Some Reflections On Friendship

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A few weeks ago I packed some clothes, hopped in my car and drove from Vegas to Los Angeles. No, it wasn’t for All Star. My best friend was having her birthday party that weekend, I happened to have four days off, and I was in desperate need of a mini vacay.

I had a lot of fun spending time with my best friend and running around my old city. I stayed at my best friend’s dorm at Dominguez Hills (just like old times), was dragged to the Compton Swapmeet Fashion Center (just like old times), ate at my favorite Mexican food spot in Long Beach, celebrated my best friend’s birthday, partied on a cruise ship with another friend of mine,  and saw a lot of people I hadn’t seen in a long time. By the time I was on my way back to Vegas I was in high spirits and in deep contemplation on the concept of friendship.

There were several acts of kindness extended to me over the weekend that I was and am extremely grateful for. I was allowed to stay somewhere for free, others took me where I needed to go (which was awesome because gas prices in Cali are horrendous), and I barely had to come out-of-pocket for anything. It’s not the fact that I was able to freeload enjoy the hospitality of others that got me all warm and fuzzy inside. It was more the fact that these generosities were extended to me freely and without reservation. They were nothing less than what I would have done for others.

As much as I hate to say it I’m going to have to and it is this; Minus a few exceptions,  it is obvious that there is a huge difference in the quality of my Vegas friends vs my Cali friends. Most of my Vegas associates tend to be flaky, selfish, inconsistent, and unreliable. My support system was stronger in California, where I had friends who were as loyal to me as  I was to them. If I needed them I knew they would be there for me without question or hesitation.

The four-hour long drive back to Vegas provided me with a lot of thinking time and by the time I unlocked the door to my apartment and set my bags on the floor I had pretty much had things figured out.

I need better friends.

At least here in Vegas. I need the people in my life to make the effort to do better. I need loyal, consistent, selfless people in my life. Part of that has to do with me communicating to others that the sub-par friendship isn’t working for me. Another part of that is me choosing better people to associate with. And the rest, is me weeding out those whose interactions cause me more harm than good. Notice that my solutions to my dilemma involve me taking action. I don’t really expect anyone to change their behavior. I can ask that they do and if they value the friendship they will try. If they can’t or aren’t willing to make the necessary changes to improve the friendship then that is my confirmation that the relationship is not important to them.

I don’t want a “friendship on paper”. That’s what I call a relationship two people may have with each other. There is nothing about it that resembles a solid friendship, but the relationship is given that title just so that the people involved can say they are friends. No, I want real, solid, healthy, balanced friendships. I want friends that respect me and listen to me. I want friends that are loyal and consistent. I want friends that will put themselves out there for me as much as I would for them. I want friends I can count on. Anything less is not a friendship and those who truly value a relationship with you will do those things willingly.

There have been too many times where I have come through for some of my friends, just to have them turn around and leave me totally hanging. I realize that I deserve better in all areas of my life but especially in my relationships with others. Friends can take you for granted just as much as SOs and family can. It isn’t unreasonable to expect the same kindness back that you extend to others. Especially from friends.

 

 

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