You know, over the past couple days, I have heard the word "friend" used in several different contexts that have left me questioning what a friend is. What is the difference between a friend and an acquaintance? What makes someone a true friend and at what point can/should someone be downgraded from a friend?
Dictionary.com defines a friend as: a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
Urban dictionary defines a friend as: A real friend is someone who:
a) it's okay to fart in front of.
b) you don't mind talking to on the bus for at least 20 minutes.
c) can borrow $5 and never has to pay it back
d) you'll actually call up do stuff.
Interesting. So, basically I would sum it up as a friend being someone that is giving, you have affection towards and that you can tolerate being around for lengthy amounts of time. I like this because I can't stand selfish people and if you have ever had a selfish friend, you can feel my pain. I have spent my whole life trying to stop being a doormat, but on the inside it infuriates me when I give and give and give and my "friends" don't give back in return. I'm not talking about material things, I'm talking about favors, friendly gestures, shoulder to cry on, you name it.
I used to say that it was funny that someone wanted to be my "friend" on Facebook, but when I would see them in public, they would never acknowledge me. But, do I have affection for all of my Facebook friends? No, not even close. Would I give them things if they were in need? Probably, if I was able to. And would I spend lengthy amounts of time with them all.... eh, maybe not.
But I think that friends should not stress you out. They should not fragrantly blow you off or make it clear that on their list of priorities you are not in the top 100. They should not expect you to be their friend despite the fact that you ...................... (omitted because divorce shouldn't involve public mudslinging.)
I love the friends that I do have though! Whether it is a smile on a day that I am completely down, loaning me money when I can't afford toilet paper, watching my kids so that I can see my psychiatrist, recommending that I have a much needed night out when I am ashamed of how ugly my face is or even putting me in my place when I'm being absolutely ridiculous.
Am I expecting too much of a friend? Do you consider many people to be friends, no matter what they give in return or how much they show you are not needed?
I have a hard time putting forth effort in a friendship when the other person does not. I can only text so many times, stop by so many times or smile so many times before it just doesn't seem worth it anymore. But the friends that I do have... make my life so much better... and I thank each and every one of them...