I can imagine people staying in marriage despite difficulties will prolly say they do because they have to. Responsibilities. Commitment. Children. It’s different with friendships though. We are not obliged, we are not committed. We can leave anytime we feel like leaving.
Some say blood is thicker than water. Yet there are also friends who stick like brothers and who are willing to lay down life for you. Generally, a funny and convivial person will pass the average friend test. However, for me to consider a friend a “real friend” I must be able to feel the following :
1. Sense of Contentment – Even if it’s just the two of us talking for a whole day, my day generally feels complete.
2. Sense of Privacy & Respect – He or she should not cross the borderline. Friends should not be overfamiliar with each other. Just because you seem to know almost everything about me doesn’t give you the right to jump and make decisions on my behalf.
3. Always Objective – If I confide to a friend, I like it when he or she doesn’t always just take my side but thinks out of the box and looks at all aspects. I prefer it if I am being opposed to and a different point of view is being presented to me. It un-clouds my mind and helps me see things clearly.
4. Very Simple and Easy to Deal With – Walang arte, walang kiyeme, walang madaming eksplanasyon. I may not see them for a long time and when I do I am not obliged to explain why. They understand that I am leading my own life and have a family to take care of. They are not very clingy, very needy of my attention. And when we meet again, it just feels so easy to fill in each other where we left off. Seems like only yesterday and we’re once again updated. 🙂
5. Respects Your Time -When you lend your time to a friend and give advice, you give a piece of yourself. Simply because the time you gave cannot be returned nor reversed. It simply passed by but it just feel so worthwhile because you know that you just spent your quality time with a quality person. So I really appreciate it when friends come to me for help because they really needed one. Some just come to me for the sake of making papansin (to be noticed and be praised) and at the end of the day my opinion really doesn’t matter to them. So I feel like my time has just been wasted really, especially me who believes that time is very valuable and should be spent wisely.
6. Very Loyal – No matter what I do and especially when I’m blinded, they always have my back.
7. Trustworthy – True friends don’t share my secrets with others because they know that they hold a valuable piece of me that I have entrusted to them. And they know that trust, once broken, is not easy to regain. They also know that trust is not given but earned and the fact that they have earned it from me means that they have gained my confidence. So, prove you’re worthy of that “trust and faith” in all ways possible.
8. Doesn’t blame, doesn’t remind you of your past mistakes – Who wants to hear a song played 200 times a day? Even if a friend secretly blames me for my mistakes, it helps when they don’t speak it out loud because he or she knows naman that I know it already na ei. But when they do speak of it, it helps to always have something positive to speak as well. Discuss the solutions, not just the problems. And how can I move forward with my life if my past mistakes will be mentioned over and over again? Do I really have to be reminded of that every single minute of my life?
9. Doesn’t make sumbat – “I have introduced you to all my friends! I have given you these and that! ” And so? Did I ask you to do all of that? This is not sincerity in the very first place because if they were genuine, they would have forgotten all the help extended the minute they’re done with it. Simply because that’s stated in the Bible. Some people help just so they can brag about it. To tell everyone that this people owe them some money or something and they would have been nothing if not for their help.
10. Loves you as a “family” – I strongly feel that a real friend treats me just how they would treat a family member whom they love and cherish a lot.
11. Growth – They share their knowledge with me, I do the same, and we grow together. 🙂