The other day, I searched online for the prefect quote to define what a friend is. Nothing could encompass in a quote the length, width and depth of what a friend is and truly, there may not be one succinct definition since friendship means many diverse things to many people.
So recently, I put this question to my friends on Facebook and wish to share their answers and add a few words of my own. Feel free to add your thoughts as well, they are more than welcome.
Crystal: Someone that is there for you no matter what. Someone that you can talk to about anything and they won't judge you or treat you differently. Someone like you with a big heart. :) Someone who shows you that there are thoughtful, caring, loving people in the world. And a true friend with love you no matter if you come from a low income background or high income.
Jaime: Someone who is there for you and vice versa and nothing changes with time, you can pick up right where you left off no matter how far away or how long its been. A friend actually cares for a proactively nurtures another, but not necessarily tries to solve eachothers problems, but will lend and ear...but can also be honest. Someone who doesnt like it when you refer to yourself as a shart. :( A true friend will tell you the truth even if it hurts the friendship if they feel the truth will infact be beneficial to you otherwise.
Melody: Dependability and unconditional empathy!
Sharon: I would say someone who is there when ever you need them to encourage you and love you no matter what. Someone you can deped on to always tell you the truth even if it isn't something you want to hear.
Jay: "The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof."
-- Richard Bach
Joe: A friend is someone you love and who loves you, someone you respect and who respects you, someone whom you trust and who trusts you. A friend is honest and makes you want to be honest, too. A friend is loyal.
Someone who is happy to spend time with you doing absolutely nothing at all; someone who doesn't mind driving you to do errands, who will get up at midnight just because you need them to help you, and who doesn’t have to talk to communicate with you. Someone who never talks bad about you behind your back.
Someone who not only doesn't care if you're boring, but doesn't even think about it; someone who forgives you no matter what you do, and someone who tries to help you even when they don't know how. Someone who tells you if you're being stupid, but who doesn't make you feel stupid.
Someone who would sacrifice their life and happiness for you. Someone who will come with you when you have to do boring things like watch bad recitals, go to stuffy parties, or wait in boring lobbies. You don't even think about who's talking or who's listening in a conversation with a friend.
Someone for whom you're willing to change your opinions. Someone you look forward to seeing and who looks forward to seeing you: someone you like so much, it doesn't matter if you share interests or traits. Someone you like so much, you start to like the things they like. Someone who always builds you up, and would never put you down.
A friend is a partner, not a leader or a follower.
Wendy: Someone who is there for you through the bad as well as the good.
Susie: If you look up friend in the dictionary, Stephanie & Susie's picture will be there with a caption that reads, "Sister Chicks". A friend is someone who'll be by your side through thick and thin or until some judge slaps a retraining order on the stalker.
Suzi: Someone who stays by your side thick and thin.
Andrea: Regardless of what others may say, YOU!
Chloe: A friend is someone who really listens and loves you from the inside out.
Trevor: A friend is a person with the same enemies as you.
Paul: A friend bail's you out of jail. A true friend is in the cell with you saying "let's do that again!".
I would agree with all of the above and add, a friend:
remains a friend even when things can be uncomfortable at times
would make a detour of hundreds of miles, simply to spend an evening with you
continues the relationship even when their husband doesn't want them to be with you
gives as much as they take from the relationship
communicates and nurtures the ties
will drive 16 hours, just to take you home from the hospital
make time for each other
laughs with you when you leave the rental car door open all day in a strange place after making a big production to make sure it's been locked
flies cross-country to be with you when you think you are going to die
teaches you how to get in-touch with your inner-bitch
supports the hardest decisions you will ever have to make, with strength, encouragement and resolve right alongside you
helps you in and then back out of the dumpster
insists you let her do something for you
lets you rail, at everything he believes in, and then pray with you
totally gets what you are talking about when she says she hopes the hole in the hairspray bottle still sprays the same way after a long time of not being used
can laugh and cry with you, at the same time
means what they say, does what they say, and doesn't lie by omission
There are friendships who's ties can be dropped and picked up again without interruption but most often friendship needs to be nourished to remain viable and it takes effort like any other relationship. True friends are those that value a relationship enough to do so and to me, nourishing includes all of the above.
For me, a friend is one who values/cares enough for you to nourish what you have to keep it growing. And that, as is evident from above, takes many forms.
Go. Be a friend. Find out what it takes. And what it means.