What does being a friend really mean?

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Recently, someone who I classed as a very close friend let me down In a pretty significant way. A way which other people around me who care about me didn’t want me to ignore / wanted me to address.

“But she’s my friend?!” I said… “she didn’t mean it”…

That got me to thinking… what does it actually mean to be a friend to someone? Are there certain things we are obliged to “put up with”? And are we hard wired to see people we have put on a pedestal through rose tinted glasses and defend them no matter what?

It just got me thinking about what the title means and if it means diffreent things to different people.

Personally, I think it’s very much like sexual relationships (minus the sex!), we pick someone who we have met and are are fairly compatible with, who’s company we like. The more we learn about them and the more time we invest, the more we are able to demonstrate our loyalty and trust in return.

To me, a solid friendship has got to be about balance. If there is too much energy and commitment coming from one half of the friendship, that will tip the balance and someone will be left feeling a little lost.

It’s also about prioritising.

Ultimately, if someone wants to spend time with you, they will. “Not having time” translates as “I don’t really want to” I think. We all have time to make time to do the things which are important to us. So, to me, this is just an excuse.

I don’t think time you have known the person is a factor at all. I mean, if you’ve known someone your whole life, for example, then they have probably witnessed the highs and lows, the problems and the successes for them self but these are stories which can be shared with a friend you made recently too.

Friendship is about who showed up and stuck around. Not the time they stuck around for. Do you agree?

Anyway, I don’t have lots of close friends. Very few actually. But the ones I do have, I know I can trust with my life. I also know they will be brutally honest with me on all aspects of my life.

But I realise each friendship for each individual is unique so I took to social media and asked you guys to tell me what friendship meant to you.

Here’s what you said:

“Friend is a term used too loosely”

“A friend to me is someone who sticks around even when times get dark. Someone who sees the good in you even when you don’t and someone who never allows you to feel alone.”

“For me, a true friend is someone who says good things behind your back. Someone that is there to support you and help you flourish and grow in your good times but who stands by your side during bad times. It’s someone who defends you when needed but is able to inform you if they think your actions are wrong but will support you regardless of their thoughts. It’s someone who’s loyal and not in competition with you or jealous of you. In fact, they want you to be the best version of yourself you can be. It’s someone who isn’t ashamed of you or your actions and doesn’t care what others think. I love my friends dearly and would stand by them to the bitter end. Sadly in this day and age, there’s not many like me and its every man for themselves. However, hard times reveal true friends.”

Let me know what it means to you!


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