Thursday, September 04, 2003

What makes a friend? And exactly how many levels does friendship have? It seems to me that it's endless. There are your soulmate best friends -- the kind you can reveal pretty much anything to and know that they'll still love you (even if you don't love yourself very much). The "We really don't have that much in common but we've known each other for years" friends. These are people we meet on jobs or through other friends or at social gatherings, and for some reason we feel a need to stay in touch. Next thing you know, you've got 10 or 20 years invested in the friendship. The interactions with these friends may not be overly deep, but the lenghth of the friendships makes them a valuable part of our support network. There are activity friends -- the ones who you share a hobby with (walking, beading, the blues, whatever) -- where typically your only contact with them is during the designated activity. The "What was I thinking?" friends. These people tend not to be friends at all. In fact, sometimes they feel almost like enemies. We may meet them on a job or in a social setting. But they're the kind of people who sometimes say rude, or even hurtful, things to us and we walk away thinking, "Why am I even friends with this person?" We can take the high-minded road and think that they're probably demeaning us out of their own insecurity, but who needs friends like that? The best thing to do with those people is eliminate them from our lives, and the sooner the better.

I guess these thoughts are coming to mind because I'm at a place (chronologically and psychic-ally) where I want to surround myself with only supportive people. If someone has a need to discount me or put me down -- I don't care if it stems from their own insecurities or jealousy -- if they have that need, then I don't need them. Period.


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