Welcome to the Open Forum - the discussion forum for topics that don't quite fit anywhere else. Fair warning: Posts may be moved at the moderators' discretion to a more appropriate forum. Posts that are especially silly will probably end up in either the Fun and Games Forum or the Flounder Forum.
I used to think I had a lot of true friends. Lately I've been rethinking this assumption.
I'm not overly concerned about who treats me well, and I'm not keeping score. It isn't in my nature.
However, because it is in my nature to be generous and to look for the best in people, I find that a lot of folks misunderstand this and take advantage of me and the resources I have. I think it happens somewhat inadvertently, and I think it's largely my fault. I'm not very good at protecting myself or recognizing ignoble intentions.
I'm curious about how many of you find that, as you get older, you don't have as many truly equal relationships in your lives. I find that I have very few. More and more, there seems to be an angle for many people I encounter.
Maybe that's just the nature of the best. No big deal. I'm not pissed off or upset. I'm stuck in Shanghai for the weekend (i.e. no Facebook or Youtube) and just waxing a bit whimsical.
What are your thoughts? I'm curious.
If you have to look for the good stuff, maybe you're just making it up when it doesn't appear?
I take people at face value. So far, so good.
Eat the world.
I used to have that problem. As I grow older, I don't make new friends as easily, cherish and nurture the ones I have and once in a while do get badly burned by 'newer' friends or get taken advantage of. This mostly happens when I don't believe what I see, or what they show me of themselves.
But really, as I grow older and less eager to please, my friendship quality has gotten better and more equal.
I wish them all the luck that accompanies such malevolence.
- Jim Carrey
I don't believe any relationship is equal. At any moment, someone is giving or taking a little more. I think that's ok, because relationships are constantly evolving. If you can somehow discern a person's heart, or their intentions, equality isn't as important. It takes me a long time to build up to that kind of relationship, but when I do, it sticks.
Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.
Because I spent most of my life bouncing around from place to place, I used to worry about it. But, the older I get, the less it seems to concern me. Time seems to naturally sort out your real friends. When you see them again, it's like no intervening time passed. As for the rest; you just take them at face value.
Like you say, the number is small; but I'm constantly amazed and surprised by who they turn out to be.
Pleasant it is, when over a great sea the winds trouble the waters, to gaze from shore upon another's great tribulation
I've never fallen out with a mate. I like to think that this is because I somehow vet people when I meet them and don't get close to the ones I doubt I'll like. In reality it's probably just a mixture of luck and high tolerance levels on my part.
I've never had any trouble making new friends, but they usually tend to be boozers which might explain a lot . There is definitely a high level of convenience factored into my friendships, which is something I'm not too happy about and am working on changing. I tend to prefer friends who are easily available to go out for a beer at short notice and require little travel time or hassle.
You break my heart, dude.
Yes, my name is also John, but I really prefer a nice casserole. - Got To Be Kidding
Protecting the innocent entails a firm perimetre, oft with fixed bayonet. - TheGingerMan
I hold your manipulations in high esteem - divea
Sometimes I love them SO much, that my heart aches from it. - maoman
I need to start making it into Taipei more often. I'll make the time for one of those happy hours (although not the August one - I'll be in the UK drinking warm beer ). I sometimes wonder whether we should move to Taipei, but it's just so expensive there. Maybe after the next housing market crash .
I was only able to survive the last few months because of the support and assistance of friends-I'm a lucky guy who had a streak of bad luck-it all seems okay in the end if you have friends.
I find it very disconcerting that a grumpy old fart like jdsmith says exactly the same thing my wife says. The horror!
I've never expected relationships to be equal, particularly at any one juncture, just somewhat balanced over a long period of time.
What I'm talking about is a person's intentions. I think I probably create situations where people think it's okay to rely on me more than I'd like, and I am always impressed when a person gives as much or more to the relationship than I do. Those sort of people are to be cherished. I have a few close friends like that.
I'm curious, how would you guys react to a friend who tells you he is shocked and disappointed when you cancel a lunch appointment a day in advance because you've had some family and/or work stuff come up? I'm thinking, "What a ninny; it's a friendship, not a marriage," but maybe I'm too judgmental. Maybe this person puts a very high value on time spent together, and I should understand that. Thoughts?
BTW, still in Shanghai. Fucking uncivilized place. I really need to spend more time developing my Taiwan business. But I'm heading to HK in a few days and I have both a driver to the airport and a business class seat on the plane, so there's light at the end of the tunnel .
Good stuff, Elegua. I stayed a few days my best friend from childhood when I was in the Eastern US earlier this year. He's a Mormon bishop and a big corporate executive now, and I'm a beer-drinking, free-lancing heathen who went outside for a smoke or two at night. We talked until 1 or 2am each night I was at his place, and he cried when I left. That's friendship.
You generally attract good people because you're good people. I'm glad things are okay.
I'm due to go home for a few weeks before the end of the year (alone- yay!) and I'm currently totting up who I'll go to see when I'm back. Some of those friendships were made during some very very bleak points in my/their lives and I know I could (even 25 years later in some cases) just waltz into their/ parent's kitchen as if I only saw them yesterday. Others want to see me but I know it will be awkward for all involved, even though they are good people.
Do they count as friends?
I'm sure like a lot of you here, very few people from the old country have made noises about coming to visit me, but get all pissed off when you go back for a few weeks and don't see them because you couldn't fit everyone in. What about these people?
I'd say though, that I've made some of the strongest friendships here in Taiwan.
If people are telling me their feelings, that's what I'll focus on. "I was really disappointed you cancelled our meeting" sends a slightly different message to me me than "I wish you wouldn't cancel meetings on such short notice", or "You cancel meetings too often".
I was in a difficult situation a while back and reached out to a friend two or three times over the course of a week, saying stuff like "I really need your perspective on this. Let's get a beer, even if it's at the 7-eleven outside your house." I got some lame excuses, but the same friend needed MY help/advice a couple of months ago and of course I stepped up. I did it because he's a good guy, but I would have gotten more happiness out of it if I felt that he would have done the same for me. C'est la vie....
Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.