Just find a crisis or two…
Friendship is something we all need. And as we get older, true friendships seem harder to find. And how do you know when you have a real friend?
Don’t you find children generally make friends easier than adults? They are less cynical, less bitter, and more trusting.
Children care less about what people think and thus can approach people with more openness. Openness and trust is critical in close friends.
Close friends, different from acquaintances or casual friends, are those with whom you share your inner thoughts, dreams, challenges and pain. They are by your side — through thick and thin, no matter what. Cliche as it sounds.
The mettle of friendship is tested when one of you goes through a challenging, painful time of life.
Some people cannot handle dealing with someone who is sad, scared or depressed or angry. These “negative” emotions scare them and can actually make some people upset.
How dare we bring them down? How dare we expect them to reach into their soul and actually, gasp, support us?
Some of our friends will listen to us cry, rant and rave. Over and over. They don’t ask “ Why aren’t you over this already?”
Processing and dealing with complex, difficult issues takes time. Our emotions during times of grief for example, move from anger to sadness to depression and back around — there is no linear timed response to a loss, no predictable path.
These friends, who continue to listen, to advise, to love and to wrap their arms around us; they are the true friends. The ones to keep — forever. They have been proven in the battle of life.
These friends love us. We must love them back when they need us. And of course, we will.
But those people who — when you are upset, grieving or scared — instead find excuses not to pick up the phone, come over or offer any support — these are not your friends.
How do you know if someone loves you?
Look at their actions.
One of the most impactful quotes I have ever heard was from the great Maya Angelou:
When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
Your true friends will show, through their actions — or their inactions — who they are and how much you mean to them.
We must pay attention and believe their actions. I had plenty of warnings over the years. We all do. Believe the actions of others.
And be a friend yourself. Show your friends that they are important and you love them. People are watching your actions.
Our world, our lives need more true friendships.
Friendships will strengthen our lives and our culture, our communities and our world.
I hope we all have, and can be, a true friend.