Friendship is not an excuse

My friend

Image by Scarleth White via Flickr

Do you have friends or family that think that you can just sit and be there when they decide to show up?

My dear friend was coming up this weekend for a family event. She said, “we’ll be up there around noon.”

I called her that morning and asked if she was going to be here at noon.

Oh no. We’re going to do this, and this and this. I’ll call you when I get to the hotel and let you know what’s happening.

She called around quarter to 6. “We’ll be at your house around 9 or 10 tomorrow morning.”

9 am came and I had to go feed my neighbor’s cat and I didn’t want them to freak out if I wasn’t here when they got here – so I called. Not to worry, they wouldn’t be here for another couple of hours.

Once they finally got here, we had a good time swimming and had a nice lunch. It was great to see them, but geez!

I hear it all the time – “Oh it’s OK, they understand. Its my friend.”

I’ve even been guilty of it too.

It makes me wonder… why do we feel it’s ok to treat friends and family with less respect than we would give a stranger on the street?

Oh the mysteries of being human…

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3 thoughts on “Friendship is not an excuse

  1. Debbie

    I have been feeling the same way about a “certain best friend” of mine for a couple of months now. It’s bad enough that she forgets my birthday, and only calls me when she has no other obligations to attend to, or only calls me when there’s a “favor” I can do for her. I recently tried to help with a benefit that her small community gave for her family (her husband was injured and had no disability insurance and is self-employed). This community is clannish, cliquish and acted like everything I tried to do was never good enough. They also treated another friend the same and she just got up and left and didn’t say a word. I on the other hand stated my opinion of the situation and now am “without” this friend any longer. I have known this friend for over thirty years and have listened to her comments about me and my family and have taken it all with a grain of salt and accepted her for being her. Looks as though when the shoe is on the other foot, she couldn’t reciprocate. I hate that all of this happened but I think we needed a break. I was feeling taken advantage of and that is not good for a friendship. I hope one day that we will reconnect, but for now I can live without the friendship such as it is.

  2. Carole Post author

    You have a heart of gold and you give too much. Unfortunately, people will walk all over you. You would think that people would be grateful for help, and even try to reciprocate – but no. That’s not how it usually works.

    Another one of those mysteries about humans…

  3. Beth K

    I am flattered that you have read and linked to the article I wrote for my church’s blog on friendship.

    I agree with your title, friendship is not an excuse. And I am as well guilty of sometimes taking for granted that a friend will understand my imperfections more than others. That is really what it boils down to – being imperfect. At least that is how I see it. And in that imperfection there are times that we forget another person is going to a lot of trouble to accommodate us and then feelings get hurt.

    I hope that you talked with your friend. For in a true friendship you should be able to say to her that she hurt you, inconvenienced you and though you really enjoyed your time together next time can she be a little more upfront with her timing.

    Then again, maybe that is her style and she does it to everyone (friends, business associates, etc.). At that point you have to decide if her friendship is worth accepting her imperfection. Sometimes to accept someone’s faults is also learning how to accept our own, or a guide on how we can change ourselves to be better …. friends/relationship…

    It is truly, as you stated, a mystery of being human. Nice article.

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