The Qualifications Of a Friend. I know that I have done other posts on the importance of friends in life, namely my life, but this week I have been pondering what constitutes a good meaningful friend. What qualifications do people look for in a good meaningful friend? Or more specific, what do I look for in that kind of friend? It’s so funny, it sounds like I’m looking for applicants for a job position that I need covered at work. Well, actually, I guess I am. I am careful who I allow close to me. I have been hurt too many times to just leave that to chance. Everyone has had, so called friends, that have been in their lives that have taken and taken. Ones that are toxic and selfish, that just tear you down constantly, making you feel like you are worthless. I know I have had those harmful kinds of friends in my life, and I’m tired of being that person. You know, the one that just follows that harmful friend around, hoping things will get better, wishing that person/people would see the goodness that is in them. Bottom line, I’m sick of being the one that always gets dumped on and blamed for everything.
That being said, what I look for in a meaningful friend, or anyone that gets close to me for that matter, is someone who will be loyal, reliable, loving, caring, kindhearted, a good listener, an encourager, someone to laugh with, to enjoy life with… It’s amusing, it sounds like I’m putting out a dating application, in addition to my job position application. Why? Why is it so important to make sure that you are surrounding yourself with people that can speak goodness and light into your life? Life is extremely short, though it may not always seems like it with rough days sometimes. So a better question would be, Why not? Why would you want to be around people that abuse and harass you, breaking you down until you feel like nothing? I know I wouldn’t. Let’s set the record straight before I move on. In my repertoire of what I look for in friends, I do not look for things to be sugar coated perfect roses all the time either. That would be FAKE! And weirdly disturbing, honestly. In essence, I’m not perfect. I know I screw up a lot, but I crave to be corrected and told in love. That I may be given the chance to be a better friend back.
Have you ever thought about the friends, or so called friends that you surround yourself with? Do they encourage you to do the right thing? Do they tear you down? Do they give back to you? Have you thought about a “Friend Makeover”? I know I have, and I have begun trimming down the herd, so to speak.
Some people that I have surrounded myself with, have done some of the above. Which of the above? Read on. One HUGE question that has been brought up to me on occasion by those that I have allowed into my inner circle is, “Do I like drama?” Meaning? Not the plays or musicals, but it is a derogatory attempt to make me feel like I’m less then normal and more like a piece of crap. That I ensue conflict. Is it ensuing conflict if your sticking up for yourself? How do I answer this? I have touched on this in a couple of other posts, but I would like to elaborate on just a bit more here. First, my whole life is so-called “drama”. I have a husband, six kid’s, three businesses (with many employees, lots of which are teenagers), these examples in and of themselves constitute mega amounts of “drama”. Second, I’m a strong independent woman. I’m emotional. Yep, “drama” again. I’ll stop there. I have one request. For those that want to remain in my inner circle, Please Stop Saying This! Yes, I take this to heart, and YES I take this as an attack on me. It Hurts! I am NOT a drama queen who is looking to be the center of attention all the time. I am someone who has drama in her life, as everyone does. Either accept me, for me, or I’m moving on.
The reason why I essentially wanted to write this post, which started out being titled “What kind of a friend am I?”, is because I wanted and did take some time to consider this question. What do I bring to other people, my friends, and people close to me? How can I be better? Am I selfish and one of those people that just take and take? Do I really care, or do I just think that I care and when push comes to shove it really shows? Do I breath life and light into people? No, I’m not talking about all the time, but the majority of the time? Where is my heart? Focused on the hardships that they are going thru, or concerned about what to make for dinner tonight?
I can’t be perfect and selfless all the time, like Jesus, but I can use him as a guide, a mentor. Someone to try and mirror my life like. Will I get there? Truth, probably not, but I need to try. The alternative would be, to be a nasty, bitter, selfish, toxic person that no one would want to be around. I would never want to be that person.
I was looking at my Facebook page the other day, and I ran across this post that said “Don’t Facebook your problems, Face them”. What the Heck is that crap? I commented and said, Not only are you facing your problems by sharing, but you are being brave to do so. In addition, the people that are on your Facebook account are supposed to be your “friends”. If you can’t go to your “friends” for help and encouragement, whom can you? Also, take the time to listen and love and care for one another. Seriously, what the heck! If you as a so called friend who does not and can not take the time to read another “friends” struggles and hardships, then you need to stop calling yourself their friend because you’re not. Posting things on social media may be their only outlet, or may be what they need to do, to be able to move on. If that’s not you, No problem. If it is you, no problem. We all know those people that post everything, and I mean everything down to every meal they eat. Don’t rip them apart for that. If you’re having a bad day, or are “busy”, scroll over it, don’t condemn them for it. For Christians, Stop judging in ways that are not biblical. For non Christians, you may continue to judge all you want and as a result, you will never understand the true meaning and devotion of love, that is given thru Christ. Surround yourself with people that understand and accept you, for well, YOU! Social media and all. The bible does not say hide your problems and hardships, but to share them, bring them into the light, and be encouraged by other believers. You never know who it could help or if another is going thru the same thing and really needs to know that they are not alone. Weakness is hiding. Be bold and know that God can use everything for good. Amen!
There is a flip side to this though. If you are seeking help and guidance that is one thing. If you are seeking to move on with your life and just need a friend, great, but if you have negative motives, that is where you should keep it to yourself. It is Never ok to hurt another person out of spite. Know that if you are my “friend” on Facebook, I want to know. Life is not all sugar coated roses and by giving that impression to someone else is just hurting you. There is freedom in truth! If I have time, I’ll read it. If you need help now, I will do my best.
One more thing. I was wrong on communication, via technology. Texting is great in a pinch, but nothing beats talking to someone in person, or on the phone. Again, take time for people, especially friends and people you are close to. Everyone these days are busy. The things that we remember the most, when people get sick or pass away, is not that awesomely clean house, expensive car, or fill in the blank, but those times that we shared with them talking and growing.
Parting words for this post, Love one another! Forgive one another! Except one another! Be there for one another! Have grace for one another! Speak light into one another!