Friday, February 3

Friends vs. Acquaintances, and We Get What We Tolerate 2/3/12

This is Fremont, California, near where I live.
       Good evening everyone. 

Let me start with my gratitudes for today.

Friends vs. Acquaintances

        My first gratitude, I'm thankful for friends who care about my welfare.  In today's culture, the word "friend" is used frequently.  In most cases those listed as such are acquaintances.  I prefer in-the-flesh friends to cyber ones.  A digital image of a smile from one of my internet friends doesn't compare to the warmth conveyed by a friend sitting next to me. 

             A friend is someone who is there for us, when we're in need, who has known us when we've had good times and during seasons that weren't so good.  New friends may like our style now, but can disappear when we get caught up in the quagmire of life.  I experienced this recently from someone who took and took from me, picking my mind for ideas and fled when I needed help. 

       Being the optimist that I am, I appreciate her response.  She revealed her nature.  It spares me from a relationship that would not meet my needs.  I deserve better.  I am grateful for the friends I have who can and do make time for me

              Old friends remain, they are available when life gets overwhelming. With them, we share a common history that bonds us to each other. 

             It's reassuring having people in my life who deeply care about me.  As I've said before, they are incarnational ambassadors of God's love for me.  I love the acceptance, appreciation and closeness I get from my Balcony People.  For more about them, please click here.

Getting What We Tolerate

       I value mutuality in my relationships with others. I started a friendship recently.  During this time, I e-mailed him once, a week-and-a-half ago.  Wednesday, we visited at a social gathering. He hadn't yet replied to the e-mail.

       This morning I called, leaving a message. I asked if he could call back, it was my second call.  He replied within the hour. 

      Wait a minute, I want to make one point clear. I strongly believe we get what we tolerate and we train people how to treat us. I don't use boundaries so that others comply with them. I use boundaries so that I adhere to them.  I wonder what would have happened if I hadn't specifically requested for him to return the call?  My guess is that I would still be awaiting it.

           You want to know one sign of a toxic relationship? A lack of mutuality. I avoid one-sided relationships like the plague. 

Community vs. Society
        My second gratitude? I eager to gather with friends tomorrow. We can talk about anything and we accept one another unconditionally. I thrive because of my time with them. We'll share lunch together. It's great having community. 

        Community is where I'm appreciated for who I am.  Society mainly cares about what I offer.  Knowing community is therapeutic. If I'm not careful, society easily consumes my soul.

        I bask in the give and take sharing of empathy, nurturing support and love I receive when I'm with real, warm---as in live, not-digital---friends. 

       Thirdly, I'm grateful for sleep. My pattern of sleep was affected by my recent illness. I've been able to get more sleep lately. I'm thankful for rest. It restores my emotional well-being. 

 How about you?
1. How would you define a friend?
2. Do you think that Facebook friends are friends? I don't. I think they are acquaintances. I find the internet has devalued the word "friend." 

   Do you agree or disagree? 
3. What do you think are signs of a toxic relationship? 
       I'd love hearing your thoughts. Please share, we can learn from one another.


Cary said...

I love this Pablo, “It’s reassuring knowing I have people in my life who deeply care about me. As I've said before, they are incarnational ambassadors of God's love for me. I love the acceptance, appreciation and closeness I get from my relationships with the Balcony People in my life." What a perfect description of a friend. Thank you for sharing.

I believe we draw to us what we feel for ourselves in every moment. With that said, it changes from time to time depending on our emotional state. I have a handful of friend who when I speak with them seem to suck the energy from me leaving me crabby, tired, and not so happy. I choose to keep these long time friends at arm’s length. Others I cherish dearly and they know everyday that they are.

Pablo said...


Nice seeing you here and getting to know you better! I like what you say. I'm in agreement with you and you've expressed it well.

Good for you, for keeping negative and manipulative people at arms length! Do you know what I call those who suck the energy from us? Emotional Vampires.

Do you know what I do, when experiencing their attempts to drain me of joy and hope, or want to use me or have all my attention? Two things:

1. I say to them, "Let's put a bookmark in our conversation. I need to process what you've said. Maybe we can talk in a couple of hours or in a day or two."

What I'm really saying is, "I have to take care of myself by getting away. I need to exercise, talk with a friend, scream into a pillow, go see a wonderful, uplifting movie with a supportive friend, etc., do something, anything, that is healthy for me, so that I can discharge the negativity I've just experienced while being with you."

I love the word "process." It's such a good euphemism and it doesn't judge, blame or use shame.

2. When I'm with someone who constantly complains, which isn't often, because I don't care to be around that type of energy, I might otherwise say, "I'm sorry, but I can't really connect with this subject, can we talk about something else?"

If they insist on being negative, I'll use number 1, above.

I've found that character discernment is key, when it comes to selecting friends. A good book that has helped me is "Safe People" by Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend. I share excellent principles from that book in my post: Spiritual Weight Lifting, Part V. Here's the link:

I really appreciate you dropping by, reading and sharing. Btw, you sound like you're a good friend.

Cary said...

Thank you Mr. Innkeeper ;)

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.