As I wrote in my first post about my minimalist awakening, I think that the worst waste that we regularly do is our energy. Think about it. How much time and brain cells do you spend overthinking about other people for example. What do they think of you? Are they talking about you? Do they like you? When we are in our teen phase, we hope that the feeling of judgement is going to leave us when we finally enter the real world. Guess what, it doesn’t. As long as we interact with other people, the questions are always the same and the answers are always useless.
The amount of energy spent on other people is huge, in a world that barely leave us time to talk to our mothers while we are squished in the metro during our journey home from work (my personal favourite). I started to really think about my relationships with my friends and how they made me feel a couple of years ago. Some friendships are easy, they just work well and it’s fantastic. Some others though need a lot of work and sometimes it’s just not worth it.
To be clear, I am not suggesting to wipe away all your friends at the first unfortunate occasion. I am just asking you to think about which people are really making your life better and which ones are getting in the way of your happiness, if we want to be extreme. I have a couple of examples but all of them lead me to think that the people that didn’t work in my life shared the same characteristics: selfish and disrespectful. Two things that you definitely cannot be if you want to be a good friend!
Quality over quantity
I probably need to say that I am not a big group kind of person. When I am at a dinner for example, I like it when we all have a conversation together. Seeing little groups of two or three people talking to each other at a table makes me seriously sad. What’s the point of having a big dinner if people alienate? Nope, not at my table. That said, if you know your friends well enough dinners usually work out pretty well. I feel like I am going out of topic and I am also getting hungry thinking about a raclette so let’s move on.
I try to be as much a good friend as I can be. Hopefully, I became a better friend growing up, mainly because I now understand boundaries better. Boundaries are probably the thing that could help you realise if a person is good for you because, when they are not, they usually cross them. The wake up call for me was when I realised that some of my friend just never asked me how I was. It seems like such a small thing, but imagine not seeing someone for months – just having quick conversations via message – and seeing them for lunch, listening for three hours about their life/problems, and then once you say goodbye, realise that they actually didn’t even ask you how you were. It’s pretty rude even for a stranger, don’t you think?
Where am I coming from…
It happened to me with a person that I cherished very much. He just couldn’t see further than his everyday life. So much so that other people didn’t really interest him anymore, but even worse, he didn’t respect anybody’s boundaries. After asking him to leave me out of delicate matter that found me in the middle of two people that I cared about, he just ignored my insistent request. Our last meeting left me sad, uncomfortable and quite annoyed. I decided then that he could use a bit of empathy and I could use a bit of distance from his negativity. Will I still be here if he needs me? Of course. Will I throw my mental well-being in the bin for him? Hell no.
The reality is: positive people help you to go ahead, negative one push you down. Friendship has to be a two way gift, just like love, otherwise it can be called many things (service, babysitting, therapy? Pick yours…) but not friendship. Choosing quality over quantity has never been so important.