Usually on our Talk About It segments, we focus on topics or issues of concern that we think need a bit of a boost. After all, knowledge and the courage to discuss certain things that aren't always comfortable talking about are ways to eliminate misunderstanding.
This week, though, we want to do a special tribute on friendship. What is a true friend? To me, a friend is a person who is there for you no matter what hard times may come up on either side. They don't judge you, or try to manipulate you, or hurt you on any level. The base of any true friendship is made up of honesty, respect, trust and loyalty. Actually, this is the base of any relationship a person gets into.
Trust is pretty much made up of the other three areas brought up above. Whether or not you have trust issues shielding you from getting close with another person until the other three areas are proven, trust is vital. When trust is given to someone else, you are basically giving that person a huge chunk of yourself. That means there can be no little white lies, no using, no sharing the deepest parts of you with others, no starting or maintaining rumors, no empty promises, and no misgivings on any level. Once trust is broken, it is extremely difficult to earn back. And, yes, I said earn.
Participating in any of the above mentioned activities also shatters honesty, respect and loyalty. In a nutshell, someone who pledges to 'have your back' would not even think about participating in any of those things when your back is turned. A true friend may not always agree with the choices you make, but they will support your decision and be there if things fall through. That's respect. It also includes not putting you down (to your face or behind your back), not belittling you based on their own views and understanding your morals, values and opinions without trying to change them.
When a person is loyal, they truly meet up to that 'I got your back' expression. They are always in your corner, stand up for you, encourage you, hold your hand when you need it and disregard what others try to say. Yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it's how you deliver that opinion that matters.
In the grand scheme of things, there are different categories of friends. Some we meet during a time when Fate thinks you can each learn something from one another. Sometimes these last, sometimes once the learning is done, there isn't as much communication. These aren't usually closer friendships. True friends are those we meet and the relationship stands the test of time. Do you have friends you've had since Elementary school who have always been there, even when you don't get to see or talk to them as often?
There you go.
I have been blessed to have a very precious few I've trusted enough to call my 'true friends'. Don't base who you are on the amount of friends you have. Base yourself on the value of the true friendships you have, and never let them go.