Close Friends Are Life's Treasure
What is friendship?
Friendship is different things to different people. To me a friendship involves trust, communication, understanding, loyalty, support, empathy, and intimacy. A true friend is someone you can trust, tell secrets to knowing they will take those secrets to the death, relax and be yourself with, and know so well that their faults are no longer thought of as faults just as idiosyncrasies.
So how do you build a friendship such as this? You begin by sharing a bit of yourself. A private thought or feeling will do. If the person what to be a friend they will share back. If they don't, move on, there are many, many people out there that would love to be your friend. Make sure you pay attention when the other person is sharing. You need to be there not only physically but you need to make contact, and focus on what the person is saying.
As you become closer you will find there is more talking and sharing. Remember whatever you two discuss needs to stay between the two of you. This is the way you build up trust. You cannot have a friendship without being able to trust the other person to keep your secrets. The base of friendship is trust and loyalty.
Keep in mind that a friendship does not happen overnight. Not the true, lasting, lifelong type of friendship. It takes time to build the intimacy, trust, loyalty, and special communication that makes up this special type of friendship. I have heard that to build a true lasting friendship it takes at the very least three years. It seems to me that's pretty accurate.
How do I know this?
I have a friend, let's call her Peggy, that I have been friends with for more years than I want to admit. We were inseparable, and our children formed strong bonds of friendship that have also lasted through all these years. Anyway, she and I both were going through divorces and I ended up moving a few hundred miles away. Because of everything going on in both of our lives we lost touch.
To lose this friendship, or, as I like to think of it, misplace this friendship was a terrible shame. For many years we were each others support system. No matter what was happening we both knew the other would be there for the other. I can't tell you how hard it is to lose or misplace a friendship like this.
A couple of years go by, I get married, she moves out of the area, and we no longer know where each other is. Along comes Facebook. Facebook is a wonderful thing. It helps you become reaquainted with friends and relatives that you haven't seen or heard from in years. For us, in the beginning, it really didn't help. The last names were not the same and it's hard to find someone when you don't know their new last name. It was our children that found each other and untimately led us to each other. Both of us were overjoyed. We wrote back and forth, sent phone numbers and ended up on the phone for hours. It was like there was no passage of time between the last conversation and this one 17 years later. I am happy to say this is most definitely a lifetime friendship. If you can pick up the phone and speak to someone after a period of time such as 17 years and talk as though you just talked to them yesterday, this is a true friendship.
This is a type of friendship I wish for everyone. To have a friend that you can instintively trust, one that will always be there, someone who understands you and that you understand, well, that's a little slice of heaven.
Friendship isn’t a big thing — it’s a million little things.— Unknown
Several studies have shown that, at least between chimpanzees, baboons, horses, hyenas, elephants, bats and dolphins, animals can form friendships for life with individuals that aren’t from their species
Different Types of Friendships
Throughout our lives we all end up having many types of friends, some good, some bad. As we grow we learn how to tell the difference between. We also learn how to distinguish between a good and a bad type of friendships.
One of the types of friendships is one where you don't see often but still connect when you do. It a friend who will stick with you through thick and thin and be there when you need them even if you have not spoken in a few years. The kind of friendship I have with Peggy.
There is the type of friend that is fun and always ready for an adventure. They are the easy come, easy go. One day they are there , the next they disappear never to be hear from again.
There is the type of friend that always wants something from you., a little favor here and there. The minute you want or need something, poof, they disappear.
There is the friend that you are not real close to but you know that you can tell them anything and it will remain with them. They are also the friend that always seems to have great advice.
There is also the friend that needs to be in the limelight at all times. They crave the attention and have to be the center of everyone's attention. Their problems and delights are way more important than everyone else's.
Last but not least, their is the true friend. The one who is always there through the good and the bad. The one who you can pour your heart out to and will back you no matter what. This is the friend who will always be there and need to be treasured.
Not having close confidants or friends can be as detrimental to your health as being overweight or smoking.
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Close friends are truly life’s treasures. Sometimes they know us better than we know ourselves. With gentle honesty, they are there to guide and support us, to share our laughter and our tears. Their presence reminds us that we are never really alone.— Vincent van Gogh
© 2011 Susan Hazelton