Social media is a wonderful thing.  It keeps us in touch with people that we might not hear about otherwise.  We can get away with posting photos of what we’ve been up to, knowing that others will see them.  We don’t have to make personal contact with lots of individuals about our news because they have already heard.

I think the term “friend” has taken on another meaning in recent years.  A dictionary definition is “a Three young men and a woman enjoying themselves on a beach. How many friends do you have?person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection”.  I am not sure we would use that definition for all of the people we are friends with on, say, Facebook.  What I find particularly strange is the people who friend request me because we have children in the same class, and continue not to make eye contact in the street!  I can’t make sense of it at all.

We all have some special, close friends.  Can we name the friends that we would do anything for?  The ones that we would drop what we are doing and help them out if they called?  Are these the friends that would do the same for us?

Do you have a flaky friend?

The flaky friend.  I think most of us have one of these.  The friend that we are really close to that suddenly drops Woman sitting in a cafe on her own, looking sadly out of the window. How many friends do you have?out of our lives.  They then come back when they want something.  And the cycle goes on and on.  This one I find really tricky.  I was discussing it with a wise friend of mine, and her reaction was “Enjoy her when you can”.  I do like that idea, but it hurts when I feel I have been “dumped” for a number of months.

What are the qualities we value most about our friends?  I read a list of thirteen qualities here.  The writer suggested that they fit into three main categories: integrity, caring and congeniality.

Integrity, caring and congeniality

We need to have trust in our friends, to know they will be honest with us and keep the confidences we have shared.  Knowing that they are dependable and will do what they have said they will is another important aspect to a close friendship.

And I think we would all agree that a close friend will care about us.  They will be with us in the good and the bad times, and will listen to us without making judgements.  They will support us when we need it.

Being around people who help us to feel good about ourselves is another important aspect to friendship.  Of course, our friends will have ups and downs, but if they always come to us with their moans and groans and we don’t ever have fun with them, is that a balanced friendship?  If a friend can make us laugh even in our dark times, they help us to keep things in perspective.  Laughing is good for the soul, and we can benefit from it in many situations.

Talking things through

Let’s be thankful for our amazing friends, the ones who we know will be there for us whenever we need them.  They will also be grateful for our support.

Back to my flaky friend.  Do I talk to her about how her absences make me feel?  Do I detach myself emotionally so that I am not saddened when we don’t spend time together?  Or do I simply remove my friendship and treat her as an acquaintance?  I don’t have an answer.  I’d love to know what you think, and what you have done in similar situations.

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17 comments

  1. I haven’t had a flaky friend to be honest but I can imagine it is really hard. Only you know if you can enjoy her whilst she is there and stay strong and not feel hurt whilst she isn’t. Good luck with what you choose. Mich x

    1. Thank you. I’m glad you don’t have a flaky friend! I seem to have a few, but was writing about one in particular. I am going to wait and see how things pan out before making any rash decisions 🙂

  2. It’s a really interesting post. It’s quite different for all of us but I think in different life stages we are attracted to different people. I also find that the older you get the harder it becomes to make friends – at least for me!

    1. I wonder if part of it comes with experience? We know the sorts of people we would value as friends, and they are not always easy to come by?

  3. I am totally thankful for all my friends, love them all for totally different reasons. We all have an inner sanctum though – those friends we can tell anything and trust implicitly x Sim x

    1. When I was thinking of the qualities I really value, one lovely friend came to mind. I can tell her anything. I’m so lucky to have her x

  4. A really interesting post. I have only a small circle of friends, but even then, I find that if I don’t take charge to meet up or do things, they just don’t bother 🙁 I tend to hang out with family really x

    1. And blood is thicker than water! Your family will always be there for you, if you show how much you value them by spending your time with them. They are lucky to have you.

    1. I think we can build relationships so much more when we spend time with a small group of friends, rather than having lots we only know a bit.

  5. What a great reminder – it’s good to keep ‘friends’ in perspective and be aware of the different meanings

  6. I think it is harder to maintain friendships these days. Many of mine have kids and FT jobs so squeeze everything into weekends which is tricky. I know my oldest friends are there at the end of the phone if I need them

    1. I love it when you ring an old friend and it is like the months in between have melted away. I think that’s a sign of true friendship.

  7. I have found the older I have got, you don’t need lots of friends. It also takes time to find true friends.
    Friends are people who are there no matter what. Sometimes you will need a friend, other times that friend will need you and it is being there for each other. Looking behind their outward faults and seeing them for who they are.
    Friends need to be trust worthy.
    I have found it better to have just a few friends from different groups as being in a big group can sadly in this realistic world breed gossip.
    Friends can come and go throughout life. We are all on a journey and it can depend on where that journey is for people.
    Friends need to give and take. It can not all be one sided but some may need a friend more than the other at times but then it can reverse depending on our individual journeys.
    True friends will always get back to you.

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