Many people have friends. Few have real friendship. This is something I’ve come to realise about myself and people in general. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram especially give the impression that a person has many friends. But they don’t. Nobody has 700 friends in real life. At least not ones they regard meaningfully.
On that note, I’ve never really had many friends. Friends in school, sure. But the ones I actually want to call, text or keep in touch with, very few.
Interestingly, I used to want many friends. In high school I wanted to be a social butterfly who would be friends with everybody. I tried and it backfired when I found out that not everyone had the same intentions. It was a good reality check.
As an adult, it is harder to make new friends and even keep old friends. Everyone’s got their own lives to live and it seems like the best way to keep in touch is through social media. Really, I sometimes don’t know what our generation would be like without it.
Anywho, I am grateful for the small handful of friends I still keep in touch with. And I was thinking about why I continue to be friends with them, or how is it our friendships have lasted. I realised they all have these traits in common:
- They are honest about who they are
It is much easier to be friends with people who are upfront about who they are. You don’t have to figure it out and you don’t have to keep wondering what’s in their head. You know they are a certain kind and you either decide to accept them or not for it.
- You never need to second guess their intentions
Which brings me to this point. When they are honest about who they are, you never have to second guess their intentions. I have had friends who I didn’t know what they truly felt because they would change their minds based on how the situation benefited them. Friendships like those are mostly ingenuine and unsustainable. If you ever have to second guess a friend, you know you can’t trust them. And trust is important.
- They respect your space but make an effort to keep in touch
This is quite key as people get older. Everyone’s got their own life to live and it’s bound to be busy. Months pass and you realise you haven’t seen or probably even heard from a friend. But the ones who care always come around.
- They ask about your family
If a friend really cares about you, they care about all parts of your life. Whether you’re married or not, your family or personal relations would likely be central to your life. All my close friends have always shown interest or respect for my family, asking how my parents are. I find that to be very thoughtful.
- They ride with you through the good and bad times
Friendship, like love, must be based on unconditional acceptance. True friends accept you for who you are and no matter what you’ve been through, they’re still there at the end of the day. You may not talk so much, but how they feel about you hasn’t changed. In fact the best kind of friends celebrate your growth and success with genuine happiness.