A Night changed everything

It all began that night from a simple question a guy asked in a Whatsapp group of which I am a member.  “Supposing your best friend whom you chat with very often, almost every day suddenly stops contacting and chatting with you. You asked him or her and suddenly the response is that big excuse, ‘busy!’ How would you take that?

I read quite a lot of comment that were contributed by other members and finally decided to add mine, something that has sprung out of my own experience.

Sometimes we become sentimental in friendship. We do more and so we expect the other person to do more too. We love more, and so we yell at the other person to do same. None of these cravings are bad in themselves but the truth is, achieving them is close to impossible.  

We can’t force people to reciprocate love to us in the same magnitude we showed to them.  I have come to realize, that, quite often all these begin to happen and if we can be truly honest with ourselves, it all begins when one party cannot seem to draw the line between normal friendship and a state of admiration or let me put it simply “when we begin to fall in love with our friends”

People need space no matter what and when they ask for it, give it to them. Hand them their space. We must be smart to know when they ask for it indirectly.

Remember that your friends’ worlds are not revolved around “you” alone. They have a big world of other friends, family, work, happiness, quietness, and so we can’t always have their attention exclusively.

Feelings are visitors. Let them walk in and walk out. Let them come and go. Quite interestingly, the very start of a friendship is sweet and interesting but when time and space begins to pass through, it becomes rough because, perhaps, we become tired of doing the same things over and over again.

Rather, stop complaining, let the person be, do as much as you are required (welcomed) to and just be you. Honestly, we all can’t be heroes in friendship, thus, we must know and define the limits of every friendship.

Our issue usually is that, sometimes with all our effort we desire to make some people “best friends or close friends” when they were just okay been friends. The fact that you told someone every detail about your life, even your greatest secrets, doesn’t automatically make them your “best friends”.

 I figured out that, sometimes, we are too quick to open up, mind you, not all openness means an outstretched hand of a life time friendship. Some people will like to listen to you but they can’t fix your issues, they can’t protect you and may not be the persons to make you happy, they are not bad people, it only means they cannot walk afar into our hearts.

That’s it, because, as we age, our priorities begin to shift and change and we become just too busy. That saying ‘if people love you they will make time for you’ has proven true over a life time.

Last month I found myself in a disagreement with a friend over the same issue. I sat down to analyze the situation carefully and I realized that i needed to know my limit in people’s life; I needed to understand how much of me they were willing to take and keep.

It was absolutely okay if they didn’t need me too much. It was even okay if they did and yet couldn’t prove it, it never meant there was something wrong with them or me. It is just as it is. As long as I was concerned I needed self-respect too, if they needed rest and space, I should be willing to grant it! If they were okay with us talking every year, so be it! I just had to define the friendship. (I must admit it was a painful process because it changed my perception about others and the fact that we have to be moderate in our expectation of others. And here I was, a sanguine lady, I had began to open up a little, just so little though.

Trust me people come in big surprises. Sometimes, they are quick to welcome you and then you begin to trust them, then, you become vulnerable and that is when they lose sight of your worth and unconsciously, sometimes consciously, they begin to take every bit of it for granted.

Who said change was wrong anyway? Often, we become a lot of different people before we settle into who we finally become. It gets scary to know who we have finally become, so toughened at heart that we can’t feel deeply anymore just because we are scared of being hurt again, that one too was okay.  Gradually, we become tired of being the “sentimental freaks” as we come to accept that, the compass to our emotional landscape does not always have to be directed to some particular persons anymore.

I hated this change but a lot of times I had no option, I wish I knew a better way and I realize I may have to lose a lot more friends because I prefer to enjoy that pure and genuine solace; my own place of quietness away from the world where I can totally transcend to find Love in my own self, where I could only believe my own mantra  ‘I will always love you’

With these experiences translated into words, I can say that mostly, it’s difficult to define the boundaries of friendship between a male and a female at a particular point in time  (not all the time though) and the challenge is when we can’t tell where friendship ended and love began, and as long as we can’t determine where we really want to belong, we will keep searching for love in different places.

The writer, Josephine Amofaah Nketiah lives in Accra, Ghana. She can be reached directly at abenamofaah@yahoo.com. She blogs at josiefin.wordpress.com 

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