Lately I've been thinking a lot about friendships and what the true meaning of friendship is. Is it being there for someone when they need someone to talk to, or a shoulder to cry on, or someone you can confess your secrets to, or to be able to be honest with them when they've hurt your feelings, or just someone who can make you laugh? As you know, I work with a lot of adolescents, so most of my time is spent with teenagers who are in between being who they were as a child and becoming who they are going to be as an adult. I watch them often struggle with friendships and I can't help but to remember how difficult I felt it was being their age figuring out who I was, let alone who were my true friends. I remember the insecurity each day if a friend didn't say hey to me in the hallway and questioning whether I had done something to upset them or not.
As an adult I feel that in finding who I am and becoming secure with the person I am has enabled me to get a much better grasp on what a true friend is and someone who is not. I know that your friends are a direct reflection of yourself, as you are able to choose the friends that you surround yourself with. The truth is unfortunately we aren't able to pick our families (which thankfully I won the lottery with!) but we are able to chose our friends. I believe your friends are a mirror into who you think you are as a person and who you truly are as a person. My teens will always argue that just because you hang out with someone doesn't mean that you do what they do. Yeah, your right, I tell them. But why would you chose to spend time with people who do things that you don't believe is right or okay? Or treat you in ways that leave you feeling sad or hurt? I would certainly not hang around people who are negative influences on my life or behave in ways I do not believe is right. If I find myself feeling insecure around someone I realize they are not my friend. Instead, I chose to surround myself with beautiful, caring, compassionate, fun, and kind people who support me when I'm up or down. They aren't (or better not!) be afraid to tell me if I've hurt their feelings because I want them to hold me to high standards and know that I would never want to cause harm to them purposely. They pick up the phone when I need to talk and know at any time they can do the same. I know I can trust them when I tell them something that I don't want to be repeated. If I have a funny joke or need advice they are there. If I find myself doubting someone or disliking their behavior I should be able to talk to them. And if they are a true friend, then they will be honest in return. A friend is there through the good and the bad. None of us are perfect, so just being able to be accepted or to accept others despite their flaws is priceless. All these things and much more add up to what makes a true friendship. I believe that friends should bring out the best in one another, and when you feel truly comfortable to be yourself while also feeling at your best then you, my friend, have found true friendship.
What do your friends say about you?