Do True Friends Even Exist Anymore?

SELF-REFLECTION

DAY 18

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I envy my mother. She is beautiful and successful. She has an amazing career that she loves.  Those things are great, but do you want to know what I envy the most? My mother is still friends with the same group of women she surrounded herself with in high school. They are the best of friends. My mom knows the meaning of “life long friends,” and that is a true gift. I often wonder what her secret is. How do you form those special bonds? Why is it so hard for me? What am I doing wrong? I really don’t want to sound pathetic here, but I want a genuine friend more than anything. One thing I am starting to realize as I reflect on my own life is, I NEED a friend. image

I am starting to see things a lot clearer than I ever have. For so long I have used all the wrong reasons as excuses for why I have little to no friends. Here is the deal : I am a great friend. Maybe one of the issues I am having is, I want whoever I am friends with to be a great friend to me in return. Is this asking too much? Am I expecting too much? It seems like every time I let someone new into my life, it only leads to disappointment. I feel as though so many of my friendships have been one-sided. I can count on one hand the amount of times I have experienced “true” friendship, and even those relationships were lost.

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I have lost so many friendships and I have been let down so many times, it has changed me as a person. I have built a wall around my heart in order to keep others out. I rarely ever allow myself the opportunity to meet new people. When I do meet someone new, I never let them in. I keep them close enough to talk to, but far away enough that I won’t get hurt. I know this is not healthy. I just don’t want to be let down anymore. I want friends and I need friends, but I am afraid.

I want to be a different person, a better person. I feel like we all need friends. We need those special people that we can count on. We need people to laugh with, cry with, and make memories with. I know in my heart that I would be a happier person if I had a real friend. As I continue down this path of self-discovery, I will not only be searching for myself, I will also be searching for a friend. A true friend. A best friend. I will also start trying to break down this wall that I have held up for so long. Does anyone have any advice for me?

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48 thoughts on “Do True Friends Even Exist Anymore?

  1. All I can say is I feel like you just read my thoughts. Seriously. I couldn’t have explained what I’ve been through with friends and how it has made me feel any better. I have walls up too, for good reasons, it took my husband 4 years to tear all mine down. Thanks for this post, it’s good to know I’m not the only one.

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      1. I was thinking awhile ago, how easy is it for kids compared to adults to make friends? I wish I could walk up to someone and be like “hey wanna be my friend?” and that is that. BFF’s for life lol if only adults were like that.

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  2. Well, Rachel, you know my story already. Sometimes the best friends one can find are oneself and an occupation, such as writing, music, his/her children and his soulmate, etc.

    One of the biggest friends I’ve ever had in life, Leyre, a beautiful girl, she was the best person I’ve ever met. The most kind-hearted, generous friend ever. She always felt the need to apologize for everything, even if it wasn’t her fault. She always forgot to think about herself. And, every week, she’d come and tell me that she felt depressed because she did things for everyone but didn’t feel OK because the others didn’t treat her as she – or anyone in her situation – would expect. And each time I told her “Well, to stop feeling that way, just make sure that what you do for them, you do it because you want to do it and expect nothing in return. Else, there’s a risk of this kind of things happening”.

    She was close to suicide twice in a year.

    Okay, that was too cold, maybe this has NOTHING to do with what you’ve just written. I just hope it helps you in some type of way.

    – Dream

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    1. It does help and thank you for sharing. I have felt like her many times in my life. Like I am so desperate for friendship that I keep giving to the wrong kinds of people. I just want something REAL. I would love to find a friend I can grow old with. I am just beginning to think I never will. I want to try but I am afraid.

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  3. Love freely and guard passionately. Watch and wait through the little things. Don’t set your expectations so high that no one can reach them; perfection is never attainable. Don’t set your expectations too low that anyone can reach them; tolerance and being a doormat is never appreciated, either. Reach out. Be a friend, and test the waters. True friends will be there when it counts, and they will not put demands on you that you cannot meet. True friends will also speak truth to you with a whole bucket of love. … yeah, I’m sure that’s all clear as mud. ha. … If you’re a person of faith, I’d say pray. Pray hard and pray a lot. Forgive, love and speak truth. If you’re not a person of faith, I’d say good luck with that. 😉

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  4. Friend making is almost more intimidating than dating, lol.
    I am lucky that I have a good group of girls in my corner…and a couple of guys tooo….and my Bestie, who puts up with my shit even when I’m an asshole or don’t deserve to have anyone listen to me. You do deserve that. We ALL do.
    Just hang out at some mom groups and feel the crowd out. Chances are, there is somebody out there feeling exactly the same way you do. Reach out. We all need to be loved.

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  5. Seriously, I have been feeling like this lately. This post it spot on, we always expect the best from friendships but in the back of our minds, you know some friendships don’t last and you wonder if it has something to do with me? Awesome post though!

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  6. Keep being yourself and you will find your people. Go towards your passions and you will find them and it will be a beautiful thing because it was worth the wait!

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  7. Oh sweetie, I have been there! I found it useful to think of friendships in terms of circles. There are those in the outer circles (acquaintances), and those in the inner ones. As you get to know people, they either move into or out of the inner circle. I talk to strangers, and try to make connections. If they are meant to be in your friendship group, it will happen over time. Maybe join a book club or make a club for going to see movies. I know a lot of ladies appreciate having people to do these type of things with.

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  8. I feel like friendship is a genuine need too and I can’t stand it when people don’t have friends! If you are an awesome friend and it’s not reciprocated, then I wonder if you’re attracted to people who only care about themselves. I’ve met my best friends at church and in choir. My high school choir friends have been my friends for over 20 years and I don’t know what I would do without them!

    A relative of mine has struggled with friendships with women and I have never liked any of her “friends”. They always came across as shallow to me – only caring about their hair, make-up, clothing, etc. Those friendships completely fell apart.

    I remain friends with people 90% of the time, but there was once a woman who expected way too much and wanted me to do things that were her family’s job (example: She wanted me to come to the hospital with her at 7am for her son to get ear tubes because her husband “doesn’t like hospitals”, which meant I would have to get someone to watch my small children and get some of them to school), she would call me multiple times in a row while I was making dinner, and she couldn’t seem to tolerate being alone for any length of time – always had to be on the phone, chat, etc. She was a bottomless pit of loneliness and no one could fill the void. Long story, but things started to get way out of hand to the point that I had to ask for “space”. I cried a lot. She was putting off a lot of people and every time she left me a message, I thought, “If I called her, she would at least have one friend.” I felt terrible, because everyone needs friends, but she was constantly crossing people’s boundaries. 😦 Eventually she moved to another state and I hoped there were some lessons learned. I really hope she made some good friends. I alternated between feeling really angry at her for violating my personal space and feeling heartbroken for her. I felt like she was on the verge of threatening suicide and I was so terrified and stressed, I lost tons of hair and my appetite too. I was afraid of new people for a long time after that and my heart raced whenever anyone left something nice on my doorstep. I thought it was her trying to win me back again.

    I have quite an array of friends and I love them all to death! Wish I knew you so I could maybe help shed some light on the friend situation, but I recommend getting involved in something that’s very important to you and you will meet some awesome people that way. One of my best friends says she has trouble making friends because she’s always putting her foot in her mouth. Funny, because it’s true! When I first met her, she totally rubbed me the wrong way! 😀

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    1. Thank you so much for your beautiful feedback. I think part of my problem is, we move quite a bit for my husbands job. Every time we have to start over somewhere new I get anxiety just thinking about meeting new people. Also, I think sometimes I do rub people the wrong way. I never mean to though. It like I am not familiar with “friend etiquette” or something lol I am sorry about your experience with your friend. That must have been a very trying time for you.

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      1. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to go through! My husband had told me to ignore her when things got out of hand and he thought she would understand what “space” meant. One night she was calling every two minutes over and over again and he said, “Someone needs to tell her what space means!” I said, “They did.”

        What happened is that she found out I got a ride to pick up my van from a new friend at church. She snapped, “Well I could have taken you!” I said, “I know. It was easier for her to do it at the moment.” This woman didn’t have any small children. My friend had multiple small children and was recovering from an eye infection, so why would I ask her to do that for me?

        I got home later that night and she had left me an angry voice mail saying, “I am MAD at you. I am SO MAD! I am FURIOUS! You shouldn’t have called ___. You should have called me! Just because I have things going on in my life doesn’t mean I can’t help people. CALL ME.” I will put up with many things, but she became possessive and I won’t tolerate that. I almost dropped my phone when I heard it and I was shaking all over. I knew she was really starting to lose it, but she wasn’t taking advice to go see a therapist. Ugh. It was so, so painful. I thought maybe we would talk in a couple weeks about her crazy behavior, but she didn’t respect my request for space, started leaving me gifts super late at night and was telling people I took her “joke” wrong. I have quite a good sense of humor and I’m not likely to take a joke wrong. It was not a joke. If she had just said, “I’m sorry. I acted crazy and I’ve been feeling like you’ve been pulling away from me” then we could have had a conversation about it and I would have urged her again to see a therapist.

        Things got worse and worse though and a counselor told me I should move. That wasn’t possible. It took her three years to give up on me talking to her and the counselor said I had to keep ignoring because if I talked to her after a year, that was just teaching her that if she tried for a year, she could get me to talk to her. I had never ignored a person in my life.

        Sorry for the novel!

        Anyway, yes, moving would certainly make things very hard. Friendships have to develop naturally over time, but it’s really frustrating being in a new place and not having a bond with anyone. We bought a house a little over a year ago in a new city and I was very pregnant and miserable. I didn’t like not feeling my best and meeting new people in that condition, but I figured out quickly who would see through that and know that I’m a fun person worth knowing.

        I worry about coming on too strong and usually let other people make suggestions as to doing something together and then I’m sure to follow through so they know I’m not just saying I want to do something. I’m so grateful for my church because no matter where I move, there is an instant group of women to reach out to. I have made several great friends since then. 😀 I hope you make some awesome friends soon!

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      2. Wow! That is so bizarre! That would seriously stress the heck out of me! Ugh so glad you have both moved on from each other. There is nothing healthy about that kind of friendship! My family and I are currently searching for the right church for us. Maybe I will find friends there. Who knows. I am staying positive.

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  9. You read my mind or something. (And we are both ‘Rachel’, so….twinsies!) I am with you all the way. And while I don’t have any good advice (because I don’t have those kind of friend either) I can tell you that some of the people I admired and kept my distance from turned out to be friends I didn’t know I had. Only recently (10 years later) have I discovered that those people I wanted to notice me, actually DID. And now, we are fast friends…even if we don’t talk often. Hope things get better m’dear.

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  10. Sadly, I have no advice for you because I face the same dilemma everyday. It’s tiring giving so much and getting so little in return. I don’t even want to try anymore. It’s easier just to stay hidden and not have to face getting hurt again. As we get older, it’s harder to find a true friend. Apparently, they’re all taken… Lol…

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      1. I know what you mean… It doesn’t even seem worth it sometimes, but we do need friends in our lives. My main problem is, I move around so often and I never really fit in when I move to a new place. This is why I tend to be happier making friends online, rather than in my community. Blogging has been a great outlet for me, because no matter where I go, I know I will always be able to take my blogging friends with me. As long as they keep blogging of course! I’m glad I met you Rachel… you and I seem to be so alike. Take care and have a wonderful day. You can always email me if you want to chat. I’m always here. 🙂 My personal email is, jeansforjesus@gmail.com. I am also on Twitter and Facebook and those links are on my blog. 🙂

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      2. Michelle, I completely agree with you. I understand exactly what you mean! We move around a lot as well. I constantly struggle with not fitting in. Making friends here in the blogging world is much more easier for me too. We absolutely have a lot in common and I am glad we have met as well! Hope to talk to you soon!

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      3. Nice to know somebody can relate to me. We’re a military family, which is mainly why we move around so much. Also, I’m at home all day homeschooling, so I don’t get out much. Well… my lunch break is just about over. Time to go do some phy-ed with my girls. Take care Rachel… lets keep in touch. 🙂

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  11. When I read your post, I was reminded of a philosopher/author named Byron Katie (http://www.byronkatie.com) and her process for introspection and personal growth she calls The Work. Her first question, of four, is: Is that true? When you wrote that you NEED a true friend, the first thing I thought was, “Is that true?” Meaning, do you trust anyone to be a true friend; do you trust yourself to recognize one/be one? Do you trust that true friendships can exist/last? What does true friendship mean to you, and why do you believe you need it? Is this hurt/fear about authentic connection with others actually about something deeper that you might acknowledge and resolve to change within yourself? Heady stuff, I know. But, the fact that you’re pondering it means you’re on the right track to change the fear to acceptance and trust in authentic connections with friends.

    One more thing I’d like to share is that I’ve moved a lot all my life, for myriad reasons. The longest I’ve ever lived anywhere so far is 10 years (and, not in the same dwellings/neighborhoods the whole time), and I turned 50 this year. I do not have a group of women, or even individual friends that I tend to talk with daily, or usually even weekly. It’s not in my disposition to be so extroverted. But, I am blessed with true friendships near and far from my current home. There are far-flung friends I’ve had for 30 years whom I can touch base with once or twice a year, as it may be, and pick up right where we left off – like we just had lunch last week. Or, when I run into a local friend while we’re dropping off kiddos at school, I will focus on being fully present in those five minutes we hurriedly catch up, and be genuinely open to the prospect of grabbing coffee together if and when our schedules mesh.

    There may be compatible souls for friendship in your orbit who may just not be wired for the same frequency of contact as you (I’m actually thinking of a dear friend who IS wired for weekly contact, herself, but recognizes that I’m not – I feel a genuine connection with her, as well as blessed to feel accepted by her the way I am).

    I wish you peace and fortitude in your introspection, as well as abundant blessings!

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    1. Thank you Lorie for reading and leaving some great feedback. I suppose I am feeling lonely? I feel like I need a friend. I believe if I had a friend, I would be happier? I may be wrong but I just wish I had someone I could share a connection with. It is lonely sometimes…as a stay at home mom in a new state. My days are always repeating themselves. I think a good friend would spice things up a bit. Perhaps any kind of social interaction would..I’m figuring things out as I go. You are blessed to have friends you can talk to. No matter how far they are.

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  12. So true! All of my close friends don’t live near me (and by all, I mean 2). I keep trying, but it’s so hard to turn a casual acquaintance into a close friend with so many different schedules from kids, etc., but I stay hopeful. Good luck on your journey!

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  13. Right there with you. I think it’s a symptom of our “convenient” society. Why bother to just hang out when you can text instead? So frustrating, right? Seems so hard to find that connection. My best friend lives 2000 miles away, but we actually pick up the phone and talk for hours on end. Hoping you find a good connection. Thanks for visiting and following my blog 🙂

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  14. I can completely relate to this so unfortunately cannot provide any advice. I have spent my whole life losing friends and now any new potential friends I meet I just push away. Usually I meet people at work and I’m super close with them at work but if I’m invited to go out to dinner or a movie or hang out or anything I manage to come up with an excuse to avoid going. I just have no desire to put forth effort with people anymore because I know the result is going to be me still putting out effort and them turning away.

    My mom met most of her friends in her 30s and 40s and she does things with them all the time so I’m hopeful that as I get older I will get out of my own way and make good friends again some day. Hopefully you will be able to do the same.

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  15. Not sure if there is much comfort in the fact that this seems to be a common problem, but apparently it is. I find it interesting that many of us have this same experience and we are also all bloggers. (from what I’ve scanned in the comments) I find that the other writers/bloggers I have met thru blogging, have similar personalities….we’re often creative, passionate, and deep thinkers. I sometimes wonder if deep friendships are more important to me because I am that kind of person. Not sure if it makes sense what I’m trying to say. I think it may be a common trend for our “type” of personalities, (people open to sharing their hearts, etc.), to want and even expect deeper relationships. Just interesting. Also frustrating and disappointing. 😦

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