Anna Garlin Spencer who was an American feminist, speaking about man/women friendship, once quoted saying “The friendship between a man and a woman which does not lead to marriage or desire for marriage may be a life long experience of the greatest value to themselves and to all their circle of acquaintance and of activity; but for this type of friendship both a rare man and a rare woman are needed“. What I recently discovered not only rare men and women are needed for that kind of a friendship, but even rare people needed to understand one such friendship.
I generally don’t believe in keeping contact with people, whose views I cannot appreciate, or rather cannot stand. Unfortunately when they become a business liability, you end up keeping interface with them, even though you hate their presence. “Falling in my eyes” was an instance of such horrible person, with whom I still have to interact.
When you meet a person, you really can’t know his/her real attitude, and thus may sometimes end up being friends with people whom you later discover, to be really bad, or incompatible with your ideologies. I generally distance from them slowly, just hoping that they don’t feel totally left out suddenly. Still over the years I have maintained contacts with all such one time good friends. Recently, on the occasion of the new years, I pinged a one old friend on gtalk, mainly to wish him a happy new year. Its been almost more than 6/7 months since I had talked with him, or emailed. After the pleasantry exchanges, the usual hows work stuff, he started to loosen up, and things which I hated started to come up. Its surprising how people keep track of what you are upto, even without talking to you directly, he seem to know whom I am spending time what, whats happening at my workplace, and with whom I was generally in good terms with.
When you are not aware of a relationship, I guess the best thing you can do is not to talk about it, because you never know how you are affecting the other person. He started commenting about a nice friendship I have developed over the recent times. I could not stand it. He had absolutely no right to talk about a friendship, in such a bad taste. Firstly I doubt if he has ever understood how a friendship can exist between opposite sex. More importantly I don’t think he understood what friendship means in general. I gave an excuse and logged off the gtak, but I was pretty pissed the whole day.
The next day my reader showed up this post from a friend No place for friendship.
Its strange how often the friendship gets misunderstood, sometimes from the people involved and many times from people outside. When there are sentiments involved, it makes it all the more sensitive topic to be dealt with.
As I do not have much insight about how women misunderstand the friendship, I will chose to write my views from the male perspective. People always accuse of the men to misinterpret friendship to a relation of romantic interest. I think I agree to this partially. I do not know if it only happens wrt males, but in some cases, I have seen myself, and felt in a odd occasion, that I misinterpreted the intention in a friendship. I guess this is inevitable in a non established relationship, when each have their own agenda, or probably they haven’t even set up their minds as to what to expect in the friendship. Do you think the one who misunderstood is guilty?, I am not so sure on that one. One thing is for sure, when the misunderstanding comes out, in most of the cases, thats the end of the friendship.
Talking about the more damaging part, people not knowing anything about the relation, people who see that from a distance, many times have something nasty to say, hurting the sentiments of the people involved, especially if it is about a person whose friendship you really care about. As it happened in my case, my respect for the person further deteriorated, more importantly put in a doubt in my mind, what if all people are looking at the friendship with a bad perspective?, more importantly what if the other person has other ideas more than friendship. Basically ruined something which was doubtless.
I agree this does indicate a weak friendship, what some one says or does should not have any effect on your strong friendship, thats ideal situation we are talking about, and it takes time for all friendship to reach that stage, and in the mean while, someone makes such a comment, and it really effects you.
For a long long time, I did not believe in pure friendship, not with the same sex, specially not with the opposite sex, but perceptions do change, for some sooner and for less fortunate ones like me later. Why is it that common a notion that “Man and a woman cannot be just friends”.