When We Change, Do Our Friendships Change?

Facebook keeps us connected with a lot of people we have met in our lives. I still have friends on Facebook from high school and college. And, honestly, it’s interesting to see where we end up.

Somehow, over the last few years, I’ve become completely separated from most of my friends from college. I had already separated from the friends I made at the first college I attended but now I’m not really in touch with the friends I had made at my second college as well.

When I look over the last 10 years and see the amount of friendships that have just faded, I wonder if it’s me. Is it that I’ve changed or that I haven’t kept in touch? Or is it that these friendships were never really solid in the first place and were more a matter of circumstance? Have I stayed in touch more with those people who I share a mutual interest with or was there something different that kept us connected?

We want to keep those around us that helps us be better people. And when we don’t feel good about ourselves around some, we choose to give ourselves some space. But when we look at the past, it is sad to realize that there are so many people we have walked away from or that have walked away from us.

Could we have done something differently? Could I have done something differently? Would I have wanted to do something differently? Would it have to take a sacrifice of self in order to maintain these friendships? Or just working through difficult times with certain people?

How much of ourselves do we have to give in order to stay friends with people who we have outgrown or who have outgrown us? Is it worth it? When I see so many people I know still socializing and celebrating each other’s life events (thanks completely to Facebook), I definitely do wonder if I missed out.

I know I need to focus on the people who are currently in my life and continue to work on those relationships. I don’t want to take them for granted and there is a reason that they are in my life now. I don’t want to dwell on what could have, should have, would have been.

But every now and then, I do wonder.

Indians: The Ultimate Bargainers

So I have a question for you. Why do we Indians try to take advantage of other Indians? Why do we sit and try to negotiate, bargain, haggle, or whatever you call it? Do we not realize that we are harming someone else’s livelihood?

One example of this is when we go into the stores on Pioneer Blvd. We go in with the belief that we need to bargain down the prices. But what about the people whose shop it is? Why do we think it’s acceptable for us to lower the price they want to charge? We wouldn’t go into Target or Nordstrom’s and consider this acceptable behavior. If we don’t like the prices, why don’t we just walk away from the product being sold like we would in a non-Indian store?

The thing is that I see this affect other industries as well. And I have watched people not wanting to do business with someone who is going to bargain on pricing. If others can pay it, why can’t they? It’s usually not something that these people can’t afford. They just want to be able to say they got the price lowered. If they really can’t afford it, they should look for something they can afford. I don’t try to buy a Mercedes when I can only afford a Honda.

Once someone tries to bargain down to the dollar, the business owner loses motivation to really want to do a good job since it was so much stress to even get to the point of a contract. I have seen that if someone doesn’t put up a fight over every little price point, the business owner will go above and beyond what they were required to do because they don’t feel stifled by the client to start with. The client usually ends up getting so much more than they were expecting to start with.

One other thing I’ve learned is we could sit there and bargain but why would we want to hurt someone’s business, especially of someone we think does a great job in their industry? I understand we want to save money but again, then we should be looking for something within our budget to start with.

Bargaining isn’t a good look on anyone. And to be honest, I’m glad those shop owners in Cerritos are putting up signs that show they aren’t willing to bargain anymore. They work just as hard as anyone else. They should get what they work for.