When you need a favour

There is an unwritten agreement between whatever you call ‘friends’, that if you need a favour:

  1. that your friends will pay attention to your need
  2. assist in whatever way they can for no fee.
  3. will do the above willingly, and without need of you begging about it.

– subject of course, to the favour being morally and legally appropriate, as always.

If you discover that someone you thought of as a friend repeatedly paid rather superficial attention to things, you may begin to wonder about the nature of the ‘friendship’. Of course, if you suggest that the other doesn’t or hasn’t paid attention to the issue properly, that in itself may put some strain on a friendship.

No – hang on! I’m not saying that friends have to be 100% attentive to each other all the time.

It’s a funny old world really. People are sooooh… totally busy. So, one cannot expect perfection. However, if you’ve got a problem, concern or request, and you go to a ‘friend’, you normally expect that you’d be given a much better level of attention than going to a total stranger. I think that’s a fair enough assessment.

But what if the level of attention you get is marginally better than what you might expect from a stranger? How does that make you feel? Do I really need to spell it out? What if that becomes a pattern, even if not a perfect one.

There are two major aspects of all this. If you can’t give somebody who is a so-called friend the time, say so – be honest and say why. But to give superficial attention and then appear that way, is to potentially weaken a relationship, in the longer term. I’m afraid average people do pick up when they’re not really being listened to. You know about this –and so do others.

Think – do you like people who nod but pay no real attention? Be honest. Would you like to be treated that way – someone nodding at you but with their mind elsewhere? That’s rather insulting or belittling – isn’t it? So why do that to another? I suggest that those who engage in this kind of superficiality are there to keep friends around for convenient usage. Beware of these types.

If you’ve gotten this far, you’re now trying to psychoanalyse what’s disturbed my psychological pond. You’re wondering who or what has ‘upset’ me – and other similar questions e.g. who might I have in mind in writing the above – as if I have to have someone in mind. And that’s the amazing thing. Look, it’s not my state of mind that matters. It is the issue and what can be learned and applied that matters most. Psychoanalyse yourself to make sure you’re not anything like described above.

[See also: What’s the measure of friendship]

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