Wednesday, October 03, 2007

That's NOT What Friends Are For

This post has been in draft for months collecting dust and no time is better than now for me to complete it as recent events have definitely made it relevant again.

I've heard it said to my face a few times, the phrase "that's what friends are for". I'm sure you've had your share of hearing it too. However, there has been a few times that phrase was preceded with another phrase that didn't really go down too well with me - "friends are meant to be used". So it ended up being "Friends are meant to be used. That's what friends are for." and I couldn't disagree more. So, this post is dedicated to all those out there who believe in using their friends like cold, heartless tools and I'm here to tell you that that's NOT what friends are for.

Sure there are times that friends are being used in certain situations and friends let you use them in certain ways that they usually won't in normal circumstances but friends are definitely not like sanitary pads where you use them when you need them most to soak up all your troubles and you just throw them aside when you're done using them.

It is easy to neglect your friends and take them for granted. I myself is guilty of neglecting my friends especially those who are in distant places. Well, everyone's just busy with their own lives so you can't really blame one for not keeping in touch all the time, can you? I apologise for my part in this. That's why you will feel so excited to hear from an old friend because you have not heard from them for so long and truly missed them.

Friends are not tools that you just put aside and only call upon them when you need them. It may be a strange concept to some but those friends need your attention too and the relationship is a two way street. Yes, it's bidirectional and not just a roller-coaster ride where it goes in one direction and you just get off the ride when you're done.

You expect your friends to be a phone call or instant message away but surprisingly, you do not reciprocate. Instead, you squeeze them emotionally, physically and mentally dry and when you're done with them, you just leave them to pick themselves up when they need someone the most.

Take it from me, it's horrible to always be the go-to guy. Most of the time it's very tiring and nothing flattering at all, especially when you're not truly appreciated for what you've done. Sure you get the joy of helping someone out but most of the time you'll remain in the periphery of that person's thoughts after his/her problems are resolved. The only time you return to their memories is probably the next time you are needed. It's bad enough that you are ignored but even worse would be to have that person hurt you in the process with his/her actions/inaction.

When you put your neck out for someone, you definitely don't expect that person to bring out an axe to chop your head off, especially so when that person is someone you regard as a friend. Unfortunately, this happens quite often between friends who excel at using their friends. Fortunately, certain friend are able to grow his/her head back time and again but there will come a time when the blow is so severe that there's no chance of that happening and the friend is out of your life forever. Everyone do have their limits and tolerance levels which you hope never to cross, if you know what's good for you.

In the past, I'm not one to simply put my neck out for anyone except for myself and my loved ones but that has changed in recent years. I started to slowly stick my neck out on occasions I usually wouldn't. Too many times has my head fallen to the ground during that phase only for a new one to regenerate. In the past week or so, that process has been a little slower than usual. Growing back that head has become a little more difficult. I'm no Claire Bennet or newt, you know. The only way now seems to try reattaching that fallen head before it decomposes any further and render it totally useless.

In hindsight, I should probably have kept my neck in at all times instead of putting it out for anyone at all. Selfish it may sound but at least it ensures that you won't be disappointed and you'll still continue to have a head and a pulse instead of being a Headless Horseman. Everytime the axe falls, you just get back on your feet and put your head back on the chopping board. It is only when it hits the right nerve will you sit up and realise your folly.

Friends may come in many forms. Some are your traveling friends, some are your fishing friends. Some are your movie friends, some are your hiking friends. Some are your clubbing friends, some are your driver friends. You can have a wide variety of friends but they may not be your close friends.

A close friend would probably be someone you spend time more than one or two activities together. You're comfortable telling him/her certain things you don't divulge to any Tom, Dick and Harry. They will lend a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on when called upon. They pick you up when you're down and they're usually the ones you go to when in a fix.

A true friend however is someone who will do all that and even more. Instead of questioning them, you hold their outstretched hands and take the leap of faith with them. Instead of trusting them, you believe in them. Even if the action you are about to take sounds totally outlandish and may even bring harm to yourself, you'll probably do it for him/her. With true friends, you usually think with your heart rather than your head.

You always hope and believe certain individuals have changed for the better until you see the old them creeping back. You are blinded by the new them and ignore the signs that the old them is still very much alive beneath all that new exterior. It is only when it's too late that you discover you've been fooling yourself all these while.

I'll probably not stick my head out anymore and expose myself in such manner again, at least not to certain individuals. I just don't know how much more my head can take it. I may just lose my head forever the next time it happens. In the most recent episode, I was very close to losing it. There will be no more outstretched hands either lest they get bitten off once more. I do not want to end up with stumps for hands. From now on, I'm looking out for myself. There will be less pain and agony this way.

I don't know why I even bothered writing this post since the person(s) who are suppose to read it won't even know it is them since they are just too ignorant. The innuendos contained in this post doesn't exactly help make it any easier for them. Worse still, friends who actually care will mistakenly think themselves as the ones being referred to here. However, I've no choice but to write this since I needed to blow off some steam and blogging is suppose to be therapeutic, no?

It is only when you lose something that you realise how much you truly treasure that something. Maybe the only way for these people to appreciate their friends instead of constantly using them is to lose some of the friends they've relied on so much but have taken them for granted all this time. Maybe then will they realise friends are not meant to be used like tools. That's NOT what friends are for.

1 comment:

  1. hope u will be ok. hate to see u like this.