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What is a True Friend?

August 24, 2014

A true friend is not someone who will be there when times are tough. But who is strong enough to be there for you when times are good. It is easy to be helpful to someone who needs help. It is much more difficult to still support someone when they look like they could manage just fine without you. Yet that is exactly the kind of kindness and friendliness required for anyone in order that they can develop and grow healthily to be an independent adult. If you only reward the person in need with your friendliness you are creating a dependency relationship. A true friend will reward and be friendly with someone even that doesn’t need them, out of trust that the friendship will be reciprocated.

Learning this lesson has been of late a painful experience for me. As it has brought the realisation that I currently do not have a true friend at all. Any need or dependency or “cry for help” and I have people queuing up to put a word in. As soon as I do something well, achieve something good, those same people greet me with a stony silence. To create a dependency, to stunt my own independent development? I could speculate on things like this. On the psychological motivations of other people to kingdom come. But it would be hit and miss, and you would have to rely on others sincerity about their own subjective experience to get any verification. Though you will not get that in the first place from people who are not true friends. So better to just leave it as that. They are not true friends, and that is what it is.

To know this can give me some solace. There is no contentment or happiness to be found in achieving something that cannot be shared with others. Being motivated to prove others wrong, though there may be good cause, based on past mistreatment, though there may be injustice done that can never be put right, is not a happy way to be motivated. But when you are motivated to do something good purely for its own sake this brings the realisation of who your true friends are. Because they will share in your joy in the good times as much as they will help you when you need them in the bad times. I have this realisation now. Hopefully I can learn from this and be strong enough to act on it.

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