I’ve been thinking a lot recently about friendship.
What does it really mean?
When I was younger, I used to eagerly surround myself with the brightest, most interesting people in the room. The ones that seemed ‘cool’ and like they had it all together. We’d become fast friends, and all of a sudden do everything together.
As I grew through Sixth Form and uni, I realised that these interesting people don’t necessarily make reliable friends. I realised that with these people, friendship can fade as quickly and effortlessly as it began. They move on to the next person, like bees darting from flower to flower. I think unfortunately we are taught to go the extra mile for our family, but we are never taught to do this with friends. So many people seem to ditch friends and move on very easily. These friendships involve a degree of fakery, as opposed to a genuine connection. Naturally, as soon as the times got tough, they didn’t want to know.
Something traumatic happened to me a few months ago, and I learned who my real friends are. Some really stood by me, some actively distanced themselves. This included friends I’ve known for years. At the time, I felt upset and betrayed. Now I realise how shallow these connections must have been. Many of these friends were simply around to have a good time. Perhaps we’d outgrown each other and were now in different stages of life. I’m really into personally development and work continuously on bettering myself – in many cases, my values didn’t work with theirs anymore.
I used to value myself based on how many friends I had, so I’d hold on to toxic friendships far longer than I should have. Partially it was my fear of having a smaller circle – having less people to speak to and turn to when times got tough. I often felt like, without these people in my life, I would feel a huge sense of loss.
Now, I realise how wrong I was. I might have a smaller circle, yes, but at least I know that all my friends are genuine. All of them are “close” friends, and I trust them 100%. It might be a cliche, but: quality over quantity really does apply.
So, what’s a friend? An acquaintance for me is someone you’d meet for a coffee, have a chinwag with and update them on some gossip. A friend is someone who you can call at 2 in the morning for help, and they wouldn’t think twice before giving it. A friend is someone who sends you small things in the post just to cheer you up. A friend is someone who is your biggest cheerleader, really supporting your passions and your business. Maybe this is a lot to expect from a friend, but I have these standards because it’s the things I’d do myself.
Having a smaller circle has made me comfortable with my own company – something I used to really be afraid of. It’s allowed me to rediscover passions, like creating content and writing.
Now, all I look for in a friend is someone who brings out the good in me. Hopefully I do the same for them. It doesn’t matter what they look like, what clothes they wear, how entertaining they are. All that matters is that they’re a good person, after all.
Bag: New Look, similar