D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships – Friendships Keeping them Healthy
Friendships are the most sacred things we can have. Nobody knows us better than our closest friends – sometimes even better than family. And why is that? Because often, most people aren’t comfortable sharing their problems with families for various reasons.
Children may not wish to tell their parents some things because they may fear they’ll get in trouble for something they did or perhaps they’re embarrassed, or maybe even their secret is about a friend they don’t wish to get in trouble. In adulthood reasons may differ, such as: not wanting family to know they’ve failed at something, got in trouble somewhere, etc. But friends, friends are the ones we choose to share with what’s deep in our souls. Friends are the ones we chose to be friends with us because they accept us – broken fences and all, scars and all. They love us unconditionally. Friends support us through our ups and downs in life. We feel much freer to unburden our souls with friends sometimes more than with family.
Friends don’t judge us. Friends hug us when we need it, and friends understand us – sometimes even without words.
Friends are the family we choose. Friends are the ones we share our deepest, darkest thoughts with, our dreams and ambitions, problems and victories. If a friendship is true, there’s an unspoken respect – a code so to speak.
Even though I have gone through a ‘break-up’ of sorts with one of my two long-time best friends of 35 years, I still think about her. How could one not? Severing a long-time friendship is like a divorce. You miss the kinship and the support and the good times, and the loss of a good friend can break your heart. But, as I wrote in my first edition of this series, if we’ve exhausted all avenues of trying to mend a fence, maybe it’s time to part ways. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t honor the past, honor what we once had and shared, honor deep dark secrets not to be turned into ammunition to smear that person.
Of course, I’m not going to openly discuss what happened between us, but what didn’t happen between us was because of an unspoken respect for the past – for what we once had and shared. A code. In the 3 years we haven’t spoken, never a bad word has passed between us or from our lips. And I know this because like I wrote in my first edition, life is a circle, it’s a small world, once dirt starts flying on social media it can spread like a disease There have been no gossipy stories reported back from mutual friends, no secrets revealed from our pasts together. Because we both honor the friendship code – the respect for the friendship that was.
This honoring of friendships is a simple respect and correlates with – don’t burn your bridges, the old adage – some things are meant to be left sacred. What we don’t blab off about will never come back to haunt us. And another added benefit of practicing that advice is we also never know when a time could come that we mend fences with that old friend. No hateful words of anger to worry about coming back to bite us.
Sometimes when enough time has passed and old wounds heal, anything is possible. Hey, it happened to us once before – the same thing – a total misunderstanding of feelings at a very bad time, misconstrued. Yes, both times it involved my feelings and my sense of a lack of empathy on my friend’s part when I needed her most. That’s not something that can easily be repaired. I tried to convey my hurt, but she continued to deny she did anything wrong. I was overwhelmed with hurt, especially that I was her constant dumping ground for all the crap going on in her life. Eventually, we both silently walked out of each other’s lives. I do believe in time we’ll be destined to meet again and, if and when that happens and time has taught her why I walked away, once again, I will open my arms.
A recipe to keep friendship alive and well:
Stay honest and be there for emotional support when the tides are rough for each other. Reciprocate – friendship is give-and-take, celebrating the good times and supporting for the bad. Respect each other and the past you once shared. Communicate your feelings – especially if something is bothering you, keep the air clear. And laugh – shared laughter is a definite bond strengthener. These are some of the important components to a lasting friendship.
Of course, even friends have spats just as husbands and wives sometimes do on occasion even in the best of relationships. We’re all entitled to our feelings and opinions, and sometimes these opinions differ between friends. When difference of opinion or misunderstandings occur, we should be able to feel free with our friends to express our feelings on these issues, and we should also learn to discuss differences and maybe even sometimes just agree to disagree and let go and move on.
But if the issue has to do with an immediate concern in the friendship and something hurtful has been done without any apology or recognition, and you’ve voiced your concern with no resolution, you may have to re-evaluate that relationship as I had to. And it’s up to each individual who faces this dilemma to decide how much they will tolerate.
Good friends should be able to feel the freedom of being able to discuss and receive feedback from friends when it comes to being permitted to discuss concerns among each other. If there is a barrier in communicating with friends then it may also be time to revisit how you feel about that friendship, and quite possibly you may find you have ‘outgrown’ that relationship. Don’t allow the years you’ve committed to that friendship to be the deciding factor to remain. That would be like saying if you’re unhappy and abused in your marriage, but you’ve been married for so many years you just accept what it is. Don’t just accept. Clear the air, voice your feelings and concerns, and if nothing is computing on the other side, it may just be time to sever ties.
In my next issue here at the Smorgasbord, I’m going to be talking about signals, and diving deeper into severing ties, what to look out for and when it’s time to leave. I hope you enjoyed this edition of Realms of Relationships and will tune back in here next month!
Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.
D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.
When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”
“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”
When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.
Books by D.G. Kaye
One of the recent reviews for Conflicted Hearts
D.G. Kaye shares the story of growing up with a self-centered and narcissistic mother and the effect that this took on her self-esteem. I felt as if I were a character in Kaye’s life as she details the struggles of living with a mother who was unable to love and nurture her.
It is not a book filled with rage, but one of a girl’s journey to find acceptance and love. The author is not without loving figures in her life; her father and aunt provide stability and love.
While dealing with a sad subject, Kaye’s story is also uplifting as she eloquently describes the health struggles that she and her husband endure. Their love is evident as they support each other through their challenges.
If you want a book that pulls no punches and shares the highs and lows that all of us can relate to, this is the one for you.
Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US
and: Amazon UK
More reviews and follow Debby: Goodreads
Connect to Debby Gies
My thanks to Debby for taking on the challenge this year of exploring the complexity of relationships, and sharing strategies to improve the way we manage those important to us. As always your feedback is very welcome.