What Is Friendship?
What Does It Mean To Have A Friend?

Friendships grow and evolve.  Every true friendship probably started out as an acquaintance.  What is it about that friend that makes them grow into a true friend? Are you friends because they are similar to you or different?  How much do you depend on them?

A close friend will know your story; know where you came from and where you are heading.  Is there is an amount of certainty needed to have and be a true friend?  To know that when you need them they will be there?  But if they are not there, do you assume there is a good reason?  Is it important to know that when the chips are down you have someone to listen?

There is also an amount of uncertainty that makes a friend interesting and fun to be with.  For them to have their own agenda and their own space that we respect and love them for.  Always sure that tomorrow a phone call will arrive, either to, or from.  And if you haven’t heard from them in a few weeks do you think ‘I’m not ringing, I always ring’ or do you just call?  A friend needs to feel important in the life of the other, special.  But how do we make our friends feel special?

Is the most important ingredient sincerity or honesty or both? Or something different? When your friend tells you did good, you know it’s what they really think and you can believe what they say.  When your friend tells you didn’t do so good, is it with care?  Does a friend need to feel significant?  Or a significant part of their friend’s life, or both?

How much connection do we need for the friendship to exist?  A connection in similar values and beliefs is a must or otherwise values will be compromised.  Do you know what your friend finds important to them and do you appreciate that?  Friendships, like all relationships, we should go into to give and not to get.  If we always give, in all probability, we will get.

A friend needs space to grow.  To be able to wander and return, without fear of rejection on their return.  They need to be free to enjoy time with others and come back to share that which you both hold so dear.

A good measure of a friend is when they are kind to others.  You learn the traits of a friend, not because of what they tell you but by what they do.

Are you genuinely happy when your friend does well?

When you compliment a friend do you say how gorgeous they are or, do you say you appreciate something they did for you and how it made you feel?  Which would you prefer to hear?

Most of us have many acquaintances in life but very few become true friends.  Treasure them.  Take care of them.  Be ready to say “I’m sorry”.  Even sometimes when you feel it’s not your fault.  You are not giving away your soul to be sorry about a situation and you will get so much more peace for yourself, and them. Being right doesn’t always make you feel good and it can be a lonely place, you may feel an initial fix of supremacy but at what cost? Who’s cost? In the words of the Dalai Lama when asked “What is the key to happiness?” he replied “It’s just six words, Let Go, Let Go, Let Go”

A friend can never be forced to like you, the minute a friendship becomes demanding then it is no longer a friendship.  A friend will only ever be there of their own free will.  Allow your friend to be free enough to fly but close enough to catch if they fall.  So, what is your ideal friend like? But primarily, what are you like as a friend?

If you have to force a friend to act in the way you want them to and if they do, then well done,  you’ve shown your excellent manipulation skills.  A friend will stay beside you because of your values and kindness.

Here is an old saying which meant so much when I was younger and still resonates now:

If you love something, set it free

If it comes back, it’s yours

If it doesn’t,

It never was

If your friendship broke down and you wished it hadn’t, what did you do to save it?  Did you turn at the first hurdle because you were certain you were right or did you do everything you could to tell them how you feel?

If you have a friend that you hold very dear, how are they as a friend?

However, by far the most important question to ask is of yourself;  how do I rate?