I’d like to start with this song. You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are grey. You’ll never know dear how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away….. Okay, yes, I had a very privileged childhood where knowing a song like this was expected. It’s a shame to see that a lot of kids now know only religious or street songs and not a word of even a nursery rhyme. Ok, before I digress.
Going back on track now…
How many friends can we say that we see as our sunshine? Or was this song referring only to a lover? Or what exactly is a friend supposed to be? Simply put, a friend is the first person who comes in when the whole world has gone out. A real friend always expects to be there for you even when you do things to push them away.
Friendship is the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring all right out just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful friendly hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping and, with a breath of comfort, blow the rest away. (Not my words, but I can definitely relate to this.)
Friendship is a uniquely personal relationship that is deep rooted in a mutual concern of the welfare of the other and that involves some degree of intimacy and love. True friendship is perhaps the only relation that survives the trials and tribulations of time and remains unconditional. Friendship is a matchless blend of affection, loyalty, love, respect, trust and loads of fun. Our friends can also help shape who we are as persons. After all, there is a saying that goes, show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are. Even for people with MPD (kindly figure that out and please make sure it’s in this context) like me, this saying is true!
Now, this doesn’t include “friendship with benefits”. This “notion” is one of the few things that can instantly turn me from a gentle dove to a raging beast. Where did this idea come from? I was once friends with a guy who started dropping the usual psyches (and guys for your info, I can teach you how to psych a girl). I was like oh, I’m not interested. He just wouldn’t go away. Finally I asked him what he wanted from me as he was far from satisfied with what I was willing to give to “our relationship”. The idiot actually looked me in my eyes, formed a slow smile and cooed “we can be friends with benefits and so help each……” The human in the man’s clothing unfortunately didn’t get to finish whatever lines he was dropping. What I did to him is completely another story for another time.
Now my idea of a good friend is the person who holds my hand when I’m scared, directs me when I’m confused, is there for me when I’m upset, is comfortable with me, thinks of me at times when I’m not there, reminds me of what I have forgotten, helps me put the past behind me but understands when I need to hold on to it a little longer, goes out of their way to make time for me, helps me with my mistakes, scolds me when I need to be scolded, helps me deal with pressure from others, smiles for me when they are sad, helps me become a better person, isn’t afraid to disagree with me and most importantly loves me and is totally honest with me! I, on the other hand, must be willing to do all these for my friend.
Being a true friend does not always mean appeasing an individual just to make them happy. A true friend is, however, an individual who will care enough to tell you the truth under any circumstance and at the same time stand by your side, even when you make a mistake. Honesty also helps to build stronger relationships with friends. Honesty produces trust, and trust produces confidence. It is very important that the individuals in our lives see a person they can trust, count on and have the utmost confidence in. Also, they are more likely to not second guess you when you are telling the truth.
No matter how badly one has messed up, a friend will always be willing to help set you straight but there should be the reciprocal willingness of wanting to be set straight. I have a habit of confessing things to my close friends and it’s not just because I’m catholic. I can’t just live with the thought of being dishonest especially when these are the people who are there for me in my grey days. How can they help me if they do not know me? This doesn’t mean one should not know when not to say certain things.
I also firmly believe that your significant other should be your “bestest” friend but it never hurts to have a friend who doesn’t have interests in you or stands to gain anything from you but only wants your happiness that you can talk to.
For married couples, your friends should be known by your spouse especially if they are single and particularly if they happen to be your ex. I was once an advocate of being friends with your ex or letting your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife stay friends with an ex but I have come to realize that this is not always the best policy unless the people involved are mature and they understand the boundaries of true friendship and do not assume that friends with benefits (the most disparaging phrase ever) means the same thing.
I’ll end with this Friendship Oath I came across as it puts into consideration all I have been trying to say and hopefully said.
“By accepting the responsibility of being your friend, I promise to be honest and trustworthy. I will try to work out any differences or conflicts that we may have and will try to put the time and effort into our friendship that it requires. I know we both have work (or school), family, and personal obligations, and we will respect each other’s other relationships and commitments, but I will also be committed to this friendship. I will try to only give advice if it’s asked and I will also try to be your friend, unconditionally. I will keep your confidences. However, I will also share with you if it is my policy to never keep anything from my spouse or any other primary relationship, with whom I entrust all my secrets. I will try to remember your birthday and be there for you when times are tough and when times are grand. Making time to talk, communicate by mail or e-mail, or getting together is a priority. I will celebrate your achievements even though I know a tiny bit of envy or competitiveness is normal. I will bring fun and joy to your life as much as I am able to as I cherish our past, present, and future friendship.”
Money doesn’t make a person rich,
What makes a person richer or poorer are the kinds of people they call friend,
And with the friends I have,
I’m indeed very rich.
In my great generousity, i have incuded a link to the song:-) please click below to listen to the song