Of Principles & Friendships…
Have you ever had a friend you have not met or contacted in a long time suddenly appearing out of the blue and asked to have a meet up, to the point of planning your meeting time etc??? I’m sure some of you have. Do you suspect anything fishy, like why the sudden interest in the meet up or you just think of it as a sincere reunion of sorts to catch up on old times???
This past weekend, a childhood friend of mine whom I’ve not met in ages and not have any close contact since school days, sms-ed to say that he wanted to meet me to catch up on old times and *quote* “to discuss something” *unquote* with me. Out of friendship’s sake, I didn’t mind meeting him but I felt kinda disturbed by that second part about discussing something. More often than not, when people say something like that, they are bound to discuss some multi-level marketing or sideline business with you. If they are financial planners, all the more I will not waste my time hearing them out as I’ve already have my policies in place.
So I replied back and said as bluntly as I could that there must be a catch somewhere if he wanted to meet me out of the blue. I added on and said that I did not mind the meet up but I am not keen if he wants to share or sell anything, if that was part of his agenda. True enough, he replied and said that he agreed with me that whenever an old friend wants to meet, it is usually to his benefit, and that I can stop him anytime if I find the conversation not beneficial.
Even though I was feeling peeved by then, I still tried to remain cordial in my subsequent reply. I told him that I have principles and one of them is never to use my friends, no matter how close I am to them or not, for my own benefit or leverage. Subsequently I apologised to him for stopping even before we’ve started any conversations.
I have this thing about being very protective of the people in my contact list, no matter how close I am to them or not. Personally I am the kind of person who hates multi-level marketing or whatever stuff that pertains or is associated with it. That is why perhaps I am not cut out for a job in sales and marketing. For me, if you say you want to meet me to catch up on lost time, I will be more than glad to accede to such requests, but if you have other agendas up your sleeves, then I suggest you keep it to yourselves. And if someone were to ask me to ask any of the people in my contact list to support their businesses, all the more I will not give as I do not want to make use of my friendships with them for others’ benefits.
This was not the first time that I have experienced such scenarios. It made me think how far would a person use friendships for his / her own personal advantage. I know that in this day and age where businesses and sideline incomes are sprouting everywhere, such scenarios are common place and that my rants are misplaced. Some of you might even think I’m being uptight and aloof. Honestly I don’t mind if such promotions are done on a public basis, like an advert or in a blog rather than a one-on-one affair, since afterall, you have the liberty to buy or not. A one-on-one affair usually means that person has high expectations that you would part your cash out of supporting an old friend. It kinda leaves quite a sour taste in the mouth thinking that you’re being made used of for someone’s own monetary benefit and that to me makes sincerity thrown out of the window and friendship a mere decoration in name…