Monday, September 22, 2014

Friend or Acquaintance?


     I realize that what I am about to say will be quite controversial, but as my Elements of Argument students know, I’m all about controversial issues. As Christians we are to love everyone including our enemies, and I understand that, really I do, but what I have had the most difficult time understanding is that sometimes those we call friends can be hurtful, yet I have always thought I had to forgive by continuing to be around them. I am learning that’s not true. I have spent most of my summers evaluating my relationship with my family, my relatives, and my friends. For many years, I would analyze and worry what I did wrong if familial or communal relationships did not work out or if they were strained. This summer I came to an AHA! moment.

     I learned that I am particular about my relationships, and I have given myself the permission only to be around those I truly care about and who truly care about me. Relationships take lots of work, and I’m fine with that, but what I’m not fine with is doing all the work. I have learned that I expect reciprocation. I’ve had “friends” who never call yet are so appreciative when I do. We’ll get together and it will be like we’re the best buds ever, yet I don’t hear from them unless I pick up the phone. Now, mind you, I’m not talking about – I call, you call; that’s not my meaning at all. I understand that sometimes we are busy and it’s easier for one and not the other to call or meet. I’m talking about the ones who don’t ever take the initiative.

     I have finally come to the realization that some “friends” are merely acquaintances and it’s good to know that, so there are no unrealistic expectations because acquaintances do not go out of their way to become friends. So, here are some examples of those I now call friends regardless of whether they are common or familial. My friends keep in touch and want to get together. My friends are uplifting and generous with their kind words. My friends will let me know if I have hurt them, so we can discuss. I believe I am that type of friend. There is a balance when friends are of like mind.

© Natala Orobello

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