During our lifetime, research suggests we will meet as many as 10,000 people. Of those 10,000, we may be lucky enough to surround ourselves with people we can trust, have fun with, and build life long relationships. During the last two months, I have found out who my true friends really are in life. Sadly, there are none. When I thought about the couple of people who would be there for me when no one else would be, I learned my problems did not matter to them. It has created an internal struggle for me, and it is the focus for this week’s topic, friendship.
What is friendship? Harbhajan Singh quotes,, “I define friendship as a bond that transcends all barriers. When you are ready to expect anything and everything from friends, good, bad or ugly… that’s what I call true friendship.” I would add that TRUE friendship is when you know the person standing next to you has your back no matter the circumstances, and when the crap hits the fan, they are still standing when all others have left.
I keep my emotions in check most of the time, but I expect my best friends to let me express my emotions, thoughts, and feelings when needed. It is not healthy to keep everything built up inside of you because at some point you will crash. I use to think I was more of a man to keep everything built up inside, never showing weakness or vulnerability, and pushing through my struggles alone. What I found out is it is not healthy. Research suggests keeping emotions built up causes high blood pressure, stress, cardiac issues, mental fatigue, and other physiologic issues.
Marc Chernof, in “9 Things a True Friend Would Never Do,” makes a strong argument about how true friends behave, he suggests the following things a friend never does:
- Criticized you for being flawed
- Walk away when times get tough
- Discourage you
- Hold a grudge over your head
- Lie to you
- Pretend like they have all the answers
- Take from you without giving back
- Bully you
- Make you feel like your burdening them
His article was eye opening for me as I realized my so called best friends are just like everyone else. It is difficult to find true friends, and it is just as painful when they judge you or abandon you when you need them the most. If you are like me, you don’t really want people knowing your business, but when you confide in someone and they tell others about you, it is painful. The question then becomes, how do we resolve the internal need for someone we can truly trust and just having a group of friends?
I am the kind of guy that will always keep his word. If you tell me something, I will not go around spreading rumors or telling other people your business. I am honest and loyal, but I expect the same in return. I will be there for you no matter the distance or time of day. It is an honor to be chosen as a friend or best friend, and these are not words I take lightly. Remember thes people chose you to be a friend because of some of the unique qualities you have that no one else does. They could have chosen anyone, but they chose you. Do not let them down, but choose your friends wisely. Always be respectful and keep your word. True friendships are hard to come by so enjoy the people who come and go in your life, and stay in touch with those who have moved away. When they are gone from this earth, you will regret not making more of an effort.