From my point of view, friendship is the most precious thing in the world and the more I live the better I understand that good friends are hard to find (sounds pretty dramatic for a 20-year-old but still). If you have a good friend, you can always rely on them and expect them to be there for you, you can always share the highs and the lows with them. But sometimes you make friends with people that make you wonder if they really are your friends. And sometimes, sadly, the answer is no.
“Good friends are hard to find.”
I met these friends back at the beginning of first year. I stood between two girls in line. They kept talking over me so I suggested we should just start talking all together. What a success of a first day! I met friends that stayed with me through the hell that is school. Except, they weren’t really my friends – but it only took me ten years to realize that.
“You can always share the highs and the lows with them.”
Throughout these ten years it never occurred to me that people who ignore you or who are mean to you cannot really be your friends. I thought it was all part of the game, part of the banter. They were always mean to each other, so I guessed that was just how it is supposed to work.
Look, they invited me to things almost always, they lent me money if I needed it while showing off how much they had or calling my parents poor, they talked about books, music and films with me, though it was mostly saying how bad my taste was.
“I thought it was all part of the game, part of the banter.”
And it’s scary to think that I actually spent ten years thinking that this is what friendship is like, that my parents just didn’t understand us when they pointed out that this was not how friends are supposed to treat each other. Only when I started meeting other people, who were not even my friends, but they were friendly and supportive and didn’t make fun of me, did I began to ask myself, “Are they really my friends?” And quickly enough I realized that they were not. It was scary. They used to be all the friends that I had. Coming to this realization meant that I actually had no friends, and that the past years were all just a lie.
“I begin to ask myself, ‘Are they really my friends?'”
They only invited me to things because they knew that I would turn up and help with things. One of them only lent me money to show how superior she was. It was scary, but also calming. Now I knew what friendship was supposed to be like and shortly after I gained incredible new friends.
They stayed friends, but I know for sure they haven’t changed. I met them a year after the fallout, still being mean to each other all the time, and as soon as one left, the other asked “Do you want to bitch about her?”
I really hope some day they find the courage to ask themselves “are they really my friend?” And I hope they have the courage to answer honestly. It’s scary but it’s really worth it.
Aly Budanova is a guest blogger for Make New Friends. For more information, visit her Twitter.