“…would accept your obsession of fictional characters and still put up with you.”
I saw this on Pinterest today and realized…
I strongly disagree with that statement.
I don’t consider myself a great friend. I used to. But things and people change and that’s okay. I think one of the reasons I don’t consider myself a great friend is because of quotes like this. Every day we read or hear about something a wonderful friend has done, how someone else was a wonderful friend, or see “you know you have a best friend if…” or even “we’re not best friends until we blow something up together.”
Stupid, I know. Superficial, I know.
But this is how society determines what a “good friend” is.
I’m pretty sure I don’t meet a lot of those qualifications.
I don’t like to hang out with very many people. I don’t like to obsess over anything really (if I do, the list is quite short and I only obsess until someone else obsesses and then I lose interest). I don’t like staying out late. I don’t even like being up late with other people (there are always exceptions, but for the most part…). I have a borderline psychotic dislike for eating with people even if I really enjoy the food and company (the sound of people chewing makes me want to scratch my ears off, run away, crawl into a padded cell, and blast the loudest music I can find). I like to be up late alone.
I don’t like discussing my problems with anyone my age (I’m a pretty private person) or mostly anyone for that matter (there are, like, 1 – 2 people. Maybe.).
But, according to social media and society, a good/best friend does all these things! They love hanging out with their besties, obsessing over a t.v. show/book/cute guy/whatever. They like staying up until 3:00 a.m. texting their BFF. They like talking into the wee hours of the morning during sleep overs.
I’ll be honest: I used to like all this. I used to be a “normal” friend, right? Like I said: people and things change.
I like mature conversations, deep thoughts, and raw and honest opinions with people older than me. I like to talk to older people because they know more and usually don’t mind me asking a million questions and often like imparting their golden wisdom to the young.
I don’t like commitment. I don’t like committing to being friends with a bunch of people because those people then expect certain things of you and I don’t have the time, energy, or care-capacity a lot of the time.
Brutal and heathenistic. I know.
Like I said: there are always exceptions and I don’t like to limit myself to generalizations.
So what’s a good friend outside of societal norms (essentially, having a flipping blast whenever you’re with your besties, agreeing in every instance, and being soulmates forever)?
A good friend is someone who is there when you need someone. I can be that.
A good friend is someone who cares enough to ask “what’s wrong” when they sense that something is off. I can do that.
A good friend is someone who loves you enough to will your good above their own. I do that.
A good friend is someone who will take risks to do the right thing, to uphold their own conscience, above what their friend thinks. I’ve done that.
A good friend understands when their friend does something against the grain of that friendship to do what they believe is right. I can do that.
A good friend is honest. I like to think I am.
A good friend will have the courage to tell you if what you’re doing is something they believe is wrong. I need to work on that.
So really, maybe I’m not such a terrible friend. Just because I don’t like to hang out a lot doesn’t mean that I won’t be there for you when you need it. And just because I tolerate obsessions and sit quietly while listening to everyone else freak out about the season finale of that one show doesn’t mean I don’t care about you.
It means I don’t buy into the superficial checklist of a good friend and I am strong enough to be myself.
1. cynical, skeptical, quiet, judgmental, brutally honest, apathetic toward a lot of stuff, enjoys tearing other peoples’ pleasures apart, doesn’t care about anyone’s opinions, has a difficult time showing affection
2. inwardly excited, sweet, helpful, accepting, obnoxious, enjoys terrible puns, passionate about life, enjoys making people happy, cares way too much about everyone’s opinions, loves hugs and committing random acts of kindness
3. basically a contradiction
I just did a coconut + honey mask on my hair, then showered, and rinsed with apple cider vinegar. My hair is the mane of a unicorn. [/inserts picture from over a year ago because, while her hair is the bomb diggity now, her face is not/]