Are you a good friend?

As a writer I am constantly observing people, analysing them, trying to see things from their perspective and most of all seeking what makes people tick (or stop ticking as the case may be). I used to do it even before I became a writer too. It's just the way I am wired.
One of my degrees (I have several and varied educational qualifications) is a Masters degree in Sociology which --no prizes for guessing-- is one of my favourite subjects too. Social psychology and I have spent many happy hours together. But that does not make me an expert but it sure gives me many perspectives which I might not have considered before.

Of late, I have begun analysing relationships a lot. Especially friendships. Friends are truly the family we choose for ourselves. It is interesting to see what kind of friends you have chosen for yourself. Your choices speak volumes about you, as a person.

Satish used to tell me 'There are no permanent friends or no permanent enemies.' I used to never agree with him and I used to argue with him, with examples. Two of my closest friendships  are both a friendship of 31 years! The other longest friendship I have is a friendship of 21 years. Yes--I am still very good friends and in regular touch with these three people and I met two of them recently.

And yet, the older I get and  the more I think about it, the more I am convinced that Satish's statement is right.

Who is a friend really?

I found this interesting link which tells you what makes a good friend. (Read it and find out if you qualify to be a good friend).

I think at certain point in our lives, certain people are 'friends'. Then situations change, various things happen and some friendships break and some last.

 The most important thing to remember,  if you want your friendship to last, is to realise what is important to the other person, and make an effort to accept that. Once you see things from their point of view, then you understand them. You probably can accommodate their expectations and it may not seem all that unreasonable as it did in the first place.

 Also one thing which most of us don't follow is to forgive. It is hard when the wounds are deep. We keep thinking about that thing which a person did which hurt us. It isn't easily forgotten. Maybe buried deep down--but it exists.

Over the years I have lost a few good friendships. I have tried my best to retrieve them. On one occasion, even though I felt it wasn't my 'fault' (it never is one person's fault alone) I  must have apologized  at least 15 times over a period of one year. I kept hoping that my friend would let it go and we could resume the easy camaraderie we shared. But no--she was unyielding and I gave up after 3 years of trying.

I think if a relationship matters to you, you have to do your best to save it. If there is still no effort from the other side, let it go. Do not relentlessly pursue.
Your time with that person is over. Life's journey is long. Move on--there are better people waiting to happen. If you keep lamenting about what could have been you are closing the door on what is to be. And what is to be is usually better. And yes, accept that it hurts and it is going to hurt for a long long time.

Yesterday, I had this visual as the Display picture on my Blackberry Messenger.

A friend on my BBM pinged me and said 'wow. This is worth framing really'. I agreed with him.

Very often we complicate out own lives.

Keep it simple. Be with the ones who want you! Let go of the ones who don't!

Celebrate each day and be grateful for the ones you are there for you!


ps: If you want to share stories of your friendships--that exist or those that went  sour, or any thoughts on friendship, please feel free! I would love to hear them.


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  1. Friends are like moments who come into your life for a reason. I agree with you..each of us in the relationship has to make an effort to keep it going.

  2. to follow what it states on the picture is one of those toughest things to start

  3. What i feel is, no one can teach us how to be a good friend, unless you want to be one...

  4. I Agree on your statements mam.We should definitely try to retrieve our lost friendship but never at the cost of our self esteem.So its better to let go.Some times time heals a lot of things.

  5. I agree with you Preeti. We should always try our level best to keep the bond of friendship (or any relation) going , but if the person at the other end is unwilling, nothing can be salvaged. It is better to let go but TRY not to harbour negative feeling for that person. Or leave the thread unbroken for sometime and talk over it later on to dispel misunderstandings. If it works out, its fine, otherwise destiny has something better in store for both the people.

  6. i agree to whatever you have told about friendship.. i too have a bestfriend and i understand what true friendship is all about.

  7. Loved your post. Thanks for sharing the link, its very nice.

  8. Anonymous3:27 PM

    I have such a story Preeti.. I have blogged about it here.. :)

  9. Very true. Friendships aren't permanent. And it hurts when you are no longer in touch with someone whom you used to call your 'best friend'. I come from a defence background where mobility is a way of life and moving on was a tough lesson to learn.


  10. Anonymous5:45 PM

    Things will be easier if one comprehends exactly what picture depicts. But ken is not enough, what I think.

    Admiration that makes you implement what picture says comes after facing the obstacles in life.

  11. Can't agree more to it - "Keep it simple. Be with the ones who want you! Let go of the ones who don't! "
    The simple philosophy of existence of any relationship is love and love only.
    If its present; thing is worthwhile otherwise not.
    Grudges are like termite that infests the soul. If little pesticide can repair it, wonderful! and if not erase it by moving ahead altogether. Never let anybody to ruin peace of mind!
    Life is too precious to spoil in lamenting and grudges... it is short! Spend it wisely and happily!

  12. Anonymous6:50 PM

    Hello mam every time I read your blog I learn something new or it simply answers some of my questions . Friends are very special they are the one whom we can tell anything to everything and I feel blessed that I am in touch with my childhood friends. We still have that same bonding despite the fact we had misunderstandings but we couldn't stay away from each other .

    And yes we should keep things simple it helps us only , it doesn't ,makes our life complicated and at times it doesn't bother our close ones also .

  13. I believe there is neither a perfect human being nor a perfect relation only thing we can do is put efforts to make it perfect. Friendship can last longer only if both persons involved are ready to put efforts to maintain this relation.

  14. Hello Preeti,
    First of all it was a nice link and it was very good.
    The heading of the link caught my attention "GOOD FRIEND". I don't really know how many "BAD FRIENDS" (FRIENDS but not GOOD or just FRIEND??) one person has.
    This is short story about me and MY "REAL FRIEND". As the time passed, I realize how he influenced in my life. He always gives a different point of view, gave me right directions, and most importantly stood with me when it was tough for me. Now it is the time for me to give something back for him and all my friends
    After reading the link, i started analysing who all are in my GOOD FRIEND's list. I started looking back year by year. Before starting the story, i am 29year old and hails from Palaghat, Kerala
    By fifth standard i lost my best friends as I changed school from 4th standard. Still i have a fade memory of some of the names and faces (Baburaj, Subhash,Jaison, Nassar, Asha , Savitha, Jayshree)
    I got new friends from 5th standard as i changed my school. First time I felt happy that i got new friends. At that time i had a close friend named Mahesh, who was really helpful and often we used to play as team. Some other names still i am carrying in my heart was Shamsudheen, Suneesh,Ranjith, Shameer, Promis king,Sunitha, Neethu, Jineesh. We as a team spent a lot of time together till 7th standard.
    As my family moved to Palakkad once again i lost all contacts and lost most of them except Mahesh. Biju was someone special for me and he was an excellent football player and he broke his arm three times. Another two close friends were Umesh and Santosh who, my neighbour’s and we used to go to school together. But we were in different divisions.
    After my 10th standard I went to a NAVY test in Cochin, with my REAL FRIEND. Test started on 6 am and since I was passed to next level, I could come out only after 3 pm. We both did not even had breakfast. I was astonished that he was waiting for me outside the gate without even having a glass of water till 3pm. He congratulated me on passing the 1st level .
    The twist happened when i joined in NTTF (probably many people will not be knowing) in 2001 which was again I felt a good decision made by me and my REAL FRIEND. I joined this unique institution where theory is only one day and 5 days is practical’s in workshop. The institution has peculiar relationship between seniors and juniors. The culture is such that each and every one can still remember each other’s roll numbers and names in his batch still, that means after 8 years. I can proudly say all my 50 batch mates are still in contact with each other even though they pursued different courses and employed in different countries. We used to gather for marriages and to at least 10 will make it out for one's marriage. We still call others nick name and to everyone’s surprise all the 50 had nickname. Now we all are in touch with each other, thanks to technology, internet, Facebook, Orkut etc.
    After passing out of NTTF i worked three years. Career path was not so promising and i had a thought of going back to school again. But my ONE REAL FRIEND supported me and boosted my confidence. So i decided to join another SCHOOL (MSRSAS) in Bangalore for my Maters. Four of my NTTF batch mates were also decided to join along with me, but for different courses.The first day of MSRSAS, was one of the great embarrassment in my life.. I murmured!!!!What the hell???? Too many familiar faces and asking me you tooooo??

    continued in next post (as the charecters limited)

  15. 85% of the students were from NTTF either seniors or batch mates. There were many seniors who passed 8 years before me are now my batch mates!!. After 1 and half years, as our convocation day was nearing (2009 April), all the news was about recession. I was sure that there was no campus interview and no interview calls. It was a proud moment for me and my REAL FRIEND, but on the other side, i had no job. I went back to my home. I could not sit idle in home, for not more than two weeks. I was getting angry and depressed. Some of these days I was in tears, thinking how can I return something to my father and mother who spent lot of money for Master studies.
    But still my REAL FRIEND supported me, gave courage and suggested for trying some different job. This was the time I realised that he is a special FRIEND and how much he is trying to support me.
    I got a small teaching job in CADD Centre close to my home and i was really happy. Accidently I restarted my career in a different path. Here comes one of my friend again, my high school batch mate as a student of mine after 9 years. I could not hide my feelings after met him after 10 years.. After a year of career in CADD center , another major change in my career in my life as a lecturer. Guess what!!! In the same place a year before I was a student. Yes I got opportunity for teaching in MSRSAS. Now I am a colleague of my teachers after one year.
    In a short span of two months, new batched were enrolled and I saw many of my seniors and batch mates in benches. It was rather a different kind of feeling, standing in front of my batch mates and seniors as a lecturer. I was enjoying the art of teaching which I hated till my 2nd innings of career.
    On these days I was very active on ORKUT. I started remembering my old friends and I found MAHESH, my UP school classmate. We talked for a long time and after that id did not lose his contact. Now he is in Trivandrum. Another friend ORKUT relinked me was Sunitha, another schoolmate. When she told me that she had a crush on me on 5th standard I really was speechless. Anyway now and she is working as a nurse she have a happy family. Luck turned again to me when I got a timely interview call from MNC. I got selected and to specially mention, everyone including me, my family and MY REAL FRIEND was very much happy after getting a good job.
    In the meantime, I found my old school friend JAYASREE after 20 years!!!! Through FACEBOOK. Her face did not change much and my washed-out image of her was same. I typed a famous film dialogue in Malayalam, ORMAYUNDO EE MUKHAM, meaning do you remember this face. I did not get reply, waited for two three minutes. Then comes yes!!!!!. She said, she was very much surprised and she was not at all expecting me. We had a chat and I came to know that she got married and lives happily. I invited to her to come over to my house and she promised that she will come.
    Through facebook, I was able to connect Jinesh, Ranjith, Baburaj, Promis King. Jinesh is going to start studio himself and other s are woking in different companies.
    I could not resist sharing my latest close friendship with another person who left MNC and pursued another career. We were in touch with each other and share our viewpoints on life, news etc. After a year and a half, I got onsite opportunity at JAPAN, I had a chance to meet (first time after leaving MSRSAS) two of my colleagues.
    So this is end of my story till today. I don’t know who is my “GOOD FRIEND” because I have too many and I am very bad in losing them. But I do have a “REAL FRIEND” . But I realized it little late. It was my father who stood with me, and gave me enormous courage to face anything throughout my life, and correcting me whenever necessary. DEDICATED TO MY FATHER and my friends
    As I mentioned, in my view all friends are good and the question in who is BEST FRIEND or CLOSE FRIEND.
    Thank you for taking tour time for reading this.

  16. i have come across similar situations too. ur post reminds me of few incidents similar to its going to be 2 years now -- it was a deep life-long friendship, or so i thought! we were roommates at a hostel n after some 8 months ,she had to move to another place very closeby. we were still in touch, after she moved, for 3 years. it was so easy for us to stay in touch or even meet up amidst our busy n erratic schedules. but ever since i mentioned my decision that i'm relocating to my hometown, she was not there for me. Now, when i think about whatever happened, i dont feel like she started ignoring me because she was upset that i was going to leave, but it looks like -- she did not need me as a friend as we would not have enough time to share with thereafter! we last met 2 weeks before i left that place. On the eve of my departure, i was so very expecting her to call me back or atleast text me, if she is so busy. i had attempted to call her, just to talk, but there was no response. i left town, still there was no reply. i still cant get over that friendship. i mail her at times, for which i get a reply rarely. in the past two years, she hasnt picked my call even once. i tried last week too. she mails back that she had been "BUSY". i just cant take it as a reason for not finding time. i'm trying to let go, because i have been hearing from other friends who live near her place that she really has decent time for social life and she does make time for others(whom she said did not matter when i was beside
    i wonder if she wanted to be friends only with people she can meet regularly. well, no idea about that.
    there s another really close n best friend who has quite changed after her wedding. i know she is busy balancing work and home, but it wasnt like this earlier, so i find it hard to cope with. but still, we are in touch. here too, i make the effort to call or text. she was my greatest pillar when i needed someone like her the most, so i cant let her go, no matter what :) she is not like the other friend i told about at first. i know that she loves me, and our relation has a very very deep connection :) we havent had a chance to meet for over 3 years now but are still BFF and i strongly believe that we ll stay so forever :)
    could you suggest me if i should let go of the first friend i've mentioned (by looking into what i've written)
    P.S. i'm quite like you in observing people and relationships -- well, actually i observe almost everything about a person. human psychology is my favourite, it comes naturally to me. probably that is why i'm a crazy fan of your books -- i deeply analyse the characters you build, there is a lot to Ankita Sharma's character than it appears on the face value, Akash and Sandeep too :) I'm not that good at narrating things by writing :P but since u had asked for readers' stories, i thought i ll make an attempt ;)

  17. ah well, i've given a very long story for u to read i guess ;)
    also i want to share a mail i had received long back. it was titled -- "Ever wonder why you know the people you know?"
    its quite lengthy, i'm sorry about that. but i believe you and other readers will find it sensible and worthy :)

    People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime..

    When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person.

    When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.

    They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with
    guidance and support,

    To aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.

    They may seem like a godsend and they are.

    They are there for the reason you need them to be.

    Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,

    this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.

    Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.

    Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.

    What we must realize
    is that our need has been met, our desire
    fulfilled, their work is done.

    The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

    Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.

    They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.

    They may teach you something you have never done.

    They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.

    Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.

    LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons,

    things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.

    Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.

    It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

    Thank you for being a part of my life,
    whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime.

  18. Anonymous11:40 PM

    You just said it some relationships come with an expiry date. I shall leave you with that, Great Friendships are those that withstood times. Btw I am very emotional when it comes to friends and they matter the most, perhaps more than family ties. That's me.
    I shall mail you the story of my friendship.

  19. @vishalbheeroo: relationships NEVER come with an expiry date. i dont see where Preeti Shenoy has mentioned so...
    Ofcourse, like you say, relationships come out successful when they stand the tests of time, but unfortunately, people "give up". It is the people who axe relationships based on their needs or circumstances or misunderstandings, its not like they are tagged with (selfish) reasons, which i believe, ends relationships fast.

  20. Rightly said! Complications in life are dependent upon the choices and decisions we make. And relationships are an integral part of those choices. :)

  21. Really loved tis blog , whatever u mentioned above s absolutely true....

  22. Anonymous11:02 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. Anonymous11:19 AM

    i lost my frnshp f 10 yrs..she wz lyk my sis bt she started ignorin me....
    i missed her lyk hell n cried a lot 4 almost 2 yrs.. .. i wish i cud b more emotionally mature..since thn i dnt blv in makin bst frns..i tlk wid random people n njy my lyf.. wot i hv learned 4m dis z tat dnt xpct nythng 4m ny1..n gv space..nvr gv too much importnc 2 ny1 cause u'll nly b hurting urslf more .......

  24. Anonymous12:30 PM

    n ya I dnt agree on 1 point..luv sum1..tell it..cause true luv doesn't exist..I think tat in today's lyf peopl search 4 immaterial things in othrs ....why cnt peopl luv othrs 4 who dey r..? I personally hate luv.. hv seen mny peopl enterin into relationships n wn sum1 reveals thr hidden secrets dey dump u....immature luv..
    it's btr 2 be alone so tat nobody can hurt u..n thr r lot f thngs 2 do othr than luvin sum1..
    n ya ur blogs r rillllyyyy vry nice..:-)
    richa sharma

  25. i am experiencing dis in my life..thou my constant efforts of connecting with one of my close frnd not reacting at all..dnt knw why...ur words touch my heart..can i share ur few thoughts if u dont mind abt friendship..

  26. i am experiencing dis right of my best friend is maintaining distance from me..your word touch my heart..can i share ur few thoughts about friendship which u share here on my fb post..


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