Friendships come and go. But what is the real friendship? For me, real friendship is when it goes away but then comes back. Think of a best friend in high school who moved to another country or state to study. You try to stay the same way with each other by regularly calling, facetiming, and updating each other on Facebook or Instagram.
But slowly, you notice that the communication is getting less and less. And as more time passes by, you find yourself not knowing much about this other person whom you used to call your best friend. After a year of not being in each other’s lives, you meet gain and suddenly everything seem like the way they used to be. No animosity, no unfamiliarity, only feelings of comfort in hearing each other laugh and share stories. That is what real friendship is to me. But what does it really take to be a great friend?
1. You acknowledge that people need space to grow.
We are all wanderers on this planet and no two persons’ destinies are the same. We grow in many different ways and walk through many different paths. And even though paths might separate, they can meet again; when those paths meet, you don’t resent the other person for going away. You appreciate it and recognize that this new person might have turned out to be a better person than before.
2. Everything is natural.
Like in a romantic relationship, friendships need to be natural. When you are with a great friend, you don’t feel the need to come up with a plan on what to talk about. You don’t feel uncomfortable in moments of silence. You can be yourself and the other person brings out the positive side of you.
3. Your friendship stands the test of time.
You probably got married and the other person decided to go to grad school. On your child’s third birthday, your friend comes and celebrates with your whole family. Then when your friend got married, you were chosen to be one of the bridesmaids even if you lived far apart. This means that real friendships go over several different stages in our lives.
4. You think about the other person and hope that everything is well.
You might be really busy with work after you had moved to the big city. But in between those busy moments, thoughts of your friend enter your mind and you quietly wish that everything is going well on his or her side. You call or text to make sure that everything is ok.
5. You keep your lines open.
Nobody is too busy to talk to a good friend. Whether you are out on the subway or standing in line at the grocery while towing two crying babies, you can still answer a call or call a friend back. Or even email back. Communication is easy with technology. After all, when you need help or someone to talk to, it will be your turn to make a call.
6. You share.
Information, time, a phone call, or a picture. It doesn’t matter what you share, what matters is that you do. If the other person is unemployed and you see a job posting, you pass the information on. You do not hold back if you know it would help the other person. Or if you know the other person will like or enjoy it. You share without expecting anything in return.
There are many other ways that someone can be a great friend. In the end, these will be the people that are there for us to listen, hold our hand when we are lost, and appreciate us as a person. And to be a great friend, we need to do the same things in return.
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