Everyone has friends, these are the people you choose to have in your lives – for better or worse. You meet people, strike conversations and suddenly there’s that zing which comes because you click so well with each other and a friendship is born! You can go days and even years where you don’t speak to each other, but can pick up almost instantly when you meet next.
Social media has a allowed a lot of people to reconnect with old friends. When I moved to Singapore, I completely disconnected with most of my friends. This was pre-social media days and so we used to exchange emails thats all. But with Facebook and now Whatsapp, friendships which were last seen a very very long time ago has been revived! I now regularly communicate with school friends, most whom I have not seen since the day we collected our school leaving exam results. Yesterday, I reconnected with my MBA friends, again whom I have not seen of or heard in ages!
We also make friends where we work in, but are these friendships true? Yes, sometimes, there are people with whom you have that connection and you go on to remain friends for the rest of your life and I have such friends too. But most of ‘work friendships’ are friendships which are ‘convenient friendships’. You are friends with someone at work because it is helpful to you. Do these friendships sustain themselves outside of work?
I have such friends too A friends I could talk about pretty anything in the sun and she would be my sounding board – it was like being with a therapist and counsellor together. Her answers would be unbiased and with an outsiders view and I suddenly got insights that I never had thought of. Or if I wanted to vent about work, she was there with her two cents worth, which would make me see the issue from another angle. But, and a big but, we didn’t socialise outside of work. After we both left the organisation (she first and then me after about a year), we have met for the grand total of…..Once!! We still text each other once a while – think birthdays and festivals and keep talking of meeting up, but that never happens.
Slowly I realised that office friendships don’t really work. People in most workplaces want to be friends with you for a reason – once that reason is over, they tend to ignore you and you keep wondering what went wrong, or they continue to talk to you, just to get information from you which will benefit them.
Now I may sound cynical, but this has been a long drawn-out lesson in the world! I am pretty naive like that – I like to see the goodness of people and prefer not to think that people have ulterior motives, but then that is the truth in today’s world.
It’s taken me this long to realise this – have a small number of true friends – friends you can share anything with – and not be judged rather than having a large number of acquaintances.
But if you have a true friend, cherish them and keep them close to your heart, as in the words of Mastercard – true friends are PRICELESS!