I originally published this blog post three years ago, but thought I would edit it and share it once again since it still remains relevant. Not to mention, my writing has vastly improved from three years ago; let’s see what I come up with this time around, LOL!
My thoughts on what epitomizes a true friend have truly evolved. My standards, while more reasonable, have also elevated and refined. A true friend understands my expectations and respects my values without trying to force me to change to become the person they want me to be for their own selfish purposes.
In my mind, a true friend knows where they stand in your life without validation. A true friend does not need constant reassurances that you remain friends. If they do, then it is obvious there is something lacking in the friendship that needs to be addressed. It should show without question or inquiry that a true friendship exists.
True friends do not listen to nonsense spewed by individuals focused on negativity, strife and jealousy. If they do happen to hear these type of comments about their friend, the love they bear for that individual does not allow them to unnecessarily burden their friend with the hateful comments. In a mature friendship, you should each have nothing but the utmost respect and consideration for one another’s feelings.
I have a small group of really close friends and a multitude of superficial friendships and associations. With my closest friends, we can go months without talking or seeing each other and pick right back up as if no time has passed at all. My closest friends know all my quirks, my overall personality, know what I will and will not tolerate and love (and accept) me as I am.
Recently, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. A group of friends joined me in contributing donations towards her medical bills. I was overwhelmed and touched by the gesture because some of the friends, we barely speak or get to spend time together; a lot of them had never even met my mother before. Some of the friends were from Facebook, who I have never met in person. This goes to show that it will not always be the closest friends that are there for you, sometimes it is virtual strangers who show you the most compassion, love and support. These are the relationships I value and nurture because they are the personification of TRUE FRIENDS.
The superficial friendships are expendable to me. They come and go and they are in a take it or leave it category. I do not have any real expectations out of these individuals. These are the “good times” relationships I foster and probably never will develop into anything more than that. This group of individuals are not privy to my personal life, my family and are not really deep or meaningful. And lately, I find that I do not even have the desire to invest any energy in the so called “good times” moments. All my friendships, whether true or superficial, must remain purposeful.
Here are key indicators of whether or not the individual is your True Friend:
If there is anyone in your life that enjoys coming to you with phrases such as “I didn’t want to be the one to tell you” or the “I know I can tell you because it won’t go anywhere” and just any other type of negativity, that person is not your friend!!!
If you have someone in your life who always has time to relay ‘he say, she say‘ nonsense, that person is not your friend!!!
If they are A REAL FRIEND, they sincerely care about your frustrations, your pain and they remain sensitive to the fact that you really do not need any extra strife in your life.
A TRUE FRIEND, knows their place in your life and DOES NOT/SHOULD NOT have to compete with your other relationships. Anyone that is dead set on dominating your time and energy all while isolating you from your other friendships, is NOT your friend.
A TRUE FRIEND, respects you, cherishes the friendship, nurtures the friendship and wants to see you happy. They understand and accept all your imperfections and do not use your flaws or weaknesses against you.
A REAL FRIEND, helps to guide you to see the bigger picture and may even provide tough love at times but ultimately they have your best interests at heart ALWAYS!!
Of course, I could never talk about this subject without touching on Facebook. I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I love being able to reconnect with my childhood friends, I love to use it as a marketing tool and I even love the ability to make new friends. However, I hate the way people misuse it for drama, inappropriate relationships and to send subliminal messages. Thankfully, the primary purpose of my Facebook account these days is to market Mara Prose. I generally post a tidbit, scroll the news and rarely engage with anyone on the platform. My, how times have changed for Mara Prose!
It is very important to access who your true friends are, cultivate and nurture those relationships and eliminate the ones from your circle who have nothing but ill will for you.
Until next time, pray for those that need to mature and be sure to value your TRUE FRIENDS!
~ Mara Prose