In my entry, “Birds of a Feather”, I gave some examples of people who are bad friends and traits of people who can’t be trusted. Some of you challenged me to do a follow up on the kind of people we should embrace as friends, instead of just who to avoid. Challenge accepted.
The Brutally Honest Friend
I made my best friend in the seventh grade because she told me that my skirt was tucked into my underwear. She was the new girl and the only one who let me know my cotton cartoon print panties were on display. We all need at least one brutually honest friend. If you are out with a group of friends and nobody tells you about the spinach stuck in your teeth, or that you sat in something – they are not your friends.
I met my one friend – let’s call her T – because she let me know that the most recent show I was in (at the time) sucked. That although she didn’t blame me, she was embarrassed for me and everyone who was on that stage. She was absolutely correct, the show was a pile of garbage. That was the moment I started to trust her. She came to my most recent show, and her compliments I took to heart, and her criticism I appreciated – because she is brutally honest. If someone only tells you “great” things – i.e. that shirt looks great on you, you did a great job, you sound great etc – they are flattering you – only. It’s hard to know if they are being sincere or not. I never have to wonder if T is being insincere, she is always genuine.
The Olden Golden
You’ve known each other since the days of old. They know you better than anyone else. They remember when you dyed your hair that awful color. They know all your stories, because they were there for most of them. Hell, they remember you in braces. This is the friend who can finish your sentences and other people get lost listening to your conversations because of all the understood things that are left unsaid and all the inside jokes.
This friend is vital because they know you, but more importantly they understand you. Sometimes they know why you do the things you do before you do. This is also the friend who will call you out on your own bullshit. My Olden Golden , let’s call him L. I was fighting with my SO at the time, was beyond frustrated, so I called up L. I went on to tell L. all my frustrations, and logical reasons why I felt the way that I felt – how I didn’t want to wait to fix things, I wanted to fix things right then and there, and how my SO was being more of an SOB.
“Nelle, didn’t he tell you he was busy this week?” L asked.
” Yes, but I’m busy too! But this is important!”
“So he told you he was busy, and yet he’s still made time to text you back. He gave a reasonable request for space, you need to respect that.”
Damn. He had me there.
We need people who we know, undoubtedly, are on our side and who will always be there to hold us accountable. These friends act as both a mirror and a photo album.
The Crazy Badass
If you have this friend, you know exactly who I’m talking about. This is the person nobody wants to mess with. You encourage each other. You fight for each other. They are your champion, and you do everything you can to be theirs too. They are the friend that has your back 100%, 100% of the time. My friend – let’s call her R. R has the absolute biggest heart for those she loves and is a gorgeous, creative, nurturing being. But if you mess with someone she loves she will knock your teeth out, (Or drop a big book on you and fracture your hand – true story!)
We were sitting on my couch, drinking tea, when Jon (The guy from my posts Closure and End Game) showed up knocking on my door after we had stopped talking the time before. I motioned to him to go away. R put down her tea.
“I got this.” and put her hand up to stop anything I might protest. Next thing I know she’s stomping her foot after Jon yelling at the top of her lungs, “YOU’RE NOT WELCOME HERE!” He literally ran away in his deli uniform, apron and all.
She and I got in an argument a little while after that and stopped talking for a while. After we had made up I found out that she and her mom had run into Jon on the street sometime later. He said hi and she looked him firmly in the eye and said, “Fuck you!”, much to her mother’s dismay. That is a friend! Even when you disagree, or fight – they are still fighting for you. Just because you disagree doesn’t mean that you suddenly hate each other or start smearing and gossiping about each other, throwing daggers at each other’s backs. You honor each other. I owe this lady the world, and she’s worth her weight in rubies.
The Ever-Loving Optimist
This person believes in you. No, really. Like possibly -has- magical ramifications- capable -of -making- you -fly believes in you. They know just how to cheer you up and has an eye for silver linings. They just know in their bones you were destined for greatness and the latest failure is only a step towards your destiny. These friends are wonderful because they value you, but also know when you are being devalued and they make you know your worth – even if you can’t right at the moment.
Every relationship reaches what I like to call, “The Clash” moment. (You know, Should I Stay or Should I Go?) When I’m Clashing with a guy, I bring them to meet S. She ‘s good at weeding out guys who are wasting my time.
Warning, with this type of friend you also need the brutally honest friend to keep you accountable and keep you level headed.
The truth is, I don’t have a large number of close friends – but the ones I have, I cherish. They are all different combinations of each identity – I guess I’m just lucky. I do think it’s important to have friends that have qualities that you emulate. To put it directly – we have our shit together. They are intelligent, independent adults, talented, and successful. They are kind, hardworking, and doing significant things with their lives. And they surround themselves with like-minded people. I guess to echo what I wrote in “Birds of a Feather”, you can’t be in the same boat with someone and not be going in the same direction. Those whom you are closest with have a huge impact on your life and who you will become. Choose wisely.