1. a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard. 2. a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter: 3. a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile 4. a member of the same nation, party, etc. 5. (initial capital letter) a member of the Religious Society of Friends; a Quaker. 6. a person associated with another as a contact on a social-media website:
Well, there’s the Websters Dictionary version. But how would you define friend? I think 1&2 are the real definitions of a friend, the rest I would consider an acquaintance. So why do we call all 1286, or whatever the number may be, people on our Facebook page our “Friends”? I have 7, and only 2 come even close to being a real friend. Not that I don’t like the others, but let’s keep it real.
Recently, I spoke to someone I had “Unfriended”. This person asked me why I had done that. I told him that when I stopped working there, I tried to stay in touch, but I felt nobody really responded to anything I wrote. I wasn’t offended, and I still like all of them, I just figured we were “Work Friends” only. If they felt otherwise, they all knew my email and phone number. They could have called to see what’s up.
A few years ago, I dropped the “Friends” I had at that time. I had known most of them since high school. Were they true friends? No, they were not. They were just the people I partied with, drank with, did drugs with. If push came to shove, they would scatter like cockroaches. I think if you have 2 or 3 REAL friends in your lifetime, your doing good. I had 1 years ago, but we were separated by time and circumstances we had no control over. I miss her greatly.
Am I to strict in my standards of who is friend worthy? Do I come on to strong and drive people off? My personality is what it is. At 50 years old, I’m not going to change much. I think most people don’t take the time to truly get to know someone. I have been guilty of the same. It takes more that a few comments on Facebook to understand the true person within. Friends have become just as disposable as most everything else in our modern society.
I feel it takes time and commitment. You have to be around someone in more than just a work environment. You have to look beyond the persona that we all exude in the presence of many. I feel if you want to know someone, there’s nothing better than sharing a meal together. It’s amazing what a plate of spaghetti can do! All that slurping, and face wiping breaks down more than a few barriers to true conversation.
I believe friendship most often starts with common interests, but even opposites attract. There has to be trust, but I feel that has to be earned over time. I have been “Burned” many times in my life by people I thought were friends, so I am very careful how far and how quick I let anyone in. The person I put out there, is not really me. Anyone reading this who knows me, may be surprised by what I write. If they are, then I guess they paid no attention to the “Weird Guy With The Dog” behind the curtain! (I always loved “Wizard of Oz!)
Why can’t it be as simple as with a dog. They are always happy to see you. They don’t eat much. They don’t care what you say or do, as long as you take them. And they never bring home “Stray dogs”, unlike my ex wife!