Maintaining friendships is as hard as maintaining any other relationship. May it be romantic, platonic or professional. It’s ironic, since we live in the age of 24/7 connectivity. I’ve been battling whether I should “unfriend” friends that seemed to have changed for some reason or another through the years. Some people would normally let go but I refuse to. I love ’em and I want to keep being friends. That is despite their shortcomings (and my own too).
Disclaimer: I know this post might seem too “immature”, “childish” for the extremists. Then again, I’ve been hurt too many times to fully dismiss this as my own fault. I always look at things critically. This is just a way to vent things out. Consider this as an open-letter a la Yaya Dub. Some bullet points are not finished yet, though. 😅
Here’s a list of the “one-way” friendships I refuse to let go.
Little acts of discrimination hurt. Yeah. They actually do. Especially if they come from people you care about the most. Not necessarily people who you least expect. But people you consider friends, family or maybe, something in between.
Little acts of discrimination is not exactly fatal but they are toxic in their own way. Toxic as in it slowly kills you nonetheless. It burns out that little faith you have left. Faith that keeps you believing that if you are at least nice and kind, people will treat you the same. Not differently.
Friendship has a lot of layers especially now at a time when its definition can be bounded by the mere clicking of a button. You have childhood friends. Your friends that remember you pooped your pants in kindergarten and the names of your pets that you still use to recover your email passwords. Your high school friends who know the names of your first romances. Those who you barely see but still got your back no matter what. Your friends at work. Those who you interact with for at least 8 hours 5 days a week. You have Facebook friends. Those who you know and follow. Those who you know but not follow. Those you don’t know but follow. Whoever your friends are, there will always be hierarchy. There is always hierarchy. To put it simply, it’s either you’re primary friend material or not.
I don’t know if the term actually exists but a “primary friend” is someone you prefer to be with, do stuff with. May it be as simple as buying a soda from a convenience store or as long-term as traveling for the holidays. Someone who you share small milestones of your life. Your first closed deal. Your first broadway musical. You finally being able to drive. Think about it. The first names that pop out your head. The most active message threads in your Facebook messenger. The people you forward funny video links to. We all have our favorites. It’s nothing personal. Just life. There’re no particular criteria. It’s not really about who is better nor who you know the longest. It just happens. Life happens.
Let’s take out vanity, bitterness, insecurity, jealousy, self-centeredness or the so-called paranoia of missing out off the equation for a moment and consider that “primary friends” really exist. Here are some signs that you are NOT (and what to do about them).