“One measure of friendship consists not in the number of things friends can discuss, but in the number of things they need no longer mention.” – Clifton Fadiman
How often do you ask yourself if your a good friend? We all have our general ideas of friendship and what it consists of, but how many of us are actually a “good” friend. I’m not. At least I don’t think I am all the time, my true friends might tell you otherwise (or so I hope lol). As we get older our general ideas of friendships become deeper. We go from wanting to surround ourselves with meaningless and temporary relationships based on convenience and time (not obvious in the moment), to cherishing and embracing lifelong, genuine friends. I saw a saying that stated, “As we get older, we don’t lose friends. We just find out who the real ones are”. I strongly agree. I also believe that your circle changes or the value of these friendships “depreciates” as you become reliant on them to facilitate important moments in your life, which some friends are unable to wholeheartedly support or subconsciously have zero desire to. For example, going through a depression. Some time ago, I hit rock bottom. Now for some hitting rock bottom is only a state of mind, however, for myself it was the actual state of my being. I was consumed with daily thoughts of ending my life. Why? It seemed easier than living, simple. Imagine going through, at the time, overwhelming moments in your life that you felt would never end. Externally I forced myself to portray and believe that these moments weren’t going to last forever, no matter how bad they seemed, but internally they consumed my mind. During this time not being around seemed like the easiest solution but my friends, my true friends, helped me seek alternatives. They let me cry. They let me vent. They let me be completely honest with my thoughts despite how hard it was for them to hear that I had fallen so low. I mean, how do you tell someone you want kill yourself and they be receptive to it. It’s a lot to take in emotionally and definitely devastating to hear. They understood it wasn’t easy for me to say and I knew how hard it was for them to even begin to think of my presence being immediately erased, but they listened. They spoke up. They helped me when they knew and felt like I didn’t know how to help myself and I’m still here. I said that to say, friends are important but surrounding yourself with the RIGHT ones are essential. I believe genuine friendships grow with you, they help shape you. The standard and expectation of a “good” friend differs for everyone, however, there are certain qualities we should all try to posses. Communication is important. Honest communication. I’m completely open with my friends, transparent is a better word. I trust them with the deepest part of myself. Love is also important. Love your friends. Appreciate them. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in knowing that they will always be there, we forget to “water” the relationship to help it grow and maintain it. Trust your friends, with no hesitation or delay. These relationships should come without question and certainly without doubt. If you ever feel like you have to question your friends motives or intentions, they are not your friend. All my friendships come with an unconditional wave of support, honesty, love, trust, and harsh reality, which I try my best to reciprocate, though sometimes I fall short. They motivate me to be my best self at all times and they are not afraid to criticize my wrong doings either. They are vocal on their love for me and their actions prove the same. Once you begin to let those toxic and questionable friendships go, you begin to understand and gravitate towards the true feeling of endless support and genuine energy.