Empathetic Friend or Advantageous Acquaintance?

I want to explore the word “friend” with you and see if my logic is somehow skewed a bit to the status quo held by my tribe.

There are many instances in life, where we will feel like someone has taken no regard for us and the pact of friendship that is established between two people.  When we call them “friend” and consider them someone we would confide in, trust and consider trustworthy, there is a rule in the universal book of friendship that attempts to assure us this trust won’t be broken easily.   We, as humans, expect a certain level of emotion, loyalty, and honesty when we associate this word with an acquaintance of ours’ in this world.  It is what separates us from animal behaviors like wolves, lions, and monkeys (or so the process of this thought is taking that path in my mind).

When any of these main points is shattered, we begin a cycle of questioning the level at which we call someone friend and weighing it against the type and depth of the friendship itself.  It is a dangerous balancing act and those with an empathetic soul will get devoured by this little game.  The level of excuses that we will make for our “friends” can be ridiculous and inconceivable to someone outside of the pact. The act of making excuses for why we except behaviors from a friend in the name of friendship is what I would call a defense mechanism. Because we wouldn’t want to face the facts that whatever betrayal or cruelness that is imposed on a friendship was done with any intent.  To admit the malicious intent was imposed on the pact of friendship would be like admitting the friendship was a farce from the beginning and we would feel taken advantage of and even worse, we would feel like our contributions to the friends were worthless and taken for granted.

The meaning of the word friend in Webster’s Dictionary is:

1 : a person who has a strong liking for and trust in another. 2 : a person who is not an enemy <are you friend or foe> 3 : a person who aids or favors something.

So, being the analytical type, I am on a quest to sort this out, as I have had a bit of trouble with the word “friend” and the meaning and price that I associate with this word.  And the question(s) are as follows:

  • When you have, what you would consider a close friend that has abused, aggravated or disrespected the pact of friendship in a significant way, how do you handle it?  
  • Do you cut off the relationship?  Why or why not?  Where is the line of what you will take and how do you make that determination?  
  • Do you try to talk it out with them?  If that is the case, how do you approach them with your pain? 
  • Does the length of the friendship have bearing on the tone of the conversation or should you treat each infraction on its own?  

I am very curious to hear what you all have to say!  This might be a great thing to explore in your journal.

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