During a result conversation, okay it was more of a rant, about me thinking how a friend doesn’t respect me enough in our friendship my mother made an unexpected comment, she said:
“friends are funny things, no one really knows where they stand with another person, whether that person is labelled a ‘friend’ or not. A person is still a person, unique beings, individuals, and we never know what is going on inside their minds. ‘Friends’ are still ‘people’ and ‘people’ have a habit of disappointing. Maybe you want a perfect friendship and they can’t give it to you, why do you always have such high expectations?”
The direction of my mother’s response was unexpected. I expected her to back me up, rant about my friend with me, continue to tell me what an amazing friend I am and that I didn’t deserve them, that I could do better. The weight of her response didn’t exactly surprise me, her comments are always ones to contemplate and help me gain perspective with things. But my response to her comment was what surprised me, her too I think. Now I know her question at the end was a rhetorical one and she was not expecting an answer, but I was responding before I knew it. This is what I said:
“maybe I do have high expectations of my friends, but is that a bad thing? My expectations may be based on slightly false models of the ‘perfect friendship’ but if I’m giving 100% to someone, is it really too much to ask for the same in return? I have no false delusions about reality, I know we are all busy, I speak to my best friend maybe thrice a week via social media, we meet up once, maybe twice a month, but we’re still best friends, and have been for years. I hold nothing against someone who doesn’t chat to me every day, that’s setting myself up for disappointment. One of the most important people in my life I have haven’t seen for eight months but I still love him as if I see him every day. We’re busy, I’m busy, we’re all establishing ourselves in our careers, playing adult in life. I get that. But don’t disrespect me, or my friendship towards you. My point is a very important one, but a simple one. Friendship is an investment. I invest in you, you invest in me. If I’m giving 100% to the investment why would you want to give me 70%? That shows me one of two things, A) you don’t appreciate or care about what I have and do give you, and B) that you couldn’t be bothered to invest in me. Now, if it’s the first, well this happens, some people aren’t meant to be friends and you drift or some people weren’t meant to A grade friends. You know the type, we all have the friendship scale where some people rank higher than others, those 70% investment friends are just meant to be ranked lower than the rest. But now, if you’re part of the second group, the ones who think that I’m not important enough to invest in, well, now there’s the door please do feel free to leave. If you don’t want to invest in me while I’m investing in you, that’s fine. Why? Because I know I’m worth investing in, and I’m not going to settle on that 70% just so that I can have one extra person with me when I go out. Like Beyonce said “don’t you ever for a second get to thinking, you’re irreplaceable”. Everyone is replicable, even people you think you wouldn’t be able to live without. So see mother, it’s not that I have unrealistically high expectations of my friends, it’s just that I think I’m worth enough to be respected and worth enough to know that anyone who can’t appreciate what I give them is not worth having in my life”
My response was a long and elaborate one, I even brought Beyonce into it so you know it was legit, but really though. There is no such thing as expecting too much in a friendship, all there is is you knowing what you’re worth and what you have to offer, and never just settling for anything less. I won’t, and neither should anyone else.