With so many ways to indirectly communicate nowadays, are our friends faux real?
When our day starts, before we even actually physically talk to one person, we probably tweet, text, BBM and email a dozen of them. Some of these people we consider friends. Now maybe I’m old fashioned, but if we haven’t spoken on the phone within the last month (I’ll make it two. It’s been a crazy July…) then we’re probably associates at best. And that’s not a bad thing, but think about what you consider a friend. Someone who will pick you up from the airport, give you a lift if you have a flat tire or spot you because you left your wallet at home. They’re the people you can trust with an embarrassing secret or the shoulder to cry on when life kicks you down. They’re happy when you’re happy and hurt when you’re hurt. Now, you couldn’t possibly know how I feel if we haven’t spoken. Here are a few traits to know whether or not you’re the friend or just the associate to socialize with:
You’re one of the 10 numbers in the call log. Right now. Look, we’re all adults and we have lives. Work, spouses/significant others and even kids. Of course we can’t talk it up 24/7! But, if anything I’ve touched base with you just to see how work is going and the family is doing. Or if anything, I called to see if you watched [enter mindless VH1 reality TV show title here] or ask if we can hang this weekend since you’re off. The great thing about friendship is that it’s voluntary. I don’t need a good reason to give you a call, other than I just want to hear from you.
We hang socially. And casually. Sure, you were there when I popped bottles for my 26th birthday a couple months ago, but you were also having lunch at Chipotle with me when I let you know my grandmother was ill. It’s great that people want to hang out with you when you’re celebrating and doing it big. But it most counts when you’re down or even just having a regular ‘ole day. As I always say, “If you’re not going to rock with me when I don’t have it, don’t try to rock with me when I do.”
You already know the big news. Before it’s tweeted, emailed, text or BBMed and splashed all over Facebook. I respect, trust and care about you enough to tell you about something great (or bad) in my life via phone or better yet, in person. I don’t want you to hear anything about me from anyone aside myself. I trust you as a source of my news itself.
You’re highly favored. Asking you for a favor isn’t out of line or even embarrassing. And doing a favor for you is never an issue for me. It’s my pleasure. You add that much to my life, that helping you is helping me. You’re always grateful when I do something for you and I make sure I express my gratitude when you’re there for me as well. We don’t keep “score” on who’s done more for who because we know real friends don’t do that. We do favors not because we owe each other anything, but instead just simply because you asked nicely. I know that I’m not entitled to your friendship and that our relationship is a privilege.
Friends are people who are interested in who we were, respect who we are now and celebrate who we’re going to be. Hey, don’t feel bad if after reading this you realize only 2 or 3 people fit the criteria. (I only have a handful myself and that’s including Hubs.) It’s not about quantity, people. It’s about quality.