Friendship

I’m a pretty friendly person, and despite my natural instinct to be an introvert, I make friends easily. This has been a good thing for the most part, it has given me friendships that have spanned many years, through high school, university and into adulthood. It has also brought me some “friends” who turned out to be less than great people in my life, and have in time, fallen by the wayside. But there is one thing I have come to realize recently, I don’t have to befriend everyone. I will be friendly to everyone, unless they give me good reason not to be, but that doesn’t mean that I have to count them amongst my friends.

To me, friends have some shared interests, they have some shared ideals. They don’t have to share every view I have, or every interest, but having some similarities is a great thing, it’s solid ground in which to stand on. Where I have recently learned to define a friendship however, is in how my interactions with these people, leave my heart feeling. If I come away feeling hurt by their views, or hurt by their words, but otherwise they are good people, perhaps that isn’t enough in this stage of life to maintain a meaningful friendship.

I don’t want to question my interactions with them, and I don’t want to butt heads and fight. I want a drama free life for he most part! And why should either side of a friendship feel that they need to hold back from saying something that they believe in in order to not upset the other? Yet, here I am, looking at a few friendships and wondering whether it’s best to just walk away.

I’m old enough and ugly enough to know that I don’t have to be friends with everyone.

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Conflict

I’m not a very argumentative person… Okay, I can be argumentative when it’s something I’m passionate about or I’m defending myself/family or friends, but most of the time I avoid conflict. 

Last year it truly felt like everyone was offended by everything, and with the Internet at their fingertips, their outrage was shared with everyone who happened to scroll by. This year the arguments are politically charged with the presidential election approaching and to be honest, it’s quite scary. Not just because the candidates are a bunch of idiots with some questionable ideas, but their supporters are equally, if not more terrifying in their beliefs. 

I try not to discuss politics with people as I have often gotten the comment that I shouldn’t be interested in US politics as I can’t vote… But that is ridiculous. I live here, my family are American citizens, the choices made politically, effect them as well as myself. 

The scariest thing about all of the political talk though, is discovering that people I thought I knew well, have some interesting views that I just can’t gel with. And as this post title says, conflict is afoot and is something I try to avoid! I’ve found myself deleting people from Facebook in order to avoid ruining those relationships completely.

I was angry at myself the other day. I was angry because I politely nodded in agreement when a friend discussed his views on the family unit. Specifically the roles women play. He stated that women should stay home with the family and that to work is selfish, it takes away from the children and from the husband who depends on her to stay home and take care of the kids and the house… I’m a stay at home mom, luckily my husband works bloody hard for that to be a possibility, but he also supports me going back to work if I would like to. I also have friends who work and their inportance as a parent and as wife isn’t diminished by that. 

I should have argued the point. So to my fellow women, who stay home or work or work from home, I’m sorry.