Levels of friendship

ImageFriendship. What is this? Is there a friendship hierarchy? How do we move from the bottom step, as in an ‘acquaintance’ to get to the top…my ‘bestest’ buddy, best friend, ma boy/girl, my BFF? How do we define friendship? Let’s look at some buzz words that relate to friendship: Trust, respect, love, empathy, sympathy, honesty, reliability, consistency, humour. Please add more. What is a true friend?

I think a true friend is someone who you can be a total idiot around and it’ll be fine. Someone who will annoy you and fight with you and tell you the most horrible things about yourself but who you will ring you the following day and all is well. Someone who is so brutally honest with you that you hate them and love them at the same time. Someone with whom you can communicate with without saying a single word. Someone you can exchange a glance with and you both know exactly what the other is thinking. Someone you can roll about laughing with for the most pointless reason. Someone with whom silence is comfortable. Someone who is there for you when you need them most. Someone who will drop everything to catch you when you’re falling.

How many of us have friends who are near or at the top step? How many of us have ‘friends’ who are overcrowding the bottom step? How many of us have ‘friends’ gathered on the middle step. Many of us including myself have many different friends who are scattered all over the stairs. Friends for different occasions almost. How many of us can honestly say “I have a friend who I know I can call on in my deepest darkest hour and they will be there for me”? I might know many people but, it doesn’t mean I have many friends. I think alot of us make that mistake. Do you have a friend who you are totally transparent with?

ImageI sometimes liken myself to a parking meter. People come to me in the form of a ‘friend’ and depending on how long they intend to hang around, will depend on how much money i.e time and effort that they will put in the meter. They are in effect buying some time for me to fill that empty parking space in their life until they get what they want and then they’re gone.

Do you ever meet the type who always say to you, “I really care about you.” “You mean a lot to me.” “If you ever want to talk I’ll be here for you.” “Yeah we’ll go out sometime, do something fun.” HA! yeah, right. When your parking ticket runs out you’ll disappear faster than a cheetah on steroids! Boy have I been a sucker for those words! If I were to hold my breath waiting on some ‘friends’ to act on their words, I’d have died a thousand times!

I remember many times trying to meet up with ‘friends’ and more often than not, I’ll get some excuse as to why they can’t come or talk. I’d always be the one texting, emailing, ringing to find out how they are. These actions are rarely reciprocated. I tend to have the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ type of friends. I’m only remembered when there’s an upcoming event and they want to make up numbers, or they are at a loose end with nothing to do so they end up scrolling through their phone book and remembering that they have my number. They become my best friend when they’re broke and want a loan, or want a favour. Depending on their need they will move me up or down their friendship hierarchy. Sometimes we think we’re at the top step, or near the top, but they think we’ve just about managed to find a space on the first step! Are you a ‘loose end friend’ or a ‘friend of convenience’?

I have a handful of people I’d regard as true friends. You know, the ones who might be thousands of miles away but who still makes the effort to stay in touch. Some who are there not to give advice but to just listen and share a few pints. Some who are there to give me a kick up the backside and tell me to get a grip, and some who I can bear all to, be vulnerable, cry my eyes out and not feel ashamed or less of a man for doing so. Some I haven’t seen or spoken to for a while but when we meet up it’s like we’ve never separated and we just carry on from where we left off. I have very few of these friends. Some share more than one of the mentioned characteristics and I love them for accepting me with all my flaws, and for supporting me when my walls were caving in.

I’m now pointing the finger back at myself. Am I being a true friend? How many times have I made excuses not to meet up with someone because I can’t be bothered? Do I make enough of an effort to spend time with my friends? Do I only contact certain friends when I have nothing else to do? Do I show an interest in my friends and what’s happening in their lives? Am I reciprocating? Am I paying into their parking meter because I want something from them? What kind of friend are you? One love.


Thanks for this Anna.xx