You’ve Got A Friend

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I’ve witnessed a very strange phenomenon. When I first saw this as a young girl I was utterly confused. I had to go home and ask my mother about it because I just didn’t understand. And still now, years later, I still find myself discussing this phenomenon with, yes, my mother. It’s so strange and so puzzling that I want to know more, but so strange and so puzzling that I’m afraid to. By now I’m sure you are totally intrigued to find out what I’m talking about. Right? Well, this truly strange thing isn’t really a thing, it’s more like a behavior. A behavior which seems to plague mostly women and young girls.

The behavior is… the need to bad talk one another, more importantly, those we call friends. My confusion lies between the behavior and the fact that we turn around and are friendly with that person, really friendly. We see it all of the time on shows like “The Real Housewives.” One scene they’re bad talking someone and the next, they’re hosting a dinner party and all are invited. I feel like shows like that have given me a better sense of how some women behave. I mean, you can really learn a lot from reality television, I have. We’ve all had not so kind words for someone, whether we’ve been hurt by them, or just don’t like them, we have opinions and feelings that we want to, sometimes have to share. I think that’s common and for the most part, okay. The part that has always confused me, the part that is the phenomenon, is the act of turning around and pretending to be friends. That’s the part I don’t get. Why would you want to be friends with someone you think so little of? I love my friends, they are all wonderful people in their own way, and have qualities that I admire, not despise.

I joke a lot about “my time in the suburbs”, the year I spent between having my third child and starting my business. The time in my life that I will never forget, and not for good reasons. I learned so much about women, behavior and friendships. I thought I had seen it all, working in the retail industry, you experience a lot, both from the customer end as well as employees. I hadn’t seen a thing. These women taught me that what you see is not what you get. It took me a while to figure it out, but once I learned, I was out. At first, I was constantly shocked by the behavior of some of these women, literally ripping someone to shreds, then inviting them over to their home for playdates and evenings drinking wine. I just couldn’t understand it. After a while, it was too much to watch. How do you know who to trust if the same people that offer to pick your kids up and invite you over for parties, are the same ones speaking, sharing, making up (there was a lot of that too) terrible things about you? The answer is you don’t. They weren’t all this way but there were definitely some major offenders.

I’ve been told that I’m lucky to have such self- confidence and pride. I do consider myself very lucky in that way, blessed actually. I believe that people with a good sense of self, pride and self-confidence, act a certain way. You see the world and your place in it very differently than someone with low self-esteem. Therefore, you conduct yourself differently and,  you’re always looking at how you can improve and be a better person. My rule is, you can truly be nice to everyone, because it’s based on you, not them. For me, it takes nothing to smile and say hello. As my husband quickly determined when we first met. I do this everywhere I go, whether I know you or not. If I’m not very fond of you, the gestures will end there. On the other hand, if I invite you to my home, encourage my children to form a relationship with you and continue kind gestures, then I do really like you. That’s the part some women are missing, especially those “Real Housewives.” You should always be kind, and pleasant, even if you don’t like someone. However, if you’re going to be someone’s friend, spend time with their family, build relationships with their children, encourage your children to form relationships with their children, then make sure you truly like them. The people you spend most of your time with, should be the most special to you. If you can turn around and insult their looks, lifestyle, husband, or children (yes I’ve heard it all) they’re not your friend, and…you’re certainly not there’s.

I think most of us know who our real friends are because great relationships feel a certain way. My truest and most important friend is my husband. In addition, I consider myself very lucky to have a few great friendships. I know it can be difficult to have just one.

Once you have that feeling of comfort, joy, and most important trust, it’s so hard to settle for anything less.