A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow – William Shakespeare
I asked a couple of people of their personal definition of friendship and I got these replies.
My sister defined a friend as one who is genuinely there for you no matter what! A friend should be able you tell you when you’re wrong and still be there for you.
Another sister of mine describes friendship as two people whose love for each other is a reflection of 1 Corinthians 13 – you are polar opposites and can sometimes butt heads but you can also correct each other in love and use those times to grow.
Thanks for the amazing definition ladies!
Personally, one main thing I’ve learnt is “Everyone won’t think the way YOU think”. This is something that I’ve struggled with and it took me a while to understand. To be fair, I’m still trying to grasp it.
We use the word ‘friend’ so loosely these days, so many people we think are our friends don’t even have our best interests at heart.
When I pray for my friends I always refer to them as my “well-wishers” except I’m particularly praying for a friend that’s going through a rough time. I don’t say “friends” as only God truly knows who our genuine friends are.
Based on my personal experience and that of people I’ve spoken to whilst writing this, below are some categories of friends encountered.
The real ones
The sort of friends we all need in a perfect world. The ones that’ll stay with us through thick and thin and always keep it real – that includes putting you in your place when necessary.
“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” – Oprah Winfrey
Some people don’t want to hear what they need to hear, they only want to hear what they want to hear.
It’s either I’m too harsh or too forward (or both) or I just need to mind my God damn business LOL. Personally, I believe it’s very important to tell your friends the truth about any situation they come to you with, even if they don’t seek for your opinion. Honestly! What are friends for if you can’t tell them the truth? There’s a difference between telling someone your opinion and forcing it on them. Tell them how you feel and let them make the decision on what’s best for them.
I don’t want to be that friend that’s lying to you, that’s just not me and I don’t need any friends that can’t tell me the truth when I’m messing up in life.
I’ve had to distance myself from a few friends (or should I say acquaintances or people I know) mainly because I’ve told them the truth and they chose not to accept it well. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be friends with someone just because they don’t accept your opinions or advice and I do understand we’re all different but if my moral standards don’t agree with a lot of things you choose to do and I’ve advised you repeatedly then I’m sorry we gotta call it a day – don’t worry I will give you a wave from across the street when I see you. HAHA
This famous quote sums it up for me – “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” For the believers, I found the bible verse that says “Walk with the wise and become wise, associate with fools and get in trouble.” – Proverbs 13:20 NLT
Please don’t get me wrong, you can be the kindest and most caring friend with moral standards that just don’t agree with my goals in life and bad company corrupts good morals.
I could write a whole essay on this but let me just keep it simple for now.
Communication is a very important aspect of any relationship, friends won’t just know what the issue is if you don’t communicate about the problems you have with them. I’m not a psychic that’ll just know your problems with me if you don’t tell me. Gosh, this gets on my nerves LOL! If a friend just stops speaking to you without letting you know what you’ve done don’t ever think you’re the problem, that’s their own personal problem.
If I feel a friend is moving a type of way, acting funny or distant, I’m always the first to say something. Don’t jump to conclusions by assuming you’re the reason for the distance – it’s not all about you. For all you know it could be something personal that they plan to share with you when they’re ready. Just in case you’re the reason for the distance, speaking up will also let you know what step to take next.
The moment I stop speaking up, I honestly don’t count that person as my friend anymore. You’re officially someone I once considered a friend. It’s really that simple!
This set of people really shouldn’t be referred to as friends. They are the life and goal drainer- they drain you until you’re empty. If you have people like this in your life you need to drop them fast. They’re the people that forget about you and only reach out when they need something – advice, money, they are bored etc. I’m not saying you shouldn’t help your friends, in fact, I love to help people! It’s part of friendship but if someone only ever contacts you when they need something, study that friend’s behaviour and reconsider your relationship.
A true friend should NEVER hold you back! Your friend shouldn’t have that much control over your life to a stage where it’s delaying your progress. Stop seeking validation, not everyone will support or agree with your dream.
They’re the sort of people that don’t want to see you do well and always discourage you in form of advice – be mindful who you seek advice from. This might not always be intentional as they’re just used to the old you. The moment you choose to better yourself they start finding ways to hold you back just because they don’t know what to do with the new you.
Friendship is a two-way street – you should have friends that inspire you and those who are inspired by you. We will talk more about this in my next blog.
Until then, carrot sticks and hummus!