Checking the online dictionary of what a friend is, I found many sites to check out with the online dictionary offering the meaning of friend as a person whom one knows, likes and trusts. Of course friendship is the state of being those. Yet it doesn’t seem there is really a solid definition for friendship or friend. Perhaps it is because we all consider friends in a different vein.
We tend to seek out like minded people to be our friends. People who share our values and beliefs. Some of us think we need large number of friends to support confidence in ourselves. Facebook is a great example of how one tries to go for as many friends as possible. I guess it strokes the ego.
Since I am a private person and always have been, I have friends however not in great numbers. Not too long ago someone told me that I was not diplomatic and thus I had no friends. I was of course hurt at first and then began to explore the thought a bit deeper. While I do my best to be tactful and my true friends believe I am almost to a fault, I am at the same time straightforward and do not dance around a subject. More or less I tell it as it is and one can trust me to be honest. Not brutally honest, however honest.
If shopping with a friend and something is not flattering I will suggest something else that is because it would be so unfair to tell them it looks just fine, when it doesn’t. If a friend contacts me for my opinion or advice I try to do my best by them with what I offer in that opinion or advice. I seek the same from them.
Friendship to me is more then knowing a bunch of people. It is has depth. It requires time. It requires honesty. It requires trust. I have had friends, well in the end not really friends, who wanted a lot from me. Either money or constant favors. The conversation was always about them, their needs, their wants and oh yes would you mind doing this for me. That is not friendship. That is a weed among the flowers and needs to be removed.
There is also the crazy maker who pretends to be a friend yet is always shifting the playing field. They create dynamics and attempt to pit fellow acquaintances against one another. They operate from what they feel is a position of power yet it is toxic for the one who acts as a friend. They compete. They give bigger, better more beautiful gifts to a shared friend. The footing is always unsteady.
I am fortunate to have many friends by contrast to what was said to me recently. My friends are scattered about the world and I know that when I see them again or talk with them, we will be as we always have been, open, honest, respectful and considerate. The conversation will be a shared one. We can laugh and we can be sad perhaps all in the same conversation. If one has a need, then I will listen. If an opinion is requested I will offer the best I can. Most of all they know they can trust me. They know I am there for them. They know I appreciate and respect who they are. And I know the same of them.
Friends do not offer something expecting something in return. They give support, help or gifts because they care and want to without strings attached. The ones that come with strings long enough to create a rug, need to be sent away promptly. They can pull one in and weave their way into your world before you realize it. The first sign is if they indicate someone “owes” them a favor, well there you have it. The big red flag. This is an opportunist and it is a shallow approach to so called friendship. No one owes anyone anything if it is given in the form of friendship. True friends do not operate that way and nor should they. It is not necessary. It is inappropriate. Oh true we can help one another. Exchange, so to speak however to expect that someone does something because we did, is not friendship. There are other paths those opportunist can take and it is not the same one I walk or my friends do.
So what about friendship. It is very difficult to describe and define. It is more a sense of being. A sense of comfort and a sense of sharing the good and the bad times. It is the sense of sipping coffee and if silence falls it is ok. It is the sense of not having to be anyone else other then who we are. It is sense of honesty with ourself and another. It is a sense of support for our efforts. Friends do not feel threaten by another’s success. Friends do not fear they will loose out because of that success thus attempt to hold one back. They push, they support and they offer encouragement along that success path.
Most of all friendship is a sense of wealth because we have friends near and far. Our friendships are what make the day and our world wonderful.
And that is my take on what about friendship.