Is your friend a “friend”?

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We may belong to different races, cultures, religions, geographic locations, social classes and income levels. We all dress differently, eat differently, listen to different genres and have different interests and aspirations. However, regardless of our level of individuality, we are influenced by people. People we meet, people we listen to, people we follow, people we’ve heard of, people we are envious of, people we dislike, people we admire and people we love. People shape our future. Some of these people at some point, are friends, pretend friends, were once a friend or would turn out to be a friend.

Why do we need friends to begin with? Let’s face it, there is a selfish agenda behind every friendship. And these agendas could affect us positively or negatively. Agendas that could be monetary, career driven, influential, to up social status, have access to drugs, to kill time, to have someone to hang out with, to have someone to depend on, to use as an avenue to meet other people, to share similar interests or ones that started off as a crush or physical attraction. Consciously, or subconsciously these are the kind of factors that influence our behaviour when we make a friend.

What we sometimes don’t realize is that just as we have our own agendas, other people around you have them too. Even your best friend.

So I’ve often asked myself, how do I distinguish between a friend and a “friend”?

A “friend” I’d say, is someone who would step a little out of their agendas. I believe that true friendship is like a relationship between lovers, without the intimacy. When friends get to know each other, some are lucky enough to build on an emotional human connect. Strong enough to want them to step outside their comfort zones for somebody else.

Will a friend with a usual agenda buy you a drink & drop you home? Sure. Would they pick up the phone when you have a problem at 3.00 in the morning? Sure. Would they help you out with some cash at a rough time? Sure. Would they spend 5 minutes to upload a collage of images to wish you on your birthday on facebook? Sure why not. In reality, you need to implement these hygienic tasks to sustain a friendship. Does this mean they are evil? Probably not, but is it enough to classify them as “friends”?

I believe that “friendship” is about the subtle signs. And you are lucky if you can read these signs. “Friendship” is not always about party and booze, and more party and booze. It’s about those out of the blue moments of checking up on you to see if you are okay. Making an extra effort to make you smile when you are down. Having your back whether you are right or wrong. Ensuring that they are a part of every important moment in your life, like birthdays and celebrating achievements. It’s about whether they turn up or not when you are singing or acting on stage, or playing a match. It’s about bringing you over a hot soup or a cupcake when you are sick. You know the difference between a “Friend” and a friend when you are gifted with something sentimental compared to a gift voucher from a retail store. A “friend” will never leave you hanging. And these are just simple examples.

Sometimes, you consider people to be more than just friends. But you may not be considered the same. This is when you get disappointed. And as a result certain people also suffer from trust issues because of bad past experiences with friendship. With higher expectations come bigger disappointment. Unfortunately, we human beings find it hard to stop ourselves from expecting a lot from people. The next time you are a victim of such disappointment, ask yourselves what their agendas were, and tell yourself they wanted to be your friend because you were important enough for their success. They just don’t have the balls to return the favour.

You may be really popular. You may hang out with multiple people on different days. You may get a 100 calls on your birthday. You may have 2000 Facebook friends. But in reality, you only have very few people in your life you can call “friends”. Having just one in your life, is lucky enough.

So if your agenda is to feel a little better about yourself, try being a little less selfish and more a “friend” for a change. And if you can’t, that’s ok too. You will still be accepted in society. 🙂

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