Friendships as Adults


The other day a few kids were over, I was in the other room when I overheard one of the children claim that they would no longer be the other child’s friend if they did not give them a certain toy. I chuckled to myself. It is rather amusing how we regard friendships when we are young. 

friends sitting on pier hugging
Photo by Anderson Rangel on Pexels.com

By simply sharing a toy, or, as my daughter has attested to numerous times, a treat from your lunchbox you instantly have a BFF. Now, mind you that same BFF will totally take back that status if you don’t have a treat or toy to share the next day. There are so many growing pains in life that revolve around friendships. Thankfully as adults, we are more mature and we don’t have to worry about a person being a friend one day and unfriending the next. Wait! Nope. I take that back. While just last month I experienced that precise scenario on Facebook. Perhaps adults have not evolved far beyond preschool and elementary school when it comes to friendships? Or has the definition of friend simply changed?

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With the introduction of Facebook, the natural process or evolution of a relationship has become complicated.  It used to be evident who an acquaintance, friend, or best friend was but thanks to Facebook everyone is now a friend. Your neighbor, friend! The woman at the grocery store who had to have that recipe, friend! Your child’s music teacher, friend! You get the idea.  A lot of these individuals would be given the title of an acquaintance back before we had Facebook.  Now we quickly give everyone the title of a friend without ever earning it.

It has taken me a few years but I have come to the realization that a friendship is something that is earned.  You can’t instantly be friends without earning the title, without putting in your time, and nurturing the relationship.  Also, in order to have a true friendship you need to be a friend worth having. Are you honest, trustworthy, loyal, kind, compassionate, empathetic, and a good listener? It can take time and energy to truly be a friend worth having. And it can take many trials and errors before you find a person who can reciprocate.  Unfortunately, the pain of realizing an individual whom you thought was your friend isn’t doesn’t lessen with age.  In fact, I think it hurts more. Children don’t know any better, adults do.

In conclusion…

Though I have been hurt a few times and yes, even un-friended a couple of times, I have not lost all faith in mankind.  I believe people by nature are good, God created it so. However, our society feeds the ego so much that the good can become difficult to find. Thus when making new acquaintances tread lightly and be cautious. And when you do find that true friendship hold on to it, treasure it, for it is an invaluable gift, and lastly do remember that we are all human, no one is perfect, and forgiveness is a necessity for any relationship to thrive.

What qualities do you look for in a friend? Please share your thoughts, idea, and experience.

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