Recently I posted my thoughts on what a true friend is and I received some feedback on the post that really made me think. In the contents of this feedback the idea of “asking for friendship” was brought up. I think that this is very important and pivotal to how we view and treat our friendships. So we can start this off by reasonably saying that we have to be a friend in order to enjoy a friend.
This means that we will often have to set aside our egos. We will have to be humble. We may even have to momentarily act as a functional doormat while our friend vomits the horrors of their day onto us. We will always have to endure this process with people because people are prideful and selfish. And if you just thought to yourself, “I’m not prideful, I’m not selfish,” you are being prideful and selfish and you have not earned a friendship any more than the rest of us.
When we put ourselves above others in our own personal head-space we set ourselves up for isolation. In this mindset we convince ourselves that we deserve to be heard, we deserve attention, we deserve a friend. However, under this mindset we imply that we have worked hard enough to earn friendship.
This presents a true problem. We are approaching two conflicting ideas. The first says that friendship is free and the second says that friendship is something that is truly costly. So which one is it?
This leads me to the conclusion that I left something very important out of the last post… A real friend forgives. A friend forgives because they know that you are not perfect just like they are not perfect. When you feel anger towards them they know that they have felt, or will feel, that same anger towards you. They know that the gift you BOTH possess in friendship is more valuable than selfishness or pride.
However, I’m not here to answer the question but I am here to voice my opinion. And I would say that a friend that you have to ask for will always be conditional. They will only continue to be your friend as long as you continue to grow-up into a better friend. They will only forgive you if you simply do better.
Our true friend does not make us work for it. They give it to us freely.