who only want to use me to pull themselves to somewhere and then ditch me; but no more. Friends are the ones who lift you up. Friends are the people who tell you, “Yes, you can do this” or alternatively, are able to be realistic and say “No, you can’t do this” but still “Maybe try this instead.” Friends don’t tell you “This is ridiculous. This is unrealistic. This is impossible.” Friends are the ones who say “No it’s not.” when YOU say all those things.
Thing 4: It is better to be bluntly honest than tactfully untruthful.
This is a big thing for me. There is nothing more that I appreciate when a friend says to me in all honesty, “Rianna, what you just did/said was not good. You need to apologise.” Or some other variation of that. Some teenagers seem to think, in this current day and age, that they are all untouchable, perfect and untainted gods and goddesses. Newsflash: You’re not. We make mistakes. We mess up. And that’s fine. But if our own friends are unable to tell us when we’re doing something wrong, or we don’t want to listen to their honesty, then you might as well go and dig yourself a hole in the ground. It is, in my humble opinion, the responsibility of friends to tell your friends what they’ve done wrong. There’s no point going behind their backs and whining about them if you haven’t told them to their face what they’ve done wrong. In fact, all my current friends are able to do that, and I’ve actually ditched the ones who were unable to be ‘corrected’ so to speak, because they saw themselves as above everyone else. That doesn’t sit right with me. Sorry, but it’s true; and sometimes, a good friend should be able to tell us without having to worry about how we will take it.
Thing 5: Time doesn’t mean anything.
Just because you’ve been friends with someone for 9 years, doesn’t mean that they’re the best possible friend you could have. Just because you’ve been friends with someone for a year and a half, doesn’t mean that they can’t be your closest friend. Just because you’ve been friends with someone for less than a year, doesn’t mean you can’t talk to them everyday. Time is one of the most unnecessary factors within a friendship. Yes, it certainly helps to know someone for a long time (and I don’t think this idea applies to dating so much as friendships, LOL) but the strength and loyalty of a friendship is not dependent upon the number of years or months or days that you’ve known them. And as you could probably tell by my detailing of time at the beginning of this point, I talk from experience.
And a few more points before I close up, because this is getting a tad personal…
- Friends only have to hear your voice to know how you’re doing.
- Friends don’t talk about you behind your back; they just say it to your face… but in a nice way.
- Friends respect your wishes and your beliefs. They don’t try and make you do things which you’ve made it clear that you don’t want to do or don’t believe in, and they CERTAINLY don’t mock the beliefs and ideals which you hold.
- They don’t FORCE you out of your comfort zone; instead, they hold your hand and help you out of it whenever you are ready to go with them.
- Just because you talk everyday, doesn’t mean you know everything about that person. Just because you’ve been friends with a person for a long time, doesn’t mean that you will always be friends with them.
- PEOPLE CAN CHANGE. And they will. O ho, they most certainly will.
- ALSO girl-friends do NOT date your ex (unless, of course, you’ve had a good sit-down discussion about it and you are entirely cool with that) and they most certainly do NOT fight over boys. At the end of the day, boys are interchangeable for most of us at this point in our lives. Friends are more important than guys. Trust me. I almost lost a friendship over one.
- Friends don’t get friend-jealous. They acknowledge and understand that you ARE going to have friends other than them, and that isn’t a problem. They don’t feel like they have to compete for your attention.
- Friends don’t play with your feelings. I think at this point, there is quite a fine line between being ‘just good friends’ with the opposite sex and crossing that, and very often those boundaries are crossed. But friends should realise that if you don’t BOTH want to go there, then they shouldn’t try to.
- Don’t be scared to drop your friends if you feel like you need to. You can always find new ones. I know this is a super cliche line, but sometimes, we need to stop thinking about our so-called ‘friends’ and think more about ourselves.
- The friends we have now (in teen years) will affect a large proportion of your life. They may not still be in our lives at the end of high school/university etc. but they do play a large role in forming the people who we are and also the personalities that we cultivate. So it’s super important that we pick the right ones.
This all sounds slightly heavy, but I think those points really speak for themselves. Friendship is a big thing.
Is she a counsellor? Is she a therapist? No, she’s a Queen. (All these things are literally from experience!) Goodbye everybody and creds to you ALL for reading that spiel, because I’m pretty sure that is the longest post I’ve written to date.
p.s. If you’re reading this and you feel like I’m talking about you… I probably am.