I was reflecting on my friends and how much they mean to me lately and it came to my attention that having real friends around you can be such a saving grace. A comment was made to me that I tell people half truths or whatever and honestly its not true. I do, however, feel like it’s important to know who you can go to for certain things and who you can’t. Allow me to explain.
I have my very very best friend that I’ve known since 4th grade. I tell her everything. I’ve cried to her about so many things and there was a period when we didn’t talk to each other but it wasn’t because of hate or anything like that, we’re just busy and things go like that sometimes but she has been in my corner ever since middle school. In high school, she was the only person I felt comfortable with explaining that I was going to a therapist, when going to therapy was a taboo subject.
We bonded over family woes and rock bands (we even had a parody “band” in which we’d parody songs). In middle school, she was definitely my better half. I shared my high moments with her as well as my very low (and there’s A LOT of them) moments. How she responded to those moments made it possible for me to open up to her and honestly listen to her opinion because I know it’s coming from a great place. I understand that a lot of the time, I let my emotions move me and make choices based on my emotions and not on logic. She’s more of a logical thinker so it’s great to get her input. When I need to chill out, she lets me know. When I’m dead a** wrong, she definitely has no problem letting me know. She does it in a loving way and lifts me up when I’ve fallen and I’m so grateful for that.
I say all of this to point out that we need friends like that. Someone who will pick us up when we’ve fallen. Who will support us in our endevors. Someone who will tell us what we need to hear instead of tell us what we want to hear. And vice versa. I want to put a heavy emphasis on friends telling you what you need to hear and not what you want to hear. There are people out there who are afraid to tell their friends what they truly think and to me it’s sad. It’s sad because these are the same people who will watch you fall and fail and when you crash and burn they be like aw well that’s your fault. I don’t know but to me, I’d at least want a warning so that if I did chose to move forward with a decision despite their warning and I failed, at least they did try to warn me.
Good friends won’t kick you when you’re down. They try to watch their tone and the way to approach a situation instead of being down right malicious. I saw a meme quite a few times that mentioned that you need mean friends and I disagree. You don’t need friends who are malicious and nasty to you. Friends who talk s**t behind your back. Friends who put you down. If they make back handed comments, they’re not the friends to you. If they’re scared of being honest with you and don’t want to tell you when you’re wrong, they’re probably yes people and you don’t need that. That is detrimental to your growth as a person.
I remember I had a situation I was dealing with recently. I told three different people. My bff told me I was wrong and gave me suggestions to help. My other bff didn’t put me down but let me vent and told her honest opinion. The other one was like oh you’ll figure it out or everything will be fine. She didn’t say where I went wrong and honestly I didn’t like it. I knew I was wrong in the way I handled the situation and she was like well you were upset it’s fine. Like no, it’s not fine. I should’ve handled that particular situation better and should’ve controlled my temper.
You have to be honest with people, especially if you consider each other close friends. You need to have to have those uncomfortable conversations with people. If you keep things on the surface level, are they really your friends? You need to be vulnerable with them (if they’ve proven to be a great friend to you) because it will help you have a closer bond with each other. It’s not important to have a large circle of friends, remember you want quality not quantity.
You have to be okay with setting boundaries with each other. If they can’t respect your boundaries, guess what. They’re not your friends. If you are giving more to the friendship then they are, then you need to make some friendship adjustments. Do a check from time to time to see if either of you are being real friends with each other. Your friendship should not be conditional. And remember, as life changes, you need to be flexible. Case in point, when my friend got married, I had to respect the fact that she had a husband now and so I couldn’t talk to her as much as I did before because she has to focus on her marriage. It wouldn’t be fair to her if I expected her to give me all of her time. And when she had a baby, I had to fall back a bit more because now she has a child to take care of.
Does that mean we never talk? Of course we talk. We text. We do what we can but I also know that she has a family. You have to be able to understand that. It’s not all about you!
All in all, you should check your circle of friends. Do some people need to be removed? Are there any important conversations that need to be had? Do you need to open up to them? Are you afraid to open up to them? Weigh out your options. In fact, I have a past post on some red flags when it comes to friendships. Check it out when you can!
What are some things that you consider that makes a great friend?