How to define a ‘TRUE’ friendship? Is there something like ‘true’ in a relationship? Friendship in itself beholds a sea of meaning and empathy. ‘TRUE’ then just justifies the already existing understanding of human behavior in an alliance. Why are men bad at sustaining a meaningful and TRUE friendship? Are women better at keeping them?
“You are my true friend – my ‘Pukka’ friend – my ‘Sachcha Dost’.” These are familiar statements, I spoke to umpteen boys throughout my childhood. The whole world was my friend, and many more were my TRUE FRIENDS. With time and age, the friends were lost – what to say about true friendships? Alas!
With malice towards none and no rubber-necking ego, I can assert that I have lost the true meaning of a TRUE friend at this age. I can vouch with conviction that men will ditto my thoughts, they, however, may not admit it openly.
True friendship occurs only in children’s vocabulary. Unfortunately, with age, it loses its essence in the mundane rat race. In today’s competitive world where time is short for oneself, how can one expect selfless service towards another person— the so-called friend?
Friendships have been taken over by ACQUAINTANCES. People, in general, are confused between the two. We may know the world but we look for a friend in the ocean of heads. Having a drink, sharing a non-vegetarian platter on a cozy rooftop, and gossiping over WhatsApp shares is no Friendship.
Today, friendship culture means –
*Share no emotional baggage,
*Confide in no physical insecurities,
*Guard all personal secrets,
*Be a party to a happy fiesta, and
* Vamoose when pathos strikes.
The biggest joke is going to a condolence meeting. There is a headcount and people are eyeing their watches to get over the ordeal. People keep gossiping and chortling and not caring about the ongoing prayer. Where is the anguish at the loss of a so-called friend?
Sustenance requires clarity and transparency about deeds and thoughts. There is no room for prejudice or wariness. People pretend well, they display their adoration smartly but despise you from behind. “Some friends want to see you do better but not do better than them.” With time you begin to see who they are, not who they make-believe to be. When eventually you decide to stand up for yourself and clear your boundaries – you lose abusers, manipulators, narcissists, attention seekers, and mentally frustrating leeches.
Why are men poor at sustaining friendships, and women better at keeping them?
Most men use their minds to keep a friendship, on the contrary, most women rely on their hearts to value and surrender to a relationship. The game of counting and monetary evaluation is the forte of men’s minds most of the time, and a life-long promise is at the end of their agenda. Women want a promise and an assurance as the first need before entering into a friendship. They put up hard work and once assured, they melt in their emotions.
Someone has rightly said, “the most sustainable friendship happens between a man and a woman — it is complete, reliable, and balanced”. ( Does it happen between a husband and a wife– not sure!)
You don’t question friendships. There may be long periods of silence and emotional calmness but you tend to pick up instantaneously where you left off. Grudges don’t find a place in relationships and there is an understanding that life is busy and that love is there. You can feel the footprints in your heart. The quote is true: Hatred imprisons you—while love opens the doors.
You may have known people for the longest time, like your unconcerned neighbors. You attend frivolous parties and try to impact your presence during a tragedy. But they remain acquaintances, never friends – more so in the metropolitans and multi-storied concrete jungles.
When a person overlooks his inconvenience and runs to make it convenient for his friend, he has hit the right cord. Unfortunate are those who lose a friend and later regret like regretting the loss of health. People keep shifting from person to person like window shopping in a mall, misleading their emotions. People come and go, but that one person came but never left. Men are unable to add meaning to relationships – they keep indulging in frolicsome things.
DIAN FOSSEY, the famous conservationist and savior of Gorillas wrote – ‘I have no friends. The more you learn about the dignity of Gorilla, the more you want to avoid people.’ She discovered meaningful alliances with the ferocious primates. Well, I discovered my niche in writing and gardening. I made the Pen my best friend.
“I have reduced my circle and made the walls high – even though my heart is big and I love hard, never underestimate me.”