Why can’t we be friends?

As you get older, perhaps you are finding it hard to sift through the people in your life, trying to identify who sincerely loves you and who is just in your life as a superficial friend. You also may notice that your list of friends is rapidly becoming smaller.

Make no mistake, you will eventually be content with less people in your life. You’ll find out who your true friends are, who really loves you for you and who just wants something from you. But it is equally important to be cautious so that you are not pushing away people who truly care about you. I have been accused of doing this numerous times, and after having pondered on it for a long time, the accusations weren’t exactly wrong.

You may have been burned by a friend once upon a time. Someone may have left you in the dark for reasons unbeknownst to you. You might have been stabbed in the back by someone you really loved and trusted. You might have been hurt by the actions or words of your best friend(s). All of these things can cause you to build a wall that make it difficult for really great people to climb. And even if they make their way over those walls, the chances of you letting them stay are slim.

A good friendship will always bounce back. Always. I’ve had fights and quarrels with friends that resulted in not speaking for years, just to eventually swallow our pride and admit our faults. I’ve also had people who I thought were my “friends” chose to remain close with a boy who hurt me rather than console me after the ugly split. That’s the kind of hurt that will cause you to build walls. As you get older, you want to avoid confrontation that much more, so you tend to let less people in. The people that are already in are essentially living on borrowed time, because at the first sign of trouble it’s easier to cut ties with them rather than work it out. That’s where you have to be cautious.

It’s normal to be confronted with arguments and challenges in friendships, just like it is with relationships. But one argument isn’t worth losing a friend over. We might think it’s easier to let THEM go rather than to let IT go, but nine times out of ten, we’re wrong.

It’s best to know the difference between the people who will keep you honest and the ones who you genuinely don’t enjoy being around for whatever reason. But if someone is showing you love and support, try to adhere to that affection. Try to appreciate it, regardless of the circumstances. Mend a bridge that was once broken. Open your heart to people who show you support, let them open their heart to you. Be the friend that you want to be friends with.



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