When I was eight years old, a friend whom I met in the after school lessons gave me a card. It was titled “Why God made friends” and although I don’t remember all the words of the card. I remember this part
“God made friends because he knew mothers could not be everywhere“.
And although it has been over three decades, I look back and see that most of my philosophy of friendship has always had a mother’s perspective. I also learnt how to be a friend by observing how my mum related with her friends, both in their presence and absence. If my mother is your friend, you know your back is covered and it extends to your children.
Well,I am like that and I can be loyal to a fault. I find it hard to leave a friendship and have taken most friends as my siblings. Have some hurt me? Yes they have but so have my siblings (not to the extent of some friends though) in one way or the other. And when siblings hurt us, can we de-sibling them or un-sibling them? You probably laughed there but the answer is no and I hope you get my drift there.
But as the years have rolled by, I have found it necessary from time to time to do an evaluation of some of my friendships. Sometimes the friends that have given me trouble are the friends of friends whom I have had to adopt-friends by association and when their relationship with the common denominator turned sour, I received transferred aggression.
In addition, there are some friends that over the years have consistently shown that the only person they care about is themselves and I have had to remove myself from them, practicing what I preach on toxic relationships.
Iremember reading a post on Facebook where the writer wrote something in the lines of “we are too old for me to still be determining if you are a good friend or not ‘ You need to have seen the comments that followed that post. She definitely struck a chord.
People generally crave for genuine friendships and good friends are our siblings from another mother. And while life would be fantastic if we simply had a clear cut friend and enemy zone, the reality is that sometimes some enemies pretend to be friends (and confuse the thunder, annoyingly).It is those kind of friends that are the most dangerous. They are the “frenemies”.
I usually think of these people as jealous of us, intimidated and in a bid to do us harm, come close before they strike. However there are some other frenemies who were originally friends but made a U-turn when they became offended. Rather than dealing and discussing their hurt, they stick around to cause harm.
Recently I read about a wedding that was cancelled.
The reason was painful to imagine, especially when one is conscious it was not a movie script.
So this wedding was cancelled because on the eve of the wedding night, the bride-to- be caught one of her bridesmaids sleeping with her groom . How on earth do you begin to unravel this or find an excuse for this friend?
Well perhaps she has been dating this guy or the guy has been two-timing on both girls but he clearly has made his choice. He wants to spend the rest of his life with the one he chooses to marry and then the “rejected” one decides that you may be marrying her but we will still have “this” just before it becomes unlawful. Well this is me helping her with a reason.
Bur why would someone do that? Is it not a mark of self – respect for yourself to break emotional ties with a man who thinks you are only good enough for the sex thing and not fit enough to spend the rest of his life with? Surely this is a classic case of frenemies and the damage they can do.
And they are not only in our personal lives, sometimes we meet them at work and also in our religious communities.
How do we deal with them ?
Someone once advised to “dine with the devil” with a long spoon” but I would rather go hungry and give the devil the long spoon as a souvenir.
But if we honestly recognize some frenemies, it might be best to lovingly dissociate. It could be by reducing the amount of contact or perhaps the amount of information we used to share so that we are not giving arsenal to the enemy.
And because these frenemies are so good at pretending, we need to trust our gut feelings sometimes and tread with caution when we find an unease about an individual. But we should also be able to differentiate between between gut feelings and the spirit of suspicion,
I have met some people who are so cynical about friendships and distrusting . The issue is with that type of attitude, we will not attract anyone good.
Let me assure you there are people who can be genuine friends. I for one has been blessed with the gift of good friends although once in a while, I also encounter frenemies .