Lasting friendships for us and for our children grew in the tentative, open-ended, slightly blindly feeling way of friendships.
Through this decade and a half though, the particular friendship with my songful friend held, perhaps to the surprise of both of us. Here perhaps is the closest I have seen to a definition of friendship at its best: a stance imbued with sympathy, interest and excitement directed at another despite all that otherwise shows we are flawed and dangerous creatures. On that evening, the evening of the last time we went out to dinner together, I did push my friend towards one of the topics we usually avoided. I had been wanting him to acknowledge and even apologise for his behaviour towards some young women he had spoken to, I thought, lewdly and insultingly nearly a year before in my home at a party.
The women and those of us who had witnessed his behaviour felt continuing tension over his refusal to discuss the fact that he had wanted to speak so insultingly to them and then had done it in our home in front of us. For me, there was some element of betrayal, not only in the way he had behaved but in his continued refusal to discuss what had happened.
The women were drunk, he said, just as he had said the last time I tried to talk to him about this. My friend and I were sitting in a popular Thai restaurant on Sydney Road: metal chairs, plastic tables, concrete floor. It was noisy, packed with students, young couples and groups out for a cheap and tasty meal.
A waitress had put menus, water and beer on our table while she waited for us to decide on our meals. Wanting to push finally past this impasse, I pointed out to him that the women had not insulted him, he had insulted them. The whole restaurant fell silent. I could not move for some time.
The waitress began mopping up the floor around me. This was the last time I saw or heard from him. For many months, I thought of him every day, then slowly I thought of him less often, until now I can think of him more or less at will, and not find myself ashamed of the way I went for him in a conversation where I should have been perhaps more alive to whatever was troubling him.
For some years after this, I felt I had to learn how to be myself without him.
‘Tolerating much, for the sake of best intentions’
I have read articles and essays since then about how pitiful men can be at friendship. We are apparently too competitive, we base our friendships on common activities, which means we can avoid talking openly about our feelings and thoughts. It dented my confidence in ever having properly known this man or understood our friendship — or in knowing how secure any friendship might be.
Her narrator, Latimer, finds he can perceive perfectly clearly the thoughts of all the people around him. He becomes disgusted and deeply disturbed by the petty self-interest he apparently discovers within everyone. Read more: Guide to the classics: Michel de Montaigne's Essays. His big idea was loyalty, and I think I understand that, though not in the absolute way Montaigne wrote of it. Loyalty is only real if it is constantly renewed. I worry that I have not worked enough at some friendships that have come into my life, but have let them happen more passively than the women I know who spend such time, and such complicated time, exploring and testing friendships.
The sudden disappearance of my friend left me with an awareness of how patched-together, how improvised, clumsy and tentative even the most secure-seeming friendship can be. I may lose, at any moment, through the play of circumstances over which I have no control, anything whatsoever that I possess, including things that are so intimately mine that I consider them as myself. There is nothing that I might not lose. It could happen at any moment ….
To know what it is we care about, this is a gift. It should be straightforward to know this and keep it present in our lives, but it can prove to be difficult. Being the reader that I am, I have always turned to literature and fiction for answers or insights into those questions that seem to need answering.
I realised some time after the ending of my friendship that I had been reading novels dealing with friendship, and was not even sure how consciously I had chosen them. For instance, I read The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber, a novel about a Christian preacher, Peter Leigh, sent to convert aliens in a galaxy ludicrously far from earth on a planet with an equally unlikely atmosphere benign to its human colonisers.
It is a novel about whether Leigh can be any kind of adequate friend to his wife left behind on Earth, and whether his new feelings for these aliens amounts to friendship. Though my suspension of disbelief was precarious, I found myself caring about these characters and their relationships, even the grotesquely shapeless aliens. Partly I cared about them because the book read like an essay testing ideas of friendship and loyalty that were important and urgent to the writer. The novel centred on lost friendships. I heard a tone in its voice that was the oddly flat, persistent, vulnerable and sincere searching of a man for connection with others.
Without our friends we become invisible, lost. I wanted to shake those characters, tell them to stop and think about what they were doing, but at the same time I saw in them mirrors of myself and my experiences.
Easy Ways to Make Friends - wikiHow
I read John Berger too , on the way a human looks across an abyss of incomprehension when looking at another animal. Though language seems to connect us, it might be that language also distracts us from the actual abyss of ignorance and fear between all of us as we look, across, at each other. I have read essays by Robin Dunbar on the evolutionary limits to our circles of intimacy , where he suggests that for most of us there needs to be three or maybe five truly close friends. These are the ones we lean towards with tenderness and open ourselves to with endless curiosity — those in whom we seek only the good.
My partner can name quickly four friends who qualify for her as part of this necessary circle.
How to Say No to Anyone (Even a Good Friend)
It is this constellation that sustains me. When you have decided to say no, make sure to use the same voice which you utilize on a telephone. Say no with a firm, calm and clear voice. It is also to be noted that confused, unclear and weak voice can make the opponent exploit you and make you say yes.
So be reasonable and say no to your friend without a second thought.
How To Say No To Your Friends, Because It's Not Always Easy To Share Your Needs
It would be good not to allow feelings to fester too long, when the discussion is started and you know that you cannot help out, say no immediately and do not prolong. Also make sure not to procrastinate the decision of saying no, when a request is put forward make a decision right at the moment so the opponent does not depend on you for the task. Being an employee you would have been committed with other work apart from your office work and there are people who interfere in your work and ask for help. This situation can be tough to handle but without an option no is to be said.
A good friend would definitely understand the situation and understand you. Whether in life or career an individual needs to ask help to his friend, and saying a yes or no depends on the situation of the person on the other side. The above mentioned are a few tips which can be used to say no to a good friend.
Saying no also requires self-confidence and fearlessness. To succeed and move up in life there are situations where you need to say no. Understand the situation and handle as per it by making it a perfect one. There are many sites too which help in saying no to friends.
Saying no is never a bad idea or opinion; it just shows that each individual should carry on their own duty without delays. Saturday, October 19, Write for us Contact Us. How to Dress for Success as a Woman? Best Hypothetical Interview Questions and Answers. What is HR Analytics? How to Use it for Business Decisions. How to Improve Concentration and Memory Easily?
I have an appointment. Most people will respect your privacy enough not to pry. If your friend does get nosy, a simple "I'd rather not get into it," should suffice to keep further argument at bay. Remember, you're not obligated to explain yourself or to justify your decision.
There needs to be some privacy and autonomy left in the world! Disclaimer: The links and mentions on this site may be affiliate links. But they do not affect the actual opinions and recommendations of the authors.
Wise Bread is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon. I like 2. I use the common phrase: "let me think about it I guess I like number one best. I have no problem saying no. Tough love. Its what I grew up on and am thankful for it. I found this article because I am having a really hard time saying no to my family who "ambush" me every chance they get. I work from home as well and they just don't get it.
I feel terrible and it's probably too late to say no now The next time, I will be trying 2 or 3, but some people just don't get it. I am pretty sure they will be angry at me for saying no. With respect, ma'am, the majority of these suggestions are reliant on using your child as an excuse.
There is no doubt becoming a parent shuffles priorities and eats up your time, and if that were truthfully the sole reason you said no, that's fine.
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It doesn't really help if someone wants to say no and has no such person to blame for it though.