Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Friends that Hurt

How do you characterize your friendship networks? Or, of your friends, who hurt/s and/or help/s you and how frequently? This seems a naive question but it is quite worth considering as friends are among those people who 'shape' our lives. Yes, the lives of many are challenged and even devastated by the irresponsible acts of their own close friends. You would have heard, witnessed, and/or experienced complications in one's friendship networks that finally took their nastiest form. And you might have perceived that the hurt from 'bad' friends has psychological, moral, social, spiritual, and even economical manifestations. Yes, there are extreme instances where best friends ended killing each other, at character and person levels. 

But why friends, who start their relationship only to comfort each other, go the wrong way? How do we manage our friendship relationship before it takes an unwanted trajectory? These are for sure not easy questions as they touch upon a whole array of factors at various levels. But one thing seems compelling- that sharing experiences and thoughts on the nature of friendships would help us to accumulate knowledge and skill required to make informed decisions when it comes to effective and sustained management of our relationships. The core argument of this post is that closer examination of the actions and behaviors of our friends is crucial for the friendship to be worth living for us and for them as well. To prevent any bad consequences, we need to understand who our friends are. 

Picture Source: Wikipedia 

Based on 1) my informal observations and experiences, 2) the experiences of other people whom I know well, and then 3) my own extrapolations, I identified several categories of friends that really hurt. The classifications are entirely based on the frequency/extent of the occurrence of particular hurting actions/behaviors of friends- the most typical and sustained actions of friends in relation to their friends are used as a classifying criteria. Your friend otherwise could be a dictator to you one time and a spy agent or a monster at other times or he/she could be both at a single point in time. My classifications are thus considerate of those friends who demonestrate, consciously, sub-consciously, or unconsciously, particular kinds of hurting actions over a fairly long period of time. The classifications are but not exclusive and exhaustive.

My goal here is entirely to 1) invite readers to realistically evaluate their friendship ties, and 2) manage them responsiblly and in a way that benefits both parties. So, my goal is not to encourage you to slam your door against your friend who appears to be say a possessor or a dictator. I urge you to be cautious in your judgement and your management of what appears to be a harmful friend, for in stance. You can turn your monster friend into a Samaritan if you 1) systematically understand his/her motives, and 2) help him/her to change or adapt to new personal goals and strategies.

Notice two things though. One, it is not that easy to identify friends that really hurt as they consistently and systematically reveal that they are helping or benefiting their friends. Two, dangerious friends hurt their own friends only slowly and cumulatively. So it takes quite some time to 'feel' the 'heat'.  

Before reading my categories of bad friends, try to enumerate to yourself as many real damages your friends brought to you during the last two years. This exercise will help you to finally devise and use, to the rest of your life, effective strategies of friendship management. The following are just examples of how the hurts from bad friends manifest themselves in ordinary conversations. 

  • You know what? I always feel exhausted, depressed and frustrated if I hang out with Ziggy- one of my best friends
  • My friend ruined my life- he finally took my business
  • My wife changed her values to family and life in general after she came across with Aster
  • Our neighbour managed to separate my parents by airing false alligations against each other
  • I am suffering now simply because I implemented my friend's recommendations
  • My only friend as of now must be God
  • My best friend takes my boyfriend
  • I will trust nobody- all my friends truned evil to me
  • I am still living in the 19th Century- my friend takes control of my life
  • I heard all my secrets from a third party; I am 100% sure it is Fina who told to every body
  • My house is robbed this morning; only my friend knew that I did not lock my door when I left
  • My boss start intimidating me; I think my friend told him that I am envious of his position  

To be continued!

1 comment:

  1. Thank You.We could mention so many types of friends. Though it is a little bit difficult to be patient with some kinds of friends you mentioned in the article, never conclude as all friends are the same. To get good friend you have not search here and there, but keep yourself to be good. You know that the power of darkness is till the Sun rises over it. The evil deeds of weak friends hurts you till they come back to their mind. My dear is it convenience to quote from what i read? "Never blame darkness, but light a piece of candle."


የሁለቱ ሲኖዶሶች ፈተና

የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋሕዶ ቤተ ክርስቲያን ሕወሓት - መሩ መንግስት ከመጣ ጀምሮ ዘርፈ ብዙ ችግሮችን በመጋፈጥ ላይ ትገኛለች። ኦርቶዶክስንና አማራን በተለየ መልኩ ለማዳከም ከተቻለም ለማጥፋት የትግሉ ዓላማ አድርጎ...