What is a friend? This is something that I struggle with more and more the older I become. When I was younger, a friend was someone who was nice and was always around. Eventually we would share secrets and heartbreaks and, eventually, even growing pains as we grew apart. But there was no criteria. There was no idea that the person who seemed friendly and was always around couldn’t be trusted. At the time, I never had a thought that the person I called a friend didn’t genuinely care for me. Heck, I remember being intrigued by a girl in a grade below me and sending a friend over to her to ask if she (the other girl whom I didn’t know) would be my friend. I never became friends with that other girl and I’m still uber shy to make friends, but now there are all of these other thoughts in my head now. Can we only make friends when we are children?
Can you really walk up to a random person and make a friend? How does that happen without suspicion. Can you really make a friend at the office? How do you know that the person really isn’t trying to sabotage you? Or, how do you know that the other person won’t get the wrong idea and equate your friendliness to something much more? How do you know if you will even like that person? And how do you get this new friend to be a true friend? Does it even matter?
I remember my mother telling me not to tell anyone anything that I wasn’t okay with everyone knowing.
In a way, that has made me a private person. But in another way, it has made me uber confident in the choices I have made in my life. I am prepared for anyone knowing anything. So what makes someone a friend? I think we have to agree that no matter what, effort must be made, regardless of criteria.
I know this girl who is so open and warm that she sees everyone as her friend. It was pretty annoying at first because it almost seemed like she was forcing the bond. But really, how else can you bond without making an effort? Without putting your thoughts and feelings out there for the world to see? I doubt I’ll ever be comfortable hugging someone I only just met 5 minutes ago but maybe I shouldn’t question it either. I mean, I made a great friend by randomly traveling to a different country with coworkers and I love them all now because of the trip. Are they my bestest friends in the entire world? No. Will we be friends for 30 years? Who knows. Have I been changed from knowing them? Yes. Are they my friends? Darn right they are!
Do you have criteria for labeling someone your friend? Is it fair to? A friend can just happen along at any given time. I think the only criteria there should be is to have an open mind and heart. Don’t hide away anything. How else can you ever get to know that person? How can they ever be your friend? Yes, trust your instincts but don’t squirrel away how you feel. Be confident enough to be silly and strong enough to be vulnerable. Maybe you’ll find another soul mate. I hope you do.
OMG I made it onto your blog! I’m famous yo!! You pose an interesting question….how do you make new friends as you get older? There’s so many levels of friendship that I guess it depends on what level of friendship you are looking for. Should we make friends just to have friends? Should we make a new friend to fill a gap we have in our lives? And friendship is a 2-way street. You only get out of it, what you put in. Its true what they say, if something is important to you, you will make time for it. And I think friendship, like any other quality relationship in our lives, has a lot to do with feelings. How does this person make me feel when I’m around them? If this person makes me feel positive and happy and loved, then I would naturally be more drawn to this person and want to be in their presence more. If someone is negative and unhappy and closed off, I would have a natural inclination to retreat and not make that much of an effort. I think making friends now as an adult is easier for me than it was when I was younger. The reason why is because I know myself now. I’m more confident in who I am and what I can offer in a friendship. As compared to when I was younger, I was seeking friends in a way to help me find my true identity – almost like allowing my friends to define who I am or who I can become. Now that I’m older, I focus more on friendships that bring a lot of happiness, positive energy, laughter, and openness. Thanks for another great blog! XOXO
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Thank you Lanie! You are definitely famous in my life! And I totally see what you’re saying – friendship is a two way street like any relationship. It’s totally true. And that’s the struggle I think I face and others face because we are used to things we want just appearing to us or working out for us with little effort.