Friendship – What kind of a friend were you in 2011? What kind of a friend do you want to be in 2012? (Author: @amanda_hirsch )
Oh now, there you go getting all in sync with what I have been writing. In my mind, being a friend is tough. Part of being a friend is being honest, and sometimes honesty hurts. There have been many a times that I’ve upset a friend because of my honesty. My biggest issue is when someone I like insults themselves. I have a very low tolerance for it. When I worked with a group of women, I instituted the 3 Nice Things rule. If you insulted yourself to the degree that I was offended on your behalf, I would demand you say 3 honestly nice things about yourself.
I find it astonishing how people can say things to themselves about themselves that they would NEVER say about or to another person. I can tell you 4 friends off the top of my head that do this. It is infuriating to me. Up to a point, I counteract the insults with nice truths. Then I lose patience. I have gotten into arguments with my friends about it. I refuse to listen to ANYONE insult my own. Even my own. I’ve stopped my friends in the midst of their self-abuse with something to the effect of “If you’re so terrible, why am I your friend? I like you more than you like you and that’s a problem.” I don’t have patience for envy or comparisons. I am my type of awesome, you are your type of awesome. This is why we are friends.
I am the type of friend that is pushy and demanding with the expectation that you understand you are awesome. There is a reason I admire you for your strengths and weaknesses. There is a reason that I feel the need for you in my life. My goal as a friend is to provide buoyancy. I want to help keep you afloat, because as life is tough for you I will be there, and as life is tough for me, I want you there.
In the past, I’ve been a terrible friend. Hiding under a rock, ashamed of who and what I was, there was a distinct lack of ability to open up. No one wishes to be friends with someone who doesn’t trust themselves. Isolation helped me stay in my own little bubble and no one had to see what a mess my life had become. It wasn’t until someone helped me open up, looked at my mess and said “so? I like you no matter what.” that I found myself learning to be a friend. Friendship is give and take and I am learning to give more.
Next year, I want to be a go to friend. I want to go see people who I love that live elsewhere. Soon, both my very good friends will be on the other side of the US. That’s not okay with me. I don’t want to lose them because distance is too much. The loss would be more distressing than distance.