A quick rant on firing your friends

08Nov13

Ever since I was a kid, I had this idea I would have a large friend circle and hang out and do lots of fun things together. To my 14 year old self, having lots of friends was the epitome of coolness and how other people perceived me.

As time went along, my friend circle started shrinking. In college, I had no large ‘hang out’ group, I probably had a couple girlfriends from my major class, that’s it. No BFFs, no best buddies, no one. Of course, I also had theatre and social work (Akanksha) so I was pretty busy.

I was thinking about this stuff – having friends and knowing what to do with them. It’s been almost a decade since I left college, and while nostalgia is the worst form of regret, I remember my college days as lovely architecture, hot summer days, bus rides and very long walks home. The only people I remember are probably my English Literature professors and the guy who sold the best Masala sandwiches outside campus.

Today, I have one person I can call my best friend and maybe two people I can call close friends. These are the people I love to meet, chat with, go to when I am sad and need a pep talk. They know everything about me (even though I met some of them as recently as 3 years ago) but I know they are in it for the long haul because they have seen it all. I am incredibly grateful for them and I will do anything for them, especially my best friend.

So coming to the subject of other friends – over the past couple years, I find I am acting more and more like a dick when it comes to people I don’t really get along with. And by that mean, people who make me feel stilted or like a useless under achiever or who are selfish and think of only themselves. So I have fired them.

There was a girl who I really tried to like but who cancelled on me last minute (she was supposed to meet me for a concert but bailed last minute because apparently she had to delivery of a new TV set at her place, therefore by extension, her 2 room mates and boyfriend all could not make it) – she really got on my nerves after this point. I tried to skim over this, I never brought it up so I am partly to blame, but every time I wanted to make plans with her, I kept thinking back of the no show concert day and it would annoy me all over again. So, friendship terminated.

Recently, another acquaintance wanted my help with a special project. I did my best to help as much as possible, with daily long calls on progress and introductions to my contacts who could assist him. But when I found out he was making decisions without letting me know (my biggest grouse was not that he made those decisions, but that he never told me he was making them), my trust levels were reset to zero and our friendship got handed the pink slip. Mostly by me. But it feels like he handed in one too because whatever happened to trying harder?

I like to think I am an easy going person, and that my tolerance levels are pretty high. I hope I made the right decision because I do love people and communities – it would be horrible if I am incapable of making any friends.

However, if you have a friend who makes you uncomfortable, and who makes you behave in a way that is not true to your centre, my advice would be to fire the shit out of them.

After all, we all die alone, don’t we?

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