Friends are a pretty standard thing in life. We’re told when we’re younger to be nice and make friends. But something about the term “making friends” just kind of feels weird. Maybe because when you make friends, you’re often in an unguarded or vulnerable state of being trying to appease someone in ways that may be unnatural to who you really are to acquire their friendship. Ok so I know this sounds deep and like I’m overthinking it but I’m going somewhere. You know those folks you be nice to and you make your friends, well I’m sure we’ve all experienced when the slightest disagreement ruins the foundation of that friendship. The first time you don’t do what they want you to do, their stance towards you changes, and a weird vibe enters the relationship. Or we’ve all had those folks that come into our lives and are cool until….we are in a crisis. Then they are nowhere to be found even when you’ve been there for them during their worst times.
Now I’d like to challenge the idea of making friends and suggest the idea of discerning friends. Discern that person’s intentions when you first meet. Assess their actions in many scenarios. If that person shows themself to only be friends when things are going well in your life or you have something they need, that’s not a friend and don’t make them your friend. It’s okay to allow people to prove themselves, just remember that you should be as considerate and thoughtful as you expect them to be. I learned this lesson back in the fifth grade. I had a best friend (or so I thought)…until one day that all changed. We got in a physical fight in the bathroom. I can’t remember what it was about but I’m sure it had nothing to do with our differences. I asked myself, “how did we get here?” All I could recall is that my grandmother had passed away on Christmas Day in 2002 (that school year) and everything about me changed. I never dealt with it and I never talked to anyone about how traumatic that was for me. My personality changed. The once somewhat social and very intellectual child I was, resorted to a life of explicit quietness, overeating, and what I now identify as a state of depression. My best friend didn’t know how to be there for me (not that she ever really tried). She felt that I was being antisocial and stupid. We fought and after that day she turned on me. Instead of being someone in my corner, she became someone against me. I learned through that experience what a true friend was not and I’ve approached all of my friendships and relationships with extra precaution ever since. Now that I’m an adult, I’ve found my balance. No more making friends, or having my guard so far up that I can’t start new relationships, I just choose to discern my friends. That’s my happy medium and as a result, my friends are few but certainly true. My circle is complete with some of the most amazing people I know. Love you friends!!!!