We’ve all known one: someone who has been a part of our lives for a while, to the extent that we describe them as a friend. They’re with you for some great times, and you wouldn’t think twice about inviting them along to your next night out or trip to Starbucks. But sometimes you wonder if they’ve fallen off the face of the planet. Sure they might just be too busy to spend time with you, but what if their idea of ‘busy’ is their own false conception used to serve as an excuse for their laziness and lack of loyalty?
One of the biggest criticisms I’ve received over the years is that I am too forgiving. In the past I thought this was an unfair criticism, and I still do to some extent. Yet when I really thought about it and applied it to a different scope of thinking, I realised that I had been too forgiving. I had a friend who was, to save a long story, unhealthy; both to my happiness, and to the links I had with my other friends. This particular friend was great to be around, and we did have some fun times, but he would make things very awkward for me by causing massive conflicts. I tolerated it for long enough until I eventually burst, and I realised that he wasn’t really a friend: he was a part time friend.
A friend, by definition, is someone with whom you share a mutual affection or companionship. It is not a one way street, and never should be. Friends take in to account each other’s happiness, and they generally do their best to support them with whatever they’re facing in life. So if you have a friend whom you are constantly chasing, or is only around whenever suits them, you have to question their suitability for a place on your friends list (and I don’t mean Facebook, I mean your physical friends.)
Here’s my opinion, and feel free to disagree:
Our life is short, and every day that passes takes us a day closer to death – yes, morbid news, but let’s accept it today. Whilst we should be using those days to make ourselves and our loved ones happy, we shouldn’t be wasting them worrying about those who toy with our emotions or cause a zig-zag in our diary. We should treasure those friends who are going to stick with us through our lows as well as our highs, and not ditch us at the first sign of trouble. The ones who decide when it is convenient to speak to you or be your friend – the part time friends – they are not friends. They are time wasters, they are leeches.
Don’t be anyone’s doormat. You deserve to have a friend who wants to put in as much effort to your happiness as you do to theirs. If you read this, and you immediately think of someone, then that is a clear sign they are an unhealthy part of your life. I’m not forcing you to cut them off – that’s entirely your decision – but I have learned from my experience that waiting around for a part time friend is a waste of time and effort. I hope that you don’t allow yourselves to be taken for a ride.