What are the makings of a good friend?? This has been a topic of discussion amongst some people with whom I am friends and there are some contradictory beliefs. It has got me to think about it and really question what I do and what I would want my friends to do in order to consider them good friends.
I don't know if everyone will agree with me, and as this is my opinion I hope that if you don't agree with me you will at least respect that this is my opinion. But after some careful consideration I have come to realize that my view of what makes a good friend has changed a bit since I was 17 years old.
My view of what made a good friend at 17 was something like this; a friend that was always there for you, stood by you no matter what, that trusted in you and was honest with you, a good friend did not back stab you or talk behind your back. A good friend was someone you could count on in the middle of the night to bail you out of trouble or who would at least offer sage advice on how to get out of the mess. A good friend at 17 was someone who I hung out with all the time and we did things together every weekend. A good friend at 17 knew my secret crush, my not so secret crush and those people that irked me. A good friend at 17 did not question my logic, they just agreed with me even if my thought process was a little wonky. A good friend at 17 was just as naive as I was about the world, or if they weren't they didn't try to take off my rose coloured glasses because they understood that I had to learn things on my own. A good friend at 17 was a teenager just like me and had the maturity of a teenager, plain and simple.
Now with almost double my life since 17 my views on what makes a good friend a good friend have definitely changed. I still believe good friends must be honest, trustworthy, loyal, a good listener, helpful and kind. I do not believe though that I have to spend every weekend with my good friends or the friendship will lapse into oblivion. Obviously, I don't live in the same city as many of my good friends, but I still consider them good friends and we do have open communication. I do believe that a good friend will bail me out of a tough situation if the time comes that I ever need them for help. I do not believe that good friends cannot vent about me in times of frustration to other friends or people. I think it's actually healthy as long as the good friend is able to talk with me as well after they have vented. I believe that good friends now should have open communication, the fear of rejection should not factor into conversations with good friends. A good friend now will question my judgement about situations if the need is there, a good friend now will take off my rose coloured glasses so I can see the world for what it is. A good friend now will not stand by me and let me ruin my life with my choices, but a good friend will let me know that when I decide to change my life they will be there for me. For example, as a good friend if I have a friend that has an addiction and I feel that it is detrimental to their well being, I will tell my good friend that I cannot hang out with them until they have stopped their addiction. But, as soon as they have stopped their addiction I will be there for them to support them through that phase of their development. A good friend at this stage in my life knows my past, and accepts it, but only if they have seen that I have grown from my choices that I have made. A good friend now shares my common interests and knows my goals for the future.
I have friends now that are maybe not making decisions I would make, they are in situations that give my gut a good twist. I trust my gut it has never steered my wrong yet, but as of this moment I have no physical proof to stipulate to these friends that I can not support their decisions. So that's where my problem lies, do I tell my friends my fears, because my gut is flip flopping when they tell me their new decisions?? Or do I keep my mouth shut and not rock the boat? Or do I silently pull away until they decide to confront me on my passive aggressive behaviour? They say past behaviour is the best indicator for future reactions is past behaviour enough to go on when making judgements? Can people change so fundamentally that a past concern can be wiped out or are people always the same people they were at 17, 19, 21 and only their maturation has changed?? Oh well some more questions for another blog!!