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GR8 EXPECTATIONS - A Guide to Friendship

Friday, September 3, 2010

There are all sorts of friendships.  As we are all different, so are the relationships we forge with others. 

I wrote about that when my BFF, Ducky tragically lost her sister earlier this year.  Indulge me please, I don't normally recycle posts or parts of them, but as these words were perfect, I am sharing them again.

Many friends come and go in our lives.  We meet some that only share a moment.  We meet others who stay awhile and then move on.  We have others still, that are part of our lives from childhood forward.  Then we meet the few who touch our lives so deeply whether it is for a moment, an hour, a day, or a lifetime our lives are forever changed for knowing them.

When we are fortuitous enough to meet those few, we are better for it.  They bring out the best in us.  We bring out the best in them.

I have never been a "normal" girl.  I didn't care about dolls when I was little.  I played with the boys (everyone knows boys have the COOLEST toys).  I didn't care about cheerleading or homecoming and prom in high school.   I liked muscle cars and VW Bugs.  I can change my oil, change a tire, fix an engine...you know, "guy stuff".  I like to drive fast and free, and yes, at one point I had so many points on my license, I couldn't get another ticket or I couldn't drive.

So, needless to say, my "close" relationships were typically with guys.  Somehow, that doesn't exactly sit well with the girls.  Add that to the fact that I am, and always have been, very comfortable with me, in my own skin, you can imagine THAT doesn't translate into many girls wanting to be your BFF either.  Insecurity plagues most teens and 20 something girls/women.  For that matter, it plagues many of the 30s, 40s and beyond women that I know today.
I've had a few close relationships with girlfriends but they are few and far between, and usually they are girls who are more like me.  I wrote about my BFF Shonnie from HS.  I am besties with my sisters.  I have a BFF that I don't get to see nearly enough Dawn, and then there is my BB chat girls, and of course Ducky.

It's funny because many women have come and gone as friends, but I guess I have some extraordinary standards when it comes to friendship.  By definition, to me, friendship is "special".  I don't think that my GR8 EXPECTATIONS are extraordinary requests, but you can be the judge.

  1. Truth.  I have zero tolerance for liars.  None.  It's not negotiable.  Everyone who knows me, knows that is a make it or break it in relationships with me.
  2. Be yourself.  I don't want you to like what I do because I do.  I don't want you to dislike what I dislike because I dislike it.  I don't want you to take up my hobbies because you think it will bring us closer.  It won't.  Just be you.
  3. Listen.  I listen when you speak.  Please extend the same courtesy.
  4. Do not judge me or others.  I don't expect that others share my morals or beliefs, and it isn't my place to tell them, or admonish them for theirs.  This is another deal breaker.
  5. You have to have a sense of humor.  Period.  I laugh.  I laugh until I cry.  My sense of humor is lost on many, but seriously, if you can't laugh, and you take life too seriously?  We aren't going to be friends.  Get over yourself and then get back to me.
  6. Trustworthy.  This is also a deal breaker.  If I can't trust you, or if I do trust you, and you betray that trust.  THAT IS ALL SHE WROTE as they say.
  7. Respect.  You have to have respect for yourself and for others.  If you can't look at yourself in the mirror everyday, and say "Wow, I like myself." Don't even bother trying to insert yourself into mine.
  8. Acceptance.  I will accept you for who you are, and I expect the same.  I accept everyone for who they are, and love that life offers such diversity to make things interesting.  Seriously, how boring would it be if everyone was a cookie cutter bunch of Stepford Wives?
Well those are my 8 rules of friendship.  I don't think they are outlandish.  It's funny most women say that they love those things about me in the beginning of a friendship.  I am honest, sometimes to a fault.  I expect that for and from everyone.  Love it or not, you always know where you stand with me.  I have had lifelong friends that have crossed the line on some of these, and they are no longer close friends.

Which is not to say that I don't forgive them.  I do.  However, if I can't trust you?  I move on with a piece of my heart often left behind.  Life is too short and too precious to waste on those who don't respect themselves or others enough to keep your secrets and tell the truth to themselves and others.  There is nothing more sad or pathetic than someone who lies to themselves.

Tell me Smackers, what are your deal breakers?  What do you expect in a friend?   (And don't tell me someone who would bail you out of jail.  That's bullshit, if she was a real friend?  She'd be there in the cell right next to you!)

See you Smackers tomorrow for SaS Theme.  Please keep sending me or leaving in the comments what you all want to see in recipes.    Don't forget, you can send me your recipes and I will share them over at Momma B's Kitchen!




14 comments:

FourJedis said...

Great post (and loved the jail bit at the end. What about a friend who would skip a big party to sit outside jail and wait for your sorry butt to get let go). :)

I have friends, and then I have friends-for-life, in my friend rule-book. The latter are those who are people I will be friends with forever, even if we fall out of touch for a few months at a time - they are still in my heart, and I in theirs and we'll pick up where we left off.

All I ask of my peeps is that they be themselves... 100% themselves... and usually that factors out all of the crap. Anyone who can let their guard down and show their true colors, being honest with who they are with no BS usually doesn't have the drama tagging along or the lying junk, so they are cool with me! :)

Buffee said...

I have very few lasting "girl" friendships. I'm a scorpio. Once you have crossed me, that's pretty much it in my book. While I may eventually forgive, I NEVER forget. I have cut many a person, especially women, out of my life without so much as a goodbye, kiss my ass, nothing. It maybe one of my biggest faults. I have trust issues. I blame that on my childhood! LOL!

Honestly I've always been BFF's with the guys, ESPECIALLY my gay boys. We are like bread-n-butter! I think The Gods created gay men just for me!

I have very few close female friends, mainly my sissies. So I cherish the ones I have!

Love you!

Menopausal New Mom said...

I'm happy to see a post on friendship among women today, so much BS goes on in our "real" lives and out here on the blogs. I agree, acceptance and respect for the opinions of others without judgement.

And yes, being a liar is a total deal breaker.

Hope you have a great weekend :)

Daffy said...

No worries on the jail thing...I hid the cement REALLY well :-)

Integrity - and in case people haven't encountered this word it basically means doing what is right even when no one is watching. Do I need to repeat that for anyone???

Respect - for yourself first and foremost. If you don't respect yourself you sure as hell aren't going to respect anyone else.


And I'll ditto everything you said of course....because I want you to like me *snort*

Speaking of snorts...check your mail...probably tomorrow. I sent you something :)

*LLUVIA* said...

I have very few girl friends because im kind of blunt and speak my mind. Im the type of person who knows nothing about fashion (or cars), and to whom you dont want ask questions like, "do i look fat?" unless you want an honest answer.

Salt said...

When I was younger, I always got along better with the guys also and you are SO right about how it never sat well with girls! (I can't even tell you how many times I got called a slut...when I was a damn virgin!) It's always been harder for me to maintain lasting female friendships, which is why my best friend of 12 years is one of the most important people I will ever know. We have this great bond that can't be broken and I'm so thankful for it.

Your list is like right out of my head. Especially the part about liars. I cannot STAND being lied to. I recently stopped talking to a friend, who I sadly found out is a pathological liar. I could never believe anything she said ever again. I just can't be friends with someone like that.

Quirkyloon said...

I only have two rules:

You must accept my rock opera singing and...

You must accept my obsession with zombies.

I'm pretty easy to please, no?

In all seriousness, this was a really good and thought provoking post.

SurferWife said...

Ok, I fit all of your friendship rules minus the don't judge one.

I am kind of judgy. Not of you, but you know, of the dumbass stranger walking by. chances are I am going to rip on him.

I don't lie, so I needed to be truthful about my judginess.

Noelle said...

I agree with all of your's (and i'm not just saying that to be your friend) and i'll add one more...

they have to be okay with the fact that sometimes we're going to go for long periods of time without connecting...life happens and it gets in the way...

since being married i have some friends who have been sooooo mad at me because now my husband comes first and it's been really interesting to see who my true friends are.

one blog post coming your way - before tonight. :)

Alicia said...

you know, i do agree with most of it. but i don't think relationships are so black and white, that either you are or aren't certain things... many people struggle with some of these things and part of being a friend is helping them through it and raising them up. but i agree that you have to have things you don't compromise on...and i think that those 8 qualities are definitely something i would want in a friend. i would add a #9...forgiving. because i know one day i'll screw up and i hope they'd be able to forgive me too.

Raoulysgirl said...

I always had more guy friends, too. In fact, I still do. My only girl friend is...well...my sister and my neice (we're only 9 years apart so we're like sisters).

I have to tell ya, though...being family doesn't automatically equate friendship with me, either. I've lately found that your #4 is definitely important...probably the most important after trust...but, since respect is born of trust, I guess the two kind of go hand in hand...

Bruce Coltin said...

The very fact that you have a "code," as they used to refer to it, makes you an old soul. Those who choose to join you will be better for it.

There is nothing like knowing exactly where your friend stands, except maybe for knowing where you stand.

Not to sound too much like a fortune cookie, but I sense much betrayal in you past.

Imaginative Me said...

My list is very similar to your list. One thing that does urk me about some friends is being too gossipy. If someone is telling me everything little thing they hate about someone else, than I am instantly insecure in thinking that they probably do that about me as well. So there are only a couple gals I can speak to freely and listen to freely like that. I mean, it's one thing to vent, but another to just be mean and judgmental.

Nancy C said...

Excellent post, Brandee. I cannot stand making teams. Won't do it. Don't rope me into middle school battles.