On Friendships

Relationships — platonic or otherwise — are a concept I don’t fully grasp. The definition of friendship appears to be highly personalised, with each individual having their own take on what it means to them and their own determining features of what constitutes a friend. My vague definition and basis of friendship seem to involve higher standards and expectations than most. Many use the term with relative ease and swiftness, tossing it around frequently without much thought. I do not consider myself ever having had a friend. It is not a term I use lightly.

I’ve always wondered why friendships form so much more effortlessly for others when it is onerous for me. Even as a child, I felt foreign to this land. Others didn’t (or couldn’t) understand me, and I didn’t understand them.

Perhaps I had to find someone or at least hope to come across someone like-minded whom I could click with, I thought. Perhaps the standards for others and myself were unrealistic. Perhaps I was being too fussy. That I had to be patient. That I had to work on myself and on being a better person (and I have).

Throughout all these years, relationships still are my Achilles’ heel. Perhaps it isn’t so much about the external factors — the environment, circumstances, the people — but internal aspects instead.

Perhaps they’re right. Perhaps I’m a fraud. Perhaps I’m horrid. Repulsive. Antagonistic. Obnoxious. That I’m manipulative. Selfish. Self-centered. If given the chance, I wouldn’t want to be friends with myself.

They are not the problem. I am.

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