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F.R.I.E.N.D.S (part one) The Story of Agnes

Friendship is such a huge and interesting subject that I cannot stop writing and rewriting about it again and again.

I do not like long texts and always try to keep my posts in the range of one page A4 format, but there is just so much to say about F R I E N D S.

I decided to do 3 posts in a row and I chose to elaborate on quotes by F. Dostoyevsky  for todays subject. The author of Crime and Punishment will share his wisdom about life and friendship with you, my dear readers.

Choosing friends, the right friends in your life has a great importance. People have a tendency to become similar to the people they hang out with: in lifestyle spending habits, interests, goals (or the absence thereof), attitude towards sports and fitness, eating habits, etc.

It’s likely that we cannot see the the subtle influence of our friends taking place, but as the years pass, we “wake up” and analyse our habits and changes in tendencies.  It can be quite shocking to take a step back and examine what we have (or haven’t) done with our life just by surrounding ourselves with wrong people.

Let me tell you a story about Agnes.

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Agnes was a nice young lady, only 23 years old when she moved to Berlin from Poznan. Studying in Humboldt was a dream come true to her; she was extremely happy. Even though she could speak German, she couldn’t fully express herself in the language.  Therefore, she was subconsciously choosing as friends people who could talk polish, her mother language. She chose communication convenience and Ignored the fact that these people were very different from her. But she did not want to leave her comfort zone concerning the language communication. First, she began to notice that she did not get any new or interesting information by communicating with these people. Their attitude towards life was very different from Agnes’s.  Their lives revolved around working all week till the weekend, getting drunk on Saturday night and meeting up on Sunday for brunch to complain about headaches and discuss who went crazy the night before.

In Poland, Agnes was a girl who loved to talk about ideas, create new projects, and help homeless people and dogs. Now in Germany she could not find places where she could express herself in the same way. The girls whom she met in Berlin were nice and they always invited her for dinners. She loved that, but during the dinners, the girls were not discussing new ideas, or relaying interesting facts or new art projects.  Instead, they were discussing other people, other peoples’ relationships, who screwed whom up, etc.  It was all very shallow. When she tried to talk about her ideas and projects, the girls, who were always quite passive in their lives, tried to clip Agnes’s wings.  They would say things such as ”They will never allow you to do that, you are a foreigner, you are Polish. They do not give good jobs to foreigners. Stop dreaming and start living your real life!” Instead of supporting Agnes, her friends wanted to “open her eyes” to the reality, crush her glorious dreams, and bring them down to their level.

Agnes was so afraid to be alone that she allowed herself to become adjusted  to the social group she was communicating with. After 2 years Agnes woke up and understood that she was losing something incredibly important – she was losing her life, her identity. Agnes made a decision to stop communication with the “wrong” people. She took a piece of paper and wrote down the following questions:

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Why did I become friends with these people?

Who are my real friends? Who understands me?

 Who shares my passion for life and my passion for creating new ideas?

Which people am I happy to communicate with? Who motivates me to develop my skills and knowledge and motivates me grow?

Who is happy for me? Who is always ready to share my success and help me when I have difficult times?

Agnes made a list. That list of a true friend contained only one person. But she was extremely happy that she did have this person. She limited communication with the other people who were negatively influencing her life. She stopped being afraid that she would be lonely: we have Internet – we are never alone nowadays!

It took her more than a half year to regain control of her life.  She took herself out of her comfort zone went out and met new interesting people.  She discovered her passions, started reading books again and became happy.

Silver medalist of Olympics 2012 in triathlon, Swedish Lisa Norden said in one of her interviews “If I would like to be on top, I have to live  ascetic sometimes.” Its true, this method can make you feel lonely and can be hard from the beginning, but if you follow the advice of F. Dostoyevsky, you can “Be  the sun and all will see you.”   Then, later on when your light is shining bright, you will notice that people with the same sort of passion surround you and they will become your friends and support system.




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