Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Salman Khan & Shah Rukh Khan are'nt the only grown-ups with fall-outs in friendships

An excitable voice across the phone line. Tanisha demands that her friend Anita show solidarity. “This is your true test of friendship” insists Tanisha, who's taken cudgels with another friend, and expecting all her close friends, including Anita, to take sides. “Where is your loyalty? If you go to her party then we can never speak again Anita.” she declares.

No it was not a squabble of young schoolgirls, it was women in their thirties and forty’s squabbling over breaking up, making up, taking sides and solidarity.

 Yes, maturity is not a given and people do sometimes become even more childish than kids fighting in grade two or three. Have you not heard of Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan's falling out and Bollywood being called to take sides. In 2008 the Bollywood badshah Shah Rukh took a dig at Salman at a party, flippantly joking about his relationship with Aishwarya. 

To Read The Entire Article Click  'Read More' Below..
This , because he was smarting about being taunted by Salman for turning down a guest role in Salman's production Mr & Mrs Khanna. Both were upset , and in general both are intrinsically genial bonhomous types. So sending messages to each other through jibes while hurting inside is not the best way to foster good friendships. 

The fall out was long drawn because there had been no one on one chat, but rumors and

reports only exacerbated the problem. And so they were daggers drawn for years until recently when they came face to face at the premier of a recent release, hugged and sorted out their differences. Sending sarcastic oblique messages to each other through friends is always a bad idea that fans the flames. The interim period was unpleasant and uncalled for especially when they are from the same fraternity. 

As we grow up, gain more experience and knowledge, we must also develop emotionally too. EQ! Did you know that emotional intelligence is not a given, it has to be worked on. -You have to school yourself into being more tolerant, equanimous and allow a relationship to flower more with companionship and spontaneity than expecting your friend to understand you're piles of work, sporadic appearances, agendas, 
burdensome expectations and social ambitions.

My friend Anita was perplexed and divided. Good sense did tell her to move away from this childish scenario and request her excitable friend Tanisha to compose herself and behave like an adult, but instead she felt traumatized and unable to stand up to the unreasonable demands and suffered avoidable distress.

Demands can damage a relationship. To someone like Anita I’d say that your friend may give in, bridled as she is with emotional bondage, but once she opens her eyes, she will buck. Insisting that your friend spend all of her time with you; insisting that she give up her friends as per your likes or dislikes;  that she give approval of whom you meet or don’t, , is unreasonable and cannot allow long term growth of a friendship. It is not healthy that you hang around only one friend. And speaking in general, expecting a friend to always be part of your work agendas is unrealistic.  

What about having to invite your close friend to every dinner and party you plan? For a friend to expect to be invited to your every party and create a scene or sulk if you invite her selectively is not normal either. She has to be large hearted and allow for independent decisions. If one of you is hurt about being left out, say it humorously and tactfully, without burdening each other with emotional blackmail.  

Insisting that your friend invite you to every party, making sure that you make all the decisions about how you spend your time together and where you go when you go out, making them feel guilty when they spend time with other friends, making sure you win all the arguments, always insisting that your feelings are the most important- these are unreasonable demands and damage a relationship long term. You are setting yourself up the sure shot path to  strain and anxiety where there is short term intensity and then potential for damage with tumultuous break up.  

Emotional growth through relationships, changing with changing responsibilities and priorities, morphing expectations and accepting differences is the path to long term happiness of your friend and you. Being too accommodating and being walked all over can be detrimental even for your friend, who needs to be shown the mirror and given help to grow more mature.

Life presents other priorities than just social engagements and your friends demands and the way to a long innings of comfort and happiness is accepting differences, accepting separate needs and differences in expectations and opinions which is then the way to a solid long term friendship. And remember, that the way is to work around the situation, not bring ultimatums of parting, because isn't friendship for better or for worse? 

So I'd say educate a misguided friend, don't dump her because she knows no better. Just like you help a blind person cross a road, you help a friend who is blinded by personal ambition or taking sides to rise above and be mature.

Nisha JamVwal for Asian Age & Deccan Chronicle

Tweet her on @nishjamvwal

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