What defines a true friend to you?
During my life, I have been fortunate and blessed enough to have met and become friends with many different people. Some friendships were sent for a reason, a season, and I have my lifetimers-the friends I plan to have and keep for the rest of my life.
I love making friends and without being naïve, I give people the benefit of the doubt. Once I’m crossed, most times, that’s it.
Because of the friendships I’ve gained and lost over the years, I think it has given me some insight on me as a person and how to not only choose a true friend but to be a better friend.
Here are a few things I’ve learned about friendship.
Don’t Force It
True friendship cannot and should not be forced. You can’t try to befriend someone based on what they know and what they can possibly do for you. That’s not how friendship works. If that’s the case then you should probably just try to network with that person on a mutually beneficial project or idea, but don’t go in pretending to be someone’s friend. I’ve learned that my friendships that have stood the test the time were not forced, but organic. Over time we got to know each other, shard things together and built a bond whether they were my lifetime or season friends I have found this to be the best way.
Honesty Is The Only Option
Honesty in any type of relationship is key. How can you trust someone if you can’t be honest with them and they can’t be honest with you? And I mean being honest about the superficial stuff (the wrong shoe with a particular outfit) and the hard stuff (telling them their relationship with their significant other is toxic.) Honesty can be brutal and difficult, but it’s essential if you call someone your friend. My friends and I have found a way to do this by incorporating what we call honestly moments.
It started back in 2006 and has worked for us ever since. Whenever we have to ask and answer the tough questions we start by saying “honestly.” That’s code for please don’t get too much in your feelings, I’m saying this out of love. It may still hurt feelings but we know we’re doing it to help and not harm. And since we’re true friends and not shady, it has worked like a charm.
Loyalty Is A Must
Loyalty is just as important as honesty. If you can’t trust your friend to have your back or you don’t have their back then it’s not really a friendship. Well, at least not the type of friendship I want. Loyalty is so multifaceted, but when dealing with a friend doesn’t have to be difficult at all.
Loyalty entails keeping trust, having your friend’s back, and supporting them in their endeavors. If you think something isn’t right for them and you’ve expressed it in your own honesty moment all you can do is be there for your friend if it doesn’t work.
Time Together Is Important
Now my friends and I are well into adulthood. We have careers, significant others, children, and other friendships we have to give time to and consider. But regardless, we still make time for each other. That’s important for any relationship. Now the time and things we do have changed drastically over the years, but we’re still there for each other when needed or just to catch up. Whether we go out to dinner every other month, make time for a phone conversation, or chat for hours via text. Although that time can sometimes be few and far between we make sure to always communicate and let each other know we’re here.