There are plenty of cute quotes and hallmark cards about friendship. When we hear the word friendship I’m willing to bet that most of us think of laughter, girls nights, and many other things that make us feel all warm and fuzzy. Don’t get me wrong. Friendship is one of the most rewarding things we will experience in life. It is something that we all crave and need, but what happens when it’s not always butterflies and rainbows? The harsh reality is that it takes a lot of hard work to be a “real” friend. Not many people talk about when friendship can break your heart, but we should! Life is too hard to go through it alone which is why we need to know what it means REALLY be a friend.
Personally, there have been moments in my life that I would not have made it through without my friends. Sometimes you forget who you are and the good things about yourself and you need people who will remind you who you are at your core. I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum. I’ve had to pour words of life and support into my friends, and they’ve done the same for me.
Friendship is not always easy. There is no way it can be or should be. Friendship is made up of two imperfect humans saying, “Hey, I like you better than other humans. Let’s trust each other and do life together.”
If your friendships are always easy, you might want to examine them and ask yourself if they are surface level relationships or if you really know each other.
In all honesty, if you truly know your friends then you know they are messed up just like you. As mere humans, we all sometimes say snarky things we don’t mean, and act selfishly. There are even times when we are just flat out crappy people to one another. We go through stressful times, and with so many outside factors affecting our personal lives, it is bound to run over into our friendships at times.
Something I’ve personally learned is how important forgiveness is in friendship. They go hand in hand and friendship cannot survive without forgiveness. I made the mistake once of holding a grudge towards a friend that hurt me, and because of that, I missed out on months of friendship with that person. I promise you that isn’t the way to go, but it showed me the importance of forgiving your friends even when you don’t feel like it.
True friendship is seeing someone at their worst and still thinking they’re the best.
I don’t know about you, but I love a good sappy quote. As I’m sure a lot of you know, Pinterest can give you a quote to fit any occasion. However, I can think of a couple of quotes, in particular, I’ve seen that send a lot of mixed messages when it comes to friendship and relationships in general. Some quotes on there tell you to give endless amounts of love and effort to people even if they don’t reciprocate. While others say you to remove anyone from your life that isn’t adding to it. Honestly, that sounds like a lot of pressure and expectation to put on yourself or another person. It makes friendship seem like a service being offered to be accepted or rejected and when it isn’t what you signed up for, or it doesn’t fit your needs you can just cancel your membership.
The fact of the matter is, most of the time things are not 50/50 in any relationship. There will be times when one person will give 70 percent while the other gives 30 percent and vice versa. Life is fluctuant and inconsistent just like we are. And as a real friend, sometimes you have to choose to love someone unconditionally through a hard week, month, or maybe sometimes even a year. If you care about them as a person and not just want they do for you, then you will put in more effort when they are low because they did it for you the time before. You’ll switch places many times through your friendship. True friends don’t keep track of rights, wrongs, or each party’s contributions.
Friendship is allowing your friends to screw up and still offering your shoulder for them to cry on.
If I’m being honest, some of my closest friendships have put me through some of the most emotionally stressful times. It hurts when they let you down. It sucks when your trust in someone gets broken. While I believe in protecting yourself, I also believe in giving those close to you the option to mess up. They’re going to make mistakes whether you give them permission to or not. Why? Because they are imperfect. Just like you are. Sometimes you will literally have to sit back and watch your friends make choices that you know are going to have repercussions. I’ve experienced that with some of my friends, and you know what? They’ve experienced the same with me.
While friendship can sometimes be stressful, confusing and even draining at times, I would never want to experience a life without it. We were not made to do life alone and thank God we don’t have to. So ladies, take a moment to examine the people around you and make sure you can trust them to be with you through the good, bad and the ugly. Take a deep look at yourself while you at it and ask yourself if you’ve been a good friend and try challenging yourself to be better.
Join the conversation: Tell us about the things you value most in your friends or about a time where you had to learn about what being a “real” friend meant.