Teach Me: “But you gotta have friends”

So…

There was a time when I was addicted to taking those silly little online personality quizzes…I’m talking before facebook, like this is back in the day (at least for me) even before myspace, back when AOL Instant messenger was the coolness!

I would literally search for them (and by search I mean google “online personality quizzes”). Not that I can remember now but I’m almost sure at one time or other I took one entitled something like “What Kind of Friend Are You?” Obviously I don’t know what the outcome of that quiz was…I don’t even really remember taking it but I’m sure somewhere between the “Are You in Love” quiz, the “Naughty or Nice” quiz the “What Kind of Girl Are You” quiz there was at least one “What Kind of Friend Are You” quiz.

Of course the results of these quizzes are always as general as horoscopes…”You are a good friend…you always listen…in fact you’re such a good friend many people consider you their “best” friend.” Oh my goodness that is SO true! :rolls eyes:

Friends are obviously important, for a number of reasons and society knows that. There are thousands of articles on the 7 types of friends you should have or the 5 Types of friends everyone should get rid of, often types these types overlap or are non-existent in the life of the average person and doggone it who came up with these friend types anyway???

It really doesn’t matter…because “But you gotta have friends” (as Donkey so articulately says in the movie Shrek).

Can you tell I’m a cornball??? Random. Don’t answer that. lol

Anyhoo-

Over the past couple days I’ve been thinking about ships…friendship, relationship, discipleship…and the list goes on. And I’m wondering to myself “What kind of friend am I?”

Have I been a good friend? What makes me think I have been? And how do I know? If I weren’t me would I want me as a friend?

My honest assessment landed me here…the middle of uncertainty…I don’t know! But I had to have some inkling right??? Right. So I thought even harder…

I have since come to the conclusion that I am a good friend. Could I be a better friend? Certainly. But that will happen as I continue to evolve into a better person.

I’m not sure what the definition of a good friend is…anybody know??? Please share. Teach me! Seriously I want to know.

I’ve decided I am a good friend because I’m there when it matters most. I’m usually poised to listen. If I can do something to help I will.

However,

If you’re looking for the type of friend that’s in communication with you daily or even weekly or even monthly I’m afraid that I won’t always deliver. I’ve tried that and I seem to fail. How important is that to a genuine friendship??? I don’t know. Someone please  – Teach me!

Also I think I kind of suck at letting people know how much they mean to me. Sad but true. Like seriously, I only recently became comfortable with saying I Love You to people. My relationship with words and phrases caused me to feel that “I Love You” was a phrase that was overused and so I didn’t want to participate in its abuse so I didn’t say it. Instead I should have been putting it to proper use and allowing people to hear the authenticity of the love that motivated my saying those three words. Did that sound confusing??? Hope you could follow, I apologize if it was too much. Continuing on…

Writing is something I can do, I do it well sometimes and even better at other times and sometimes I just stink because I can’t get past my writer’s block…which hasn’t been a problem these last three days but still…anyhoo sometimes I want to articulate how I’m feeling verbally and the words fail me and then when I turn to writing I become so conscious of what I’m saying that I feel the genuine heart behind it is lost and people are so taken up with the way I said it instead of what I said. Do you understand my dilemma???

Okay. So I have this awful habit of not communicating effectively or often enough. When I get comfortable enough with people I take for granted the fact that they know (or in my opinion should know) certain things and in so doing completely  forget that they are not mind-readers and then I tend to become irritated and then I move from irritation to indifference and I can stay there for a while. I’m working on this by the way. It’s quite horrible though, I actually used to start everyone out with an “A” each time they did something shady, sheisty, or suspect they would be lowered a grade and once they flunked out that was it I’d cut them off no qualms about it. Then I realized that wasn’t Christ like. And oh the conviction that set in!

And as much as people come to me for advice (which I’ll give to them when they ask) after a certain age I don’t offer it. My mentality is “This person is grown. They should know better. Right???” Wrong. The reality is sometimes they don’t.

Now, correct me if I’m wrong…like seriously…teach me…but I’m learning that the best friendships don’t necessarily mean that you see each other everyday or even talk to each other every day. And I’m not saying this is true for all friendships or even all my friendships. (Can someone please define friendship for me???) But I can’t help but think there should be a certain level of communication because real friends know what’s going on in each other’s lives right??? Ugh. I don’t know. All I know is You gotta have friends. So how do I make them? How do I keep them? How do I communicate effectively and often enough??? What is often enough? Should you be willing to fight for your friendships? Is every friendship worth fighting for?

And what about this whole issue of forgiveness??? Unconditional love is a part of friendship right??? So if a friend does cross you and hurt you to the core, of course you should forgive??? But can you, should you restore that friendship??? How would you feel if things were the other way around???

I’m sorry that this post seems to have more questions than answers but…I need to know. I want to be the best friend I can be because that’s part of being the best me I can be.

So..Who’s got my answer? Is it you?

Be a friend to me and teach me! If you dare…lol

Have a wonderful day pilgrims!

Grace.&.Peace

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Teach Me: “But you gotta have friends””

  1. Have not finished reading the whole thing but just wanted to comment on the ‘letting ur friends know how much they mean to you’ and ‘i love you’ parts. Omg, so true for me too!!!! I literally could not even mouth the words ‘i love you’ until recently cos of how bad the words have been abused. I had to practise with the mirror!!
    Ok, back to reading…

    Like

  2. wish i could go all guru and answer all the questions 🙂 not so tho, i have just as much questions. i remember in high school getting completely tired of humans. i sooooo wanted to morph into an eagle and take off. i’ve tried shutting people out but have found we just weren’t created to live that way. we do need friends. honestly, i can’t remember how most of my great friendships started out…they just did and i’m so grateful for them. i’ve learnt (definitely still learning) to appreciate them and to remember ( i often forget) to be actively concerned about their lives.

    Like

    1. You rock my socks!! I love you. I praise GOD for twitter (lol) and the day it allowed us to cross paths…you’re absolutely wonderful 🙂

      I think I get tired of humans at least once a year..smh…and I actually make an annual attempt to serve Jesus while living under a rock. I’m working on growing out of that though :p Like you said “weren’t created to live that way”…

      LOL at having to practice in the mirror…I still get tongue twisted occasionally when I am saying I love you. It will get better. We will be part of the wave that revitalizes words that have lost their meaning…words like love, religion and Christian!

      Thank you for reading! I so appreciate you…

      Like

  3. “So how do I make them? How do I keep them? How do I communicate effectively and often enough??? What is often enough? Should you be willing to fight for your friendships? Is every friendship worth fighting for? And what about this whole issue of forgiveness??? Unconditional love is a part of friendship right??? So if a friend does cross you and hurt you to the core, of course you should forgive??? But can you, should you restore that friendship??? How would you feel if things were the other way around???”

    Cara-Marie! There are a lot of questions here! Let me begin by saying that there are too many definitions of friendship to choose just one. But I think you hit it directly by confessing that you are a good listener. Aside from that, I’d say that words such as “honest”, “loyal”, “understanding”, and “companion” also fit.

    I believe that everyone you meet has the potential to be your friend. How good of a friend, however, is based on how honest you are upon meeting them. I try to be myself at ALL times. This includes me being brutally honest, open, and generally quirky. Though first impressions are typically most important, there’s nothing worse than thinking the person in question (either you or him/her) are someone they are NOT (or not someone that they are). Be yourself to ensure people love you for you and not their perception of you.

    As a friend, you should be able to determine how a person feels about you. If they are willing to spend time with you, willing to take the time out of their day to communicate with you (reading/commenting on your blog 😀 ), or willing to share things they wouldn’t share with a stranger, I think it’s safe to assume that this person considers you a friend. This works both ways. Because you take the time to consistently read and comment on my blog, I know we have a friendship that I would not mistake for acquaintanceship. Even when you went away for a while, I didn’t think that you were a bad friend for not keeping up with my life, just that you were going through the motions of your own….completely acceptable! I don’t need people to tell me (as you shouldn’t expect people to tell you) that I’m (you’re) a good friend. If you love everyone with the love of Christ (easier said than done), you’ll always be a good friend to those who want it and those who don’t.

    Fighting for a friendship….this is based on what you’re fighting for! Every friendship (as I’ve said for romantic relationships) must have communication. If there is an understanding (or misunderstanding) that needs to be discussed, don’t run from it. Only when you approach a situation can you determine whether or not it is worth the trouble. If you’ve done all you can do (talked to the other person, taken steps to right the wrong, etc) and this person is still not cooperating or putting forth the effort, it’s best to take a step back. The space will allow the person (or you) to consider where your friendship lies and how important it is to them. Not every one of them is worth fighting for! This is the same as forgiveness. Open forgiveness is definitely necessary. However, this does not necessarily mean that the friendship should continue on! Forgiveness is more for you than it is for them. Forgiveness means that you are letting go of anger, frustration, and heart ache and surrendering those negative emotions to God. Sometimes, you don’t even have to acknowledge to the person that you’ve forgiven them. It’s never good to say you’re “over it” and that you forgive them, and then realize you’re not and haven’t. If this person (or you) has (have) done something completely terrible, it is best to confess your feelings to the other person (this takes fighting back bitterness in order to even have this conversation). If they attempt to justify their actions and ignore your feelings, then pray on it. Take some time to yourself and determine whether or not God has a plan to keep this person in your life. Jenna and I had a great friendship. But after so many wrongs, you can’t help but let the negativity eat away at you. I was finally able to say “I don’t want it anymore”, grow in my conclusions through prayer, and learn to put the past behind me. It takes time.

    I have definitely hurt people, and whether or not they confess my wrongdoings to me, I have learned to analyze my actions, and wholly apologize for hurting them and denting our friendship. They will, hopefully, go through the same process of determining whether or not keeping you as a friend is worth it, and you’ll be left with either a stronger friendship, or personality traits/behaviors for you to work on with the next friendship.

    Always ❤

    S

    Like

    1. You’re ability to open up and share is so inspiring S.J.
      Seriously. As you can see transparency is something I’m working on.

      I like what you said:
      “…everyone you meet has the potential to be your friend.” But in a world as tech savvy as ours I think that people are becoming more and more isolated in person. Or maybe it’s because I’m older…maybe because of my self consciousness its not as easy for me to do as my 8 year old sister Candace said and simply say to the person sitting next to me on the bus “Hi I’m Cara-Marie. Want to be my friend?” Or maybe it’s because I’m afraid of being seen as a creeper lol.

      “Even when you went away for a while, I didn’t think that you were a bad friend for not keeping up with my life, just that you were going through the motions of your own….completely acceptable!” Let me say you are more forgiving of my going away than many others. I sometimes have the tendency to shut down or when too much is going on I get wrapped up in my own little world – that’s something I’m working on. And while I agree that sometimes space is good I think people should have their own space for the right reasons. Truth is in those times when I have shut down that’s when I need people the most! Of course there have been other times when GOD has ordered a period of isolation so that I can focus more on Him. Like you said completely acceptable.

      “If there is an understanding (or misunderstanding) that needs to be discussed, don’t run from it. Only when you approach a situation can you determine whether or not it is worth the trouble.” Somewhere along the lines I got comfortable with avoiding confrontation but not anymore. It’s like that verse in Matthew if your brother has a problem with you, you go to him and clear it up, don’t wait for him to come to you. God has been teaching me how and when to confront people. As I’ve been embracing that lesson I have learned that sometimes in order to stand up for yourself you have to humble yourself. And what an important lesson that is!!

      As always Samantha thank you for gracing my page with both your wisdom and your experience.

      Loving you…

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s