I like to think I’m a good friend (although, maybe not everyone agrees with that notion – slide into my DMs if you’d like to chat!)
What makes a good friend though? It’s something I question all the time. I think it’s TIME. Uninterrupted, full-attention (ahem, no phones), no-plans-afterwards time. I feel like the time and energy people give to me is an absolute gift, and I feel like it’s my gift in return.
But lately, I’ve started to realise how an outgoing personality aids me in making friends really easily. Don’t get me wrong; I feel that the word friend is thrown around too easily – I am very much able to differentiate between friends, associates and even acquaintances. I feel as though people who aren’t able to make those distinctions are craving relationships to be something they’re just not, and maybe too soon.
I also feel that a handful of actual friends is far more valuable than a hundred acquaintances. I also don’t see the point of levels being defined as friend< good friend< best friend< most bestest friend< even better than bestest friends< “Like, we’re basically sisters” *secret handshakes*. Honestly, “friend” is enough for me. It’s a word that carries weight and responsibility, don’t take it lightly.
But I recognise how hard it is for people to allow organic friendships to grow – perhaps they’re really shy, or suspicious, or untrusting of people because of bad experiences. Lately, I’ve found it really important to be patient with those types of people, to put in the time and energy to allow the friendship to grow organically. Not trying to force it, but putting in the actual effort to try. Nothing upsets me quite like knowing that someone might be lonely, or feel as though no one likes them, or perhaps feel like they don’t have friends. And what I’ve realised is that they might be surrounded by acquaintances that make them believe they are friends, but it’s too superficial. I imagine that they could be sitting with a massive group of shallow associates, and disappear amongst people who haven’t taken the time to see them.
Thinking of the type of friend you are is a journey of self-awareness and maturity, growing up means being the best type of friend you could be to the people you care about.
My advice to the outgoing people? Put in the time, put in the effort, and put in the work. Your friendship might be invaluable to someone who really needs it, and don’t take that title lightly. My advice to the shy ones? Trust in yourself, and trust in others until they give you reason not to. And my advice all round, be a good friend. A good, genuine, loyal friend. And for that matter, be the best type of friend you could be to yourself.