A friend in need is a friend indeed…or not?

Let’s put aside all those beauty talks and food reviews for the moment and ponder over more serious topics such as friendships.

Do you have friends?

Correction.

Do you have trustworthy friends? By ‘trustworthy’ I mean friends whom you can count on when you require help. Say for example, when you require them to lend you notes when you missed a lesson, or if they discovered promotions on products/services which you know they would know you would be interested in and shared it first thing with you? Or more feasibly put, are they willing to lend you cash when you urgently need it?

Putting aside all exaggerations and extremity aside, including bad habits, for example, let’s say A is earning averagely but spends money like water and has a best friend B whom he/she always borrow money from. Is this acceptable? Once or twice may seem okay, but if A is not able to manage his/her finance properly, thus causing inconvenience to B, who has other commitments as well, or worse still has a worse financial situation than A, is it fair to call B an asshole if he/she subsequently refuses to lend A money? Is B not looked upon as a true friend now?

How about getting help from someone else who are not your immediate friends, say for example, your friend’s girlfriend. You guys may not be close and only meet up when there’s a group gathering including your bf’s presence, are you willing to help them?

Sometimes it feels as though ‘friendships’ are forged due to selfish reasons. You befriend someone because you know he/she is or will be deemed useful for your own sake.

It’s a very common problem to see friends ranting over people who only finds them for a reason, a selfish reason to be precise.

Reduced to simplicity, don’t you think that friendships are actually created out of the fear of loneliness? You need a friend to fill your emptiness, because you’re afraid of being alone, to shop alone, to dine alone or you just need to interact. No doubt human beings are naturally social creatures.

“No man is an island.” – John Donne

Of course, you will need to interact. Even though how much you loathe socializing, you will still need to socialize.

But I’m actually directing towards ‘obligations’ as a friend.

A friend in need is a friend indeed.

2 questions then automatically appear at the back of my mind :-

1. Is there any motive for the helpful friend to help you? Does he/she want something back in return? Is it ultimately a valid reason (or excuse) used by him/her to seek assistance from you in the near future?

2. Being your friend, your acquaintance, your ‘ok’ friend, friends you chill with, have fun etc, are you under any obligations to help? ‘Obligations’ itself is such a strong word to use.

So let me rephrase that.

Are you obliged to help?

There is a stark difference between being under an obligations and being obliged to help. The latter allows discretion while the former does not.

Many at times, I find that the lines are blurred between the two and many at times, I feel exploited.

Of course, this is my blog and I can rant whatever I want (although this stand may be easily shot down by legal considerations).

People come to me for help, as if I am their slave and that I am under serious obligations to help them solve their problems.

If I can help, I will, but I have a choice whether to or not.

But I am so sick of people exploiting me, asking me to help them as if it is compulsory. Or implicitly put, if I don’t agree too, I’ll be put in a bad light.

Yes, a true friend would help but are you treating me like your true friend in return? Would you help me if I seek help from you? Or will you shun away?

Would you help your friend if you know that they are only looking for you for their own gain and for the other 364 days, you do not see/hear from them? Or they are not as ‘friendly’ towards you compared to days when they need your help?

Lastly, as the seeker, after being provided help by the other person, do you :-

1. Thank them and mention about owing them one and mean it.

What is this ‘one’ anyway? A meal treat? Money? Return them a favour when they require?

2. Thank them and mention about owing them one and DON’T mean it? i.e. saying it for fun/out of courtesy

Sure, if you are truly helping a friend, whether they return you a favour does not matter.

But would you easily forget that ‘they owe you one’? Especially when they efface from your life, unless they have other problems to throw at your face for you to solve again.

I get that many at times, so should I treat your words as bullshit or should I take it very seriously (then I’ll be put in a bad light again for being greedy to get a favour in return). But who in the right mind, unless you’re an extremely thick-skinned person, to go claim your ‘prize’.

My point is, when you seek help from me, remember these points :-

1. I have a choice whether I want to help or not (can’t understand? then place yourself in my shoes? must you help me if I seek help from you?)

2. Mean what you say. ‘Owe you one’, I’d rather you not say this if it is purely out of courtesy.

*This blog post is not directly to anyone in particular, but from my personal experiences dealing with such situations and people.

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