Sunday, March 8, 2009


Friends are interesting people.
Recently - in the past month anyway I've had a few interesting conversations with friends, and more recently in birthday cards, had lovely messages from friends. I've been comparing the two and wondering which are the truer friend.

Some 'friends' are all like - stop being a victim and go back to work, teaching isn't that bad, you're such a negative person - that's why I stopped hanging out with you.. And these can be 'friends' that you live with, have lived with in the past and saw first hand how stressful school was for the last 5 years etc..

Other friends, who by general standards, wouldn't be classed as good friends cause you only see them once a week at Church and even then the conversation isn't that good, cause they've got kids running around, interrupting etc are like - wow, I can't believe what a generous, kind, joyful, compassionate, caring, fun person you are and that you've been through 5 years of hell and are still loving and serving other people in your Church, you are the most pro-active, busy person on stress-leave I've ever heard of. What are you doing, you're supposed to be on stress-leave! etc etc etc...

So recently I've been re-evaluating what friendship is, what a friend looks like/sounds like/feels like (teacher coming out)... etc, and also thanking and praising God for the good friends that He has so mercifully provided.


Sarah said...

That's a really good post, Jill.

As for me, well I've learnt you don't just give anyone the right to speak into your life - even if they're Christian and a friend. I'm an observer so I sit and watch people and the way they react to situations, relate to others etc (must come from being a writer) and I look for godly people. They may not be counted as my closest friends but from the fruits of their lives, I know they're people who would give good advice or who have the life experience to be able to relate. Sometimes they might agree with me and sometimes they might say stuff I don't really want to hear but know I need to...but I know they're doing it out of love and wisdom. I think too many Christians just allow anyone else who's Christian to give them advice and I've nearly got myself into trouble before listening to dodgy advice from Christians before wiser people intervened.

Anyhoo my thoughts for the day.

Jillian said...

Thanks Sarah.
Yeah you're right. But does that mean you still talk to them/be friends with them? Let them be part of your life?
Another friend said that its a good way of drawing boundaries, and when you're down/weak/whatever you need to have rather large boundaries to keep from being hurt.
I guess I'm still not sure whether or not to keep talking to this person, esp after I've been advised to drop them as a friend - ie, don't bother with them any more..

Chimera said...

Then there's friends who never call, who forget to send a card so it will get there in time for your birthday and who never visit, but they think of you often, never forget your birthday (just the card) and are there if you need them.

One of the best pieces of advice any new parent gets is listen to all the advice you are given, and then do what you want to not what you're told to. It works for everything, not just parenting.

A true friend would be there through thick & thin. They don't stand on the edge yelling advice to you to pull yourself out of that rut, they lean down into that rut & offer you their hand and you make it out together.

I hope you know that I will always be your friend (sorry but you couldn't drop me if you tried !!!)


Sarah said...

I’m not sure of your situation to say whether you should stop talking to this person or not. What I will say though is that you CAN be friends with people who you don’t get advice from. I tend to get advice from different people depending on the topic and there are some friends I would never go to to get advice on certain situations. But they’re still my friends.

In my experience, if someone will not allow you to make your own decisions without threatening to cut you off as a friend, then they’re not worth it. That’s when you need boundaries. Sometimes although I’ve made a conscious decision to keep a friendship going, the other person does not make the effort so I just have to let the friendship die which is painful. I’m fine with friends disagreeing about certain choices I make but in the end only you can make that choice. Some people I find are only too happy to give advice after months of not putting any effort into the friendship. Do you have regular contact and a good friendship with this person? In my view, that gives them more right to speak into your life but in the end you have to pick and choose who you listen to and they need to respect your choice.

You may decide I’m one of those people who you don’t want 2c from 

Jillian said...

Then there's some good friends that you'll never drop, just because they're there for you when you're down, they will hear you out when you need to have a gripe, or are just up for a chat when you need one.
There's also other friends that you know you can count on, even though you haven't seen them in the last 10 years, but just because you were BFFs when you were kids, you know that living on the other side of the country and lack of contact in the last 10 years doesn't change anything! =)