December 29, 2009

To befriend or defriend, that is the question

If to befriend is to make friends with someone, then to defriend is to end a friendship with someone.

This year found me defriending some friends I've had for the longest time.

I love my friends. Dearly. But somehow, some way, I get burned by some of them. I can be a doormat for my friends like you won't believe. And I'm hardly a doormat. For the longest time, when they behave badly or treat me crappily, I tend to give them three chances. On the last one, you fail that, I'll say goodbye. Until my husband pointed out the uselessness of that policy. Which helped me realize that I have to focus on the quality of friendships that I'm holding on to.

Now, defriending is not something I take lightly. Hardly. My husband can attest to how long I deliberate when deciding to let go of a friendship. The nice thing with defriending is that you don't have to do anything. I mean, it's totally unlike a romantic relationship where it's polite to tell the other person the relationship is over. In a platonic relationship, all you have to do is disappear and cease all contact. The other person might notice. Then again, they might not. If they did, then they might try to contact you again. If they didn't, you're in luck.

I'm aware who among my friends are healthy for me. A chat, an e-mail, a text, a conversation feels good and hopeful. Sometimes inspiring, even thought-provoking. Usually laugh-inducing. Of course, there are times when I have a problem or they have a problem, which we try to discuss if I feel like it or if they feel like it. It ends on a positive note.

I've known for the longest time that it's the quality, not the quantity, that matters. Especially in friendships. What's more, it's totally up to me to give myself the chance and the space in my life to welcome new and healthy friendships. I can only hope that my friendship is likewise perceived as healthy by those whose friendships I value.