UNBALANCED FRIENDSHIPS

Hey my friends,

How are you? Here in London, we had a wonderful sunny and warm week, it feels like it’s summer already! It came all of a sudden, we shifted from winter to summer in a couple of days, which feels quite unreal, to be honest. We are all trying to enjoy this weather before temperatures will drop again and London weather will go back to normal.

Everything’s fine at home as well, I’ve been working a lot also during weekends so I haven’t had time to vlog but I’m doing my best to find moments to relax and meet friends anyway (and to write blog posts, of course). I’m also starting to feel the happiness/anxiety/stress-I’ll-never-fit-in-that-dress for my sister’s wedding – OMG she’s getting married I still can’t believe it! I’m so so happy I’ll see my whole family and my friends in a few weeks time as well, I do need a break and some sisters-time as well.

Hectic emotions on the side, today I want to write a very difficult post about friendship. I feel like I’ve reached the peak of an emotional rollercoaster and I need to write about it. It’s not an easy task though so please forgive me if it won’t be the most polished post I’ve ever written.

 

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Several years ago, when I was a naive teenager and needed some directions in life, I read a few articles on my zodiac sign, Libra. I wasn’t sure whether to believe in astrology or not (now I definitely don’t), but back then I spent some time doing all sorts of astrological and psychological and IQ tests hoping I’d find out something  h u g e  about myself. No, if you were wondering, it didn’t happen, I made no magical discoveries. However, I remember reading that being a Libra, I was the kind of person that would look for balanced relationships in life and would struggle when either I or the other person was not involved as much. I’ve been thinking a lot about that sentence through the years and I think it is one of the few things I’ve read about Libra that truly applies to me and to most of us, to be fair.

In friendships and relationships, I tend to suffer if the emotional attachment is unbalanced, whether that’s because I’m too much into it or too little. I’d say I’ve experienced two types of unbalanced relationships when it comes to friendships in particular:

  • Friends that would always do the talking and I would just listen to them. On one side, I tend to be a private person so I won’t be sharing my personal stories from day 1. On the other side, when you’ve been friends for a while and the other person still talks for hours about themselves, I tend to feel excluded or neglected;
  • Friends who would only reply to my messages and never made the effort to contact me themselves. That’s less of a problem when I used to live in my hometown and met people anyway just by walking around the block. However, since I’ve started to travel, I need friends who can find the time to call or text.

Of course, I’ve made mistakes and I’ve not been the perfect friend all the time. I’m sure I myself neglected people that considered my friendship important and I’ll be forever sorry for that. I’ve also been through troublesome relationships and I know how unsettling that can be. You somehow admire a person and you really want that friendship to work because every time you talk to that person you learn something or you have a great time, but then you realise you are fighting a losing battle. You grow and you realize will only be an acquaitance to some people. Those are the times when we all need to be fatalists about relationships in the sense that if it wasn’t meant to be, it just won’t and if the other person is not interested in our friendship, then we need to move on.

 

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These photos were taken in Mondello, Palermo

 

 

Because I’ve lived in a few countries and I’m constantly moving or just very busy with work, most of my best friendships have evolved into digital ones. I’ve not seen some of my best friends for two or three years in a row, yet we keep our friendship alive thanks to WhatsApp texts and calls, even letters in some cases. The best thing is that when we finally meet again, it always feels like we’ve never spent a day apart. What I’m trying to say is that when my lifestyle changed, so did my friendships and I’ve lost those friends who wouldn’t be bothered to talk to me via their smartphones.

We also change and develop through our lifetime and that impacts friendships as well. Most of my friends nowadays share my love for travelling and exploring. I would find it difficult to be friends with someone who is not interested in it, not because it’s wrong but purely because that’s part of who I am now and I don’t want to hide it for the sake of making it work.

With time I’m learning that it is ok to let friends go if you think you’ve gone as far as you could with no success. Friendships require a  h u g e  amount of effort to make them last in time so it is not worth going through the hard work if we are not getting anything back. It is way too easy to be a passive friend, plus time is a commodity we shouldn’t waste. If you consider someone a friend, then pick up the phone and contact them even if it’s just to say: Hi, how are you today? Set up a monthly alert in your phone if you are too busy you know you’ll forget. That’s all you need to do most times to make a friendship work and last a lifetime.

Then, of course, there are arguments. Who hasn’t had an argument with a friend before? It happens, especially if it’s a real friendship. I did have a couple of dramatic episodes in my friendships as well and I think you can get over those in time as long as you are both willing to forgive and invest time and energy to strengthen that bond again. In my very personal view, true friendships can overcome any argument as long as both friends are sorry about whatever happened and willing to move on – if that makes sense. Love is a choice, as psychologists say, and communication is the key.

 

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I had two fights with a couple of friends, one decided to stay and the other decided to leave. I had friends who disappeared for a while and then got back in touch, friends who have already come once or even twice to London to spend some time with me, friends from London, friends from all over the world and friends who wait for me in Italy whenever I’m back and I have to say my life wouldn’t be as good if they weren’t there. I would like to end this post by thanking them all, I would not be the person I am without you guys!

And what about you, my readers, have you ever experienced unbalanced friendships?

Hugs