19 September 2016

Friendships: You Gotta Know When To Hold'em, Know When To Fold'em

Now that I’m 40, I’ve reached a point in my life where it’s really about quality over quantity and while yes, if you’re a true friend to someone, you make the effort to work things out, but at what cost? For me, when certain lines are crossed, there’s just no easy way to bounce back and truthfully, sometimes you shouldn’t. Sometimes certain people are a liability instead of an asset. If a person has the ability to drain you, turn on you in a heartbeat or put little to no effort into nurturing your relationship, it’s time to move on because honestly, ain’t nobody got time for that kind of drama. In return, there are people out there who are worth your time, your efforts, your personal stories, your trust and your love. I refuse to settle for anything less than what I know I deserve in a friendship, and you shouldn’t either. It’s worth the time to be selective.


I’m not a huge Kenny Rogers fan. I may proudly have southern roots but country music and I do not get along. Having said this, I believe Kenny got life right in so many ways with the song, ‘The Gambler.’ With most circumstances in life whether it be love, money or jobs, you got to know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em, know when to walk away, know when to run. Let’s take friendships for instance…


Friendships are hard. REALLY hard.  I think in some ways they are more complex and challenging than our personal relationships with significant others, especially if said friendships live far away. Throw kids, jobs and other responsibilities into the mix, and at times, maintaining friendships can be downright tiring. Having children, albeit an amazing journey, is also the massacre of one’s social life. It’s the nasty truth of parenting no one wants to admit but it’s true. Raising kids is a full-time job, often resulting in most everything else being put off to the side. I’ve often talked about being more than just a mom and I believe this declaration to be true but at the end of the day, when you’re exhausted, drained and running on fumes, it’s hard to be one more thing to one more person when you’ve given of yourself all day long. Sometimes it’s difficult to be more…especially a friend.


This is why I say friendships are hard. Just like any other relationship, they require constant attention and nurturing and just like any other type of relationship, friendships go through seasons of highs, lows, maintaining and well, sometimes they simply fall apart. Lifestyle changes, personality changes and a general forming of dislike for a friend (it happens), have a huge part to play in the longevity of a friendship. Sometimes friendships simply run their course with no rhyme or reason as to why the relationship comes to an end.


And this is the category I’ve fallen into lately.


Last week, I said adios to a friend I've had for 11 years. To be perfectly honest, this friendship had turned into more of an acquaintance over the years. I hadn't physically talked to her since 2011. She and I shared many lunches, dinners and girl’s night outs together. She helped Michael and I register when we found out Maddy was a girl. We shared secrets, opinions and gossip like most girlfriends do. When I went through my divorce in 2009, she was with me every step of the way to show support and love. Then in 2012, our family moved cross-country. Different time zones, different lives, and everything I mentioned above played a factor in the distance that grew between us. Sure, we kept in touch via Facebook and IG with the occasional post ‘like,’ comment or double tap on an IG picture but as far as genuine interaction on a regular basis? There was none. She has a daughter, a full-time job and a life just like I do. While I missed her friendship in my life, I chalked it up to distance and time taking its toll. It was no one’s fault. It’s simply what happens sometimes when two friends live so far apart – you grow apart. It’s the reality of the situation. So we carried on, business as usual, maintaining our casual social media friendship online…until this past Sunday.


I posted a comment about remembering September 11th to which she counter-argued in a rather attacking way and from there, our conversation went downhill. Over the process of two hours, the final remains of our friendship unraveled. During this time, I was called a liar, a hypocrite and self-centered. At that point, two things became very clear to me: One - she was no longer a friend of mine and two - for whatever reason that is still unknown to me because we haven’t talked (she dropped me as a “friend” from all our shared social media accounts), she has been holding a grudge towards me for quite some time and used my post as the perfect opportunity to lash out at me. At first, I was shocked. In no way would I have ever expected to be treated in such a manner by someone who considered me a friend and vice versa. As my shock wore off, I quickly became angry. Angry at the lack of respect. Angry that she decided to use a public forum to air grievances instead of talking to me privately. Angry that after all we’ve been through together, that’s the way it all went down. In an instant, whatever type of friendship we had left was gone.


Then the most interesting thing happened…


I woke up the next morning not really giving a damn about what had happened the night before. I truly didn’t. This feeling was further solidified when I checked my IG account that morning and realized that home girl had decided to unfriend me and then decided to take the time to look me up to see what I was up to. I only know this because the stories function tells you who viewed them. At that point it all became incredibly laughable and sad to me. Really. Who does that?? It was then I realized that if this was the type of “friend” she had become, I was better off being down one more person in my life. And you know what?


I’m totally fine with that because here’s the honest, harsh truth about friendships…



  
As I’ve gotten older, my propensity to deal with trifling bullshit is at an all-time low. I simply don’t have the time, energy or need to deal with people who bring nothing but drama to the table. I get tired of constantly hearing, “Let’s get together soon!,” or "We really should plan that play date. I'd love to catch up!" and the never-ending, "Let me check my calendar and I'll get back to you." without ever seeing a date actually show it's face on the calendar. I grow weary of extending myself to others both in time and in feelings to only feel like I have to literally beg the other person to share something a little deeper than what I see on social media. Your witty comments, pics of the kids and occasional glee over Gilmore Girls is cool but I want authentic and real relationships. With all the buzz you hear about fostering and extending community these days, it would seem that other people are craving the same things.


Except, they’re not.


The truth is that most people want someone who will make them feel better. They want the friend who will tell them, “You look great! Why are you worried about your weight?” instead of the friend who will be honest and say, “Hey, I care about your health. What’s going on?” They want the friend who can gush about the latest gossip, trendiest clothes and the latest must have drink at Starbucks. They want someone to tell them they aren’t fat, that they’re a great mom and that everything they do is perfect. For many, many years, I’ve been surrounded by well-meaning people who really only desired a superficial friendship all the while, my heart wanted so much more; it craved the dirty and complicated parts of life. It wanted the raw, the mess, the good and the bad. It wants real. Between work, life, kid, and that silly little thing called sleep that we all need, who has the time to actually go through the long, awkward process of developing a new friendship? Especially one that is half-hearted to begin with or one that gives you nothing in return by way of support, understanding and true acceptance? No thanks. And let’s be even more honest – don’t most of us have more acquaintances than friends anyway? I know I do. The title “friend” gets thrown around far too easily these days.


Now that I’m 40, I’ve reached a point in my life where it’s really about quality over quantity and while yes, if you’re a true friend to someone, you make the effort to work things out, but at what cost? For me, when certain lines are crossed, there’s just no easy way to bounce back and truthfully, sometimes you shouldn’t. Sometimes certain people are a liability instead of an asset. If a person has the ability to drain you, turn on you in a heartbeat or put little to no effort into nurturing your relationship, it’s time to move on because honestly, ain’t nobody got time for that kind of drama. In return, there are people out there who are worth your time, your efforts, your personal stories, your trust and your love. I refuse to settle for anything less than what I know I deserve in a friendship, and you shouldn’t either. It’s worth the time to be selective.


You got to know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em.


Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup

Courtney is a published author, mom, taco enthusiast, and a Star Wars and Tennessee Volunteers fanatic. She's never met a piece of sushi she didn’t like and enjoys an amazing glass of wine and a great cut of meat. You can read more of her wine-induced, sleep-deprived adventures on The Huffington Post and Scary Mommy.

46 comments:

  1. I totally feel you on maintaining relationships after becoming a mom. Honestly, it seems like you're dodging a bullet with that lost friendship though! We have so much going on in our lives, we don't have time for unnecessary drama haha.

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    1. Thanks, Erica. I already have one child to take care of. I don't need anymore, haha. Have a good week!

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  2. In a perfect world we'd maintain all of our friendships forever, but the truth is some DO have expiration dates. Sometimes you grow apart, change or have a falling out and it's OK to terminate a friendship if it has become more toxic and negative. It's sad, though! Great post/message!

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    1. Thanks, Ali. It's the reality of life and I'm not about to get strung out over people who could care less about me. Totally not worth it!

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  3. You are so right. I have gone through a lot of toxic relationships in my life and learned a lot about others as well as myself in the process.

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    1. Thanks, Aish. It sucks regardless but we're better off in the end. No regrets!

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  4. Great post. Thanks for sharing! I have just recently learned when to walk away from a toxic friendship.

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    1. Thanks for reading, Tara! It's sad when it happens but you're better off. Have a great week!

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  5. Since having a kid, maintaining my friendships has been the hardest thing for me. It's tough because when I have free time, I would usually rather sleep or stay home and relax for 2.5 seconds before I'm in mom mode again. Friendships are important, but I definitely agree that quality is more important than quantity.

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    1. I also think the people who are meant to stay in your life will find a way to do so, even when you have kids but it is so difficult and most don't understand just how much until they are in the thick of it themselves. Thanks for reading!

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  6. You know how I feel about this but I'll remind you -- quality over quantity :)

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    1. I do. And this is why you and I are friends. ;-) Love you!

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  7. Great article. I was recently told "Friendships are like a dresser. At the top are those relationships that you nuture and are easily accessible. The closer to the bottom you get, are those that have lost meaning or need to b cleaned out. And that's okay too." Being a mom is an incredibly hard but rewarding job that changes your friendships. Quality over quantity wins every day. Just know that at mothers struggle with the same thing, you are not alone.

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    1. That is a really great way to look at it! Thanks so much for reading. Enjoy the rest of your week.

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  8. This is such a great post, Courtney. It definitely gets harder to maintain friendships as you get older, but it's so easy to forget that people do change over time. I went through something pretty similar with childhood friends a couple years ago. It's really disappointing, but in the long run, we're much better off without toxic people in our lives!

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    1. Absolutely! I'm all for people growing and changing but we still have to be on the same page with regards to certain things and if not? Well, I wish you nothing but luck in your journey. Thanks for reading!

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  9. Agreed. I feel like social media allows us to keep these shallow "friendships" we would have dropped years ago.

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    1. Yes, absolutely! I also think Facebook has stripped our conversational skills down to nothing that people mistakingly use it, in their minds, as a valid way to communicate issues that should be discussed privately. Thanks for reading!

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  10. I totally agree. Once I had kids, my social life went down the drain and maintaining friendships is really hard! I still have some friends that live far away and I don't see them much, but they are also the people who I could pick up right where I left off and it's like no time has passed. But I think it's important to evaluate who we need to keep in our lives and who needs to be let go.

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    1. Agreed. Long distance friendships are hard but they are doable. Thanks so much for reading!

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  11. I've had to break up with a few friends over the years and honestly, although the initial break hurts... it was time to let go. We are around the same age, and I've just found that the time I have is better spent with people who build me up, not tear me down.

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    1. Definitely. Life is far too short to be around people who don't value you, respect you and see your worth. Onward and upward. Thanks for reading!

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  12. YES!

    I recently went through a pretty hard realization lately that a friend of mine saw me more as a prop in her desire to live, look and act like a kardashian

    (see: stand next to me and make sure to look pretty and say the right thing while I hit on guys - I don't care how bored you are or that you'd rather actually talk to me and catch up than watch me parade around)

    It was hard because she had been one of my closest friends for years, but I realized that I didn't like who she had become and that spending time with her was causing me more and more anxiety. so I walked away and never looked back.

    Having acquaintances that you see occasionally is fine, but having someone claim to be a friend when they are anything but? I'm far too busy for that nonsense

    xxox
    Laura @ www.cookwineandthinker.com

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    1. I'm sorry you had to go through that but you are far better off. You will hopefully find the people meant to be in your life who are genuine. Thanks for reading!

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  13. Preach on, sister!!! I'm childfree-by-choice, but I simply have no idea how most moms do it all...because, even if you think you're not doing anything BUT being a mom, trust me, you're doing it all. But instead of children, I have a blog and a full-time corporate job. And I used to have a group of wonderful friends that loved me...until my blog gained some traction. And all of a sudden, they weren't supportive or even kind. We never had a big blow up...but I simply walked away. Friendship IS more difficult than a romantic partnership- you are right on! Great post, so glad I saw this in Bloggertunities on FB. :)

    Sarah (aka, Sadie Seasongoods)

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    1. Thank you so much, Sarah. I appreciate you reading. Whether you have kids or not, life is just too busy to put up with that kind of negativity and drama. No thanks!

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  14. Great post, I've had the same BFF for over 40 years, no matter what we go through we're always there for one another. I prefer to have one REAL friend over several FAKE friends.

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    1. You summed it up perfectly: "One real friend vs several fake friends." YES. Thanks for reading!

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  15. AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! I would rather have 2 really good friends then 50 fake ones!

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  16. Great post. It is really hard maintaining a friendship when you have so much going on. My best friend and I have been friends for over 20 years but there are times when I wonder if letting her go would be for the best. She's a bit of a toxic person and I'm not sure I wanna deal with her negativity anymore. But it's so hard because I'm close to her kids. Sorry you and your friend had a falling out but sometimes its best to let go of certain people. I'm trying to learn that lesson myself....

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    1. Thanks. It's always a delicate balance, especially when there are other people to consider. I hope you find peace with your friend situation.

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  17. Love this! My mom always told me you will have tons of acquaintances, but only a few friends. How right she was.

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    1. Thank you. As I've gotten older, I'm finding a lot of things my mother said growing up is right, haha. Thanks for reading!

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  18. This is so timely for me. I truly believe that some friendships are meant for a certain time and some meant for forever. People who want to put in the effort are there for the long haul. My mom said the same thing as Kims mom. Lots of acquaintances and very few "friends"

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    1. You're so right. Sometimes we have friends for seasons in life and sometimes we have them for a lifetime. Either way, we have to do what's best for us. Thanks for reading!

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  19. I can definitely relate. I've had to have some "safe boundaries" and , in some cases, put up complete barriers! It's never easy though. But, you and I are better off without the toxicity in brought into our lives in the long run. Thanks for writing this!
    Theresa

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    1. Thanks, Theresa and thanks so much for reading. Have a great weekend.

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  20. Friendship break ups can be painful and yet amazingly easy to get over at the same time. It's nice when we realize they were never really our friend in the first place. Social media creates a multitude of problems with relationships....well I take that back, social media isn't to blame, it's the people misusing it.

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    1. I definitely think social media gives people the confidence to do and say things online that they would never have the courage to say or do to someone's face. In many ways, social media has taken a cut into civility and respect. I sometimes wish I could do away with it all together. Thanks for reading!

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  21. I always say with friends it is all about quality not quantity. I would much rather have a handful of friends that would do anything for me, than a bunch of friendships I am putting my all in to and getting nothing in return. What a great post.

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  22. Seriously LOVE this post. I'm sorry that you lost a "friend" but it seems like you lost the friendship a very long time ago. I feel just as you do about friendship. I sometimes feel like I'm the only one really looking for something MORE in people. Who would have thought that making friends was so much more difficult as an adult? It should be easy, like "You like that shit. I like it too. We should experience it together." Why can't THAT be the start of a friendship? haha. I think that my biggest issue has been "friends" not putting in any effort into our friendship. There's only so many calls, texts, and messages that can go unanswered before I throw in the towel. I'm sick of empty promises, cancelled dates, and a lack of concern about me and my well being. Well, there's my rant. Thanks for this post. Happy to know that women like you exist!

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    1. Thank you so much, Joyce and thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!

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  23. I have to agree about this. I have felt this way for 8 years. I rather have 2 true friends than 20.

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    1. Yes, absolutely. As I've gotten older, my propensity to put up with BS is non-existent but more than that, who really wants to deal with it at any age?? Thanks for reading!

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