Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Bad Friends

For absolutely no reason other than my inner chemistry, I have felt somewhat lonely lately.

However, this has been seriously compounded by the fact that the people with whom I associate are so unreliable.

Have you ever realized that having a broken clock is worse than having NO clock? A broken clock totally messes you up. This is how I am feeling about a lot of the friends I have chosen. They are great people, I love them, and I care for them. I am sure they would say the same thing about me. But seriously I guess I am just sick of flaky friends. I have decided that I need to find more reliable people to be with. I mean, I don't think I am creating unrealistic expectations to expect friends to respond to emails, return phone calls, or just be consistent in the friendship and not cancel out on committements at the last second.

I do not suffer from any psychological problems, as far as I know. So I am definitely not paranoid, or obsessive compulsive, or depressive. In fact, I am reliable, loyal, creative, optimistic, and caring.
...either the problem is that I am giving myself way to much credit or I have selected poor friends.

I found a cool website that uses teachings of Buddhism to talk about the difference between good and bad friends. You might find it interesting.

Here are some interesting points it brings up about Bad friends...

1. The first bad friend, who takes anything, has four characteristics: (1) taking everything from you, (2) Wanting a lot for very little (or wanting much in return for giving only a little), (3) doing service only when he gets into trouble, and (4) seeking only his own advantage.

2. The second bad friend, who is a great talker, has also four characteristics: (1) talking of favours in the past, (2) talking of favours in the future, (3) trying to please you with empty promises or mouthing empty promises of goodwill, and (4) pleading inability owing to some disaster when something needs to be done in the present.

3. The third bad friend, who flatters, has also four characteristics: (1) agreeing to the bad actions of you, (2) also, agreeing to the good actions of you, (3) praising you in your presence, (4) disparaging you behind your back.

4. The fourth bad friend, who is a fellow-spendthrift or who debauches, also has four characteristics: (1) being a companion when indulging in strong drink, (2) being a companion when haunting the streets at unfitting times, (3) being a companion when frequenting shows and entertainments, and (4) being a companion when indulging in gambling.

In contrast to that, this is what it has to say about good friends...

1. The first good friend, who is helpful, has four characteristics: (1) looking for you when you are drunk, (2) looking for your possessions when you are drunk, (3) being a refuge for you are in trouble, and (4) leting you have twice what you ask for when some business is to be done.

2. The second good friend, who is the same in happy and unhappy times, has four characteristics: (1) telling you his secrets, (2) keeping your secrets, (3) not forsaking you when you are in trouble, and (4) sacrificing even his life for you.

3. The third good friend, who points out what is good for you, has four characteristics: (1) keeping you from wrongdoing, [it means "restraining you from doing the ten unwholesome courses of action: killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, telling lies, slandering, harsh speech, frivolous talk, covetousness, ill will, and wrong view"], (2) supporting you in doing good, [it means "encouraging you to do the ten courses of wholesome Kamma(= no-killing, no-stealing, no-sexual misconcduct, no-teling lies, no-slandering, no-harsh speech, no-frivolous talk or reasonable talk, no-covetousness, no-ill will, and right view), to give offerings, to take five precepts, and to practice meditation"], (3) informing you of what you do not know, and (4) pointing out the path to heaven.

4. The fourth good friend, who is sympathetic, has four characteristics: (1) not rejoicing at your misfortune, (2) rejoicing at your good fortune, (3) stopping others who speak against you, and (4) commending others who speak in praise of you.

The Buddha said, "You should cultivate and follow a friend who is endowed with seven characteristics: (1) genial, (2) venerable or respetable, (3) praise-worthy, (4) clever in speech, (5) obedient or willing to do what others bid, (6) profound in speech, and (7) not encouraging others to do evil."

In closing, I just want to remind myself and any others that I am not a perfect friend by any means. Surely there are people out there who have a long list of grievances against me and my shortcomings. Regardless, I hope that if I died today that people would remember me as not only a caring and compassionate friend, but a fun one as well.

I have no idea what the heck is going on with me and I feel so deserted right now, but I would sure love to make some better friends. I think I'm going to start working on that...starting with becoming a more desirable friend in the first place. I think all of us just want to hang out with people who want to be with us and we want to be with them. I am imagining that is what a good marriage is like, and I can't wait to achieve that someday. In the meantime, I'm not looking for a boyfriend but is it really too unrealistic to find close and quality friends?

Thanks for listening today.


agirlwho said...

I'll hang out with you. Seriously! You just name the time and place. :)

Le Mec said...

I appreciate the kind comments you left me on my blog. Funny, last night I was feeling about the same as you describe. What I hate is that I get myself feeling so deserted and at the very moment when I could call a number of friends I start telling myself that they can't help me or they have enough problems themselves. The thing is, I know that they really do care and that I can accept help in the way it is given. I hope you're feeling better today, and ditto on the thing Agirlwho said.

John said...

I am also down for said hanging out! Just let Agirlwho know and I'll be there :) I was impressed in your post how part of your solution was to try and become a better friend. I definitely think that getting out of ourselves and becoming more caring about others will help us become more stable and secure, and it will attract the kinds of friends you are talking about. My sister had a license plate frame that said "Be the perfect girl so you will deserve the perfect guy" or something like that. A little cheesy, but the principle still applies. Thanks for your post!

Distinguishing Preoccupation said...

Yeah, I guess I don't have anything original to say -everyone else already basically has said it. So ditto to everyone elses comments. If you ever wanna just chat or something feel free to email me


Kengo Biddles said...

You know, friends are hard to come by. Most people fit in the first category, and most of them don't even realize that.

I hear you on the frustrationn, and would hope that I could be a friend to you like that, too.

I've added you to chat and would love to chat it up if we're ever on line at the same time, and, who knows, Miki and I will maybe, just maybe invite you over for some good international food.

pinetree said...

amen to what agirlwho, le mec, john and distinguishing preoccupation said.

Hidden said...


I am definitely good friend #2. Not looking for a boyfriend either, but willing to offer support, and that's not a cop-out empty promise either.


"And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance."