What does it mean to be a friend?

This post is very special to my heart, as a dear friend who I met by chance asked me to write it. In honor of her, this post is going to focus on an intriguing question that she posed to me. I’d love to hear your feedback on this topic as well.

One day, as I was chatting with my friend on Facebook messenger while at the same time attempting to clean with one hand and cut food in to child sized portions, I asked her for her opinion. “What do you want to see more of on my blog?” I asked. I was struggling for ideas, topics to come up with that would be relatable, so I thought I would ask someone not connected to it who also gives me incredibly honest opinions what she wanted to see more of.

“I’d like to know what you think it means to be a friend.”

What a powerful topic right? This one statement is so multi-faceted, who knew where to start? I didn’t have an immediate answer, but I promised her I would think about it, and then I would write a post.

I then forgot.

Being human, living the day to day demands of life, I forgot to write the post. I stood in my bathroom, blow-dryer in hand this afternoon, letting the warm gusts of air blow my hair around my face, when I realized that I still had yet to post. My next thought was that, in forgetting, I wasn’t being a very good friend.

So I begin.

I think that being a friend is not only about thinking about the other person, but thinking about how you would feel if you were in their shoes. If you promised to do something for that person, and then forgot, such as in my case, how would you feel if the roles were reversed..if you were the forgotten? I don’t like that feeling, and I’m certain others don’t either.

Being a friend, if you are truly committed in the friendship, involves mutual respect and understanding on each person’s part. Certainly, we have to be understanding that as adults, especially if we are also raising children, that we may not be able to be attentive to the other’s every move at every moment. Realizing, and accepting that this is okay, is fundamental to a friendship. We should not neglect the friendship, but realize rather that the bond is still strong, even if we don’t speak with one another every day.

Being a friend to me also means being able to be honest with the other person. I think that the most rewarding friendships that I have had to date are the friendships that allow me to feel comfortable enough with the other person that I am able to be honest with them when asked for an opinion. I am mindful of how my words will affect others, and do not try to offend, but I do want to be completely honest with someone at all times. I do not think a friendship, like any kind of relationship, benefits when one of the parties involved is seeking truthful guidance and the other person only tells them what they want to hear. In that case I feel like nothing is being accomplished other than pleasing the other person, and unfortunately sometimes feelings do need to be hurt for the greater good of the person.  I would never purposely want to hurt another person, but as mentioned before, if the roles were switched, I would rather know that I was receiving constructive criticism that I could actually do something with.

These are the particular traits that I look for in a friendship. I’d love to hear your feedback on this topic also. What about you? What do you look for in a friendship?friendship

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