About Real Friendship

Over twenty years ago I experienced intense bullying at school. I had certain friends who would talk to me at lunch, but at passing period they did not want to be seen around me. One girl even made a point about it, and after that I really never considered her my true friend. I tried to get along with her for a few years after that, but one day she told another friend how she hated me. The irony of it all is one day a few years after that some high school kids were poking fun at her dress, but I admired it and told her so. I do not know if she recalls this or not, but I have the consolation of knowing I took the higher road. So the question is what do we do about these type of friends? Are they really our friends, or just friends of convenience? Even back in college I felt certain friends did not want to be seen around me in certain social situations because I may detract from their cool factor.

So as an adult must you shy away from being yourself? Actually I say not. I was thinking about Henry David Thoreau this morning and he was willing to live by himself at Walden Pond, and become a conscientious objector against the Mexican-American War at a time when it was just unheard of to do those things. His actions at the time made many people feel uncomfortable I am sure, but today many people admire him for the courage to speak out, and to always be themselves.

Throughout the history of the world we have always had people that had the courage of conviction to be who they are, and to share their thoughts with the world. Often their way of being can be very much against what is considered the norm. For instance, in the 1930s a woman who decided to wear pants in the streets of New York would be considered quite a pioneer, but today that would be the norm. Actually by the 1980s wearing pants had become so prevalent that many women could come down like a ton of bricks on girls and women who still decided to wear skirts all the time. Growing up even my own family never understood my penchant for skirts, but I persevered and decided to wear what made me feel comfortable.

Often times women look at me, and make little comments about why am I wearing a skirt. I have been asked if I was a fundamentalist Christian for wearing skirts, which was a little interesting. I actually do wear knee length and long skirts, but that does not mean I wear these because of my religious affiliation. I just like wearing skirts, and a reason does not need to be attached to everything. I never felt comfortable on commenting on what people wear, but maybe it is because I never thought someone's personal attire was up for discussion. I know people in the fashion world discuss what everyone it is wearing, but it is a bit out of bounds for every day people to comment on the fashion choices of others. So many are comfy commenting on what others say, wear and do, and I always found that quite interesting.

Other people, even some past friends, have felt uncomfortable around me because they thought I was way too dressed up by the simple fact of me wearing a skirt. One friend even told me I could wear pants on a certain occasion that was not "a dress up one", which I thought was a little pushy to be honest. I learned years later that person was not my friend when this individual moved on and stop talking to me, and I also realized that my true feelings meant absolutely nothing to this person. People have a right to end friendships for numerous reasons, but I believe it is a bit telling if the friendship was only ever about critiquing everything about your so-called friend.

The bottom line is you have to be who you are no matter what. Some people may think you are stuck-up or aloof for it too, but often confidence is misconstrued. However, having the confidence to be yourself, march to your own drum, and follow your own music means some friends will not always be comfortable being seen around you. All my life I have known I have stood out from the crowd, and I have learned my true blue friends will support me 120%. If some people feel uncomfortable being my friend in certain situations that is fine, and they are welcome to feel that way. Perhaps some people's way of expressing their discomfort is to disassociate, but the truth is your true friends will stand by you no matter what.



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Comments 12 comments

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Your last line is about never a truer word said. I could write book. Thank you for your very thoughtful hub.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

I always appreciate reading your comments hello, hello. Hope you are having a great day!


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France

I know exactly what you mean... it's sad but I always think "it's their loss" not mine. I agree with you, you have to be who you are and if people like you that way great, otherwise... too bad at least you are being true to yourself.

Great Hub and lovely new avatar SweetiePie. Merry Christmas :)


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Princessa,

Yes you are right it is definitely it is their loss. Thanks, and I really like your Christmas avatar as well!


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Great Hub SweetiePie. I think self confidence and the act of fearlessly exercising the right to be who you are, is a sign of maturity and intellect. I strive for that every day and it's not always easy!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

From what I have read of your Hubs Green Lotus you seem to be working very well towards that with all of your hubs and comments. Thanks for visiting!


Nancy's Niche profile image

Nancy's Niche 6 years ago from USA

I felt this was the best comment to your wonderful hub...What is a true friend? I believe the following says it best...

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.

~Henri Nouwen


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Nancy,

Mostly I wrote this hub to let others know be who you are, and you will always be true to you.


Everything-Jewels profile image

Everything-Jewels 6 years ago

Do you really think they were your friends? A "Friend" doesn't brush another friend off like that, not if their a real friend.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Everything-Jewels,

No I do not think those people were my friends, thus the inspiration for the hub. My real to goodness friends would not have acted that way.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 3 years ago from The Ozarks

Friends who will not acknowledge you in certain situations are not really friends.

I had a friend like that once who supported my stance against the ATF at Waco but would not come and stand with me at my protest, because she was afraid it would affect her livelihood. At the time, I thought I understood and accepted this. But years later, I realized it was not okay and she never took any risk or action that would place her at odds with the establishment because ultimately she was part of it.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 3 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Well I think it is rare when people actually stand by their convictions. I do not understand why attending a protest would have been the issue she thought it was. People should protest things they do not agree with, or the establishment will just take more power. Good points, Aya.

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