By no means do I have the most friends in the block, nor do I have the most likes on Facebook, or the most followers on Twitter. What I do have is a heart, a mind, the power of compassion, and the observation skills of a hawk. I have been hurt, and I have hurt. I have shared my feelings, and helped friends through some of the hardest times they’ve faced in their life to date. Through all of this, I have learned the characteristic that cultivates these intimate friendships the most is an unrelenting concern for friends.
It all begins with asking a person how they are doing today; it never stops there. It’s not those exact words that need to be used, it’s the interest in a person that matters. Starting the conversation is the biggest step that must be taken to being a friend.
It’s not that easy, but that’s a start. Of course we all forget little details we’ve learned of our friend over the days, months, years.. which nobody likes to repeat, but there is a chance, a large chance, that the person you are talking to will appreciate your interest in them and they will be ok with reminding you how little you remember, but telling you again.
Naturally as humans we want to share with people. What holds us back are a few things: fear of being laughed at, fear of being taken advantage of, not wanting to face our problems, social normals, or having told a person (perhaps many times) and they avoid the subject and brush it off as if it shouldn’t matter. Of course, reasons are as unique as humans, but those are a few that come to mind right away. Perhaps you have some other reasons why somebody wouldn’t share with a friend?
I would be forgetting a major obstacle in being a friend if I didn’t mention anything about the fact that there will be many, many, many times when you ask somebody how they feel and they brush it off as if nothing is wrong. I would also be forgetting a major obstacle if I didn’t mention anything about that fact that there will be many, many, many times that you say “Hello, how are you today?” and receive simply a “hi” or “hello” or even nothing at all in response.
Let it be known that sticking your head out there to be a friend to somebody also means you need to share yourself. It’s a two way street. If you don’t, then you can never expect to have any kind of deep sharing relationship with a friend. When they tell you how their mother never stops nagging them, tell them how your father has unrealistic expectations of you. When they tell you how their boyfriend is an unorganized and messy man, tell them how yours pisses all over the toilet seat and leaves puddles of water on the floor!
Share. Being a friend means you share. Listen to them and let them vent themselves, don’t take control of the conversation and turn it back on you. When they ask you how you’re doing, share with them. Also, share your sandwich. It means you care 🙂
You don’t need to have all the friends in the world, but it is always worth the moment it takes to think about the friends you have in your life who mean a lot to you, and to show them how you care – with sandwiches.