Real Friends

WRITTEN BY CHARLES ODUGBESAN

For all the knowledge that a textbook, a maths tutor, a professor or a lecturer could offer me, schools and universities etc. could never really teach me about certain aspects of life. Social aspects I’m talking about – certain skills and traits that one needs to pick up and be able to utilise when interacting with people. And trust me your times table will not teach you that… experience is the best teacher! So with that being said let me address the title, knowing who your real friends are.

Now to award the title of a “friend” to someone holds great significance. Think about what it means to call a person your friend. Your friend is someone that you admire, that you can relate to, that has an understanding of you (and vice versa) and you can share similar tastes and hobbies with. Your friend is selfless and there for you whatever the case may be. You are comfortable around this person and can engage effortlessly with them for days, months even years on end. Ultimately you and your friend embark physically and emotionally on journeys and share countless experiences with each other, building memories that define your relationship and solidify it. That person is in effect an extension of your family. Or at least that is my perception!

Having said all this, there is one remaining factor of a true friendship that I believe to be the most important… consistency. We see instances all the time (with guys just as well as girls) of so called “friends” that are two faced, selfish, think the worst of you and are jealous of any progressive step you may take. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen a guy creep on his “best friend’s” girlfriend or not have his boys’ corner in a fight. Similarly, there are girls who so casually undermine their own friends to other people before switching it all around when the poor friend arrives on the scene. Two faced artistry at its finest! Actions like these are very underhanded and dishonest and I certainly wouldn’t consider someone my friend if they are dishonest with me. So when I personally look to identify who my good friends are I often find myself wondering, Is that person I call a “friend” just as supportive and positive about me when I’m not around as to when we’re together? Is this person being honest with me all the time? Can I trust this person with anything? Do they take me for granted? And can I answer all these questions with confidence? If I can’t answer any of the above, well then someone’s gonna have to get untagged in all my Facebook pictures if you know what I mean!!

For those we do form a friendship with, we must always remember that it takes a great deal of understanding and care to maintain. Cherishing and appreciating your friends and the efforts they have made for you is always important. It’s not something that should be treated lazily or taken for granted. It’s very easy for a person to feel unappreciated and slowly drift from the bond if they feel the commitments aren’t being reciprocated. No matter how long you two may have been friends, selfishness will slowly but surely take its toll.

Jealousy is a sin… but then again who’s perfect? A real friend is nothing but supportive of you and wants only for you to experience good things and progress in your life. This comes regardless of their stature perhaps surpassing yours. If someone can let envy and bitterness come between the two of you they can never truly be your friend. How can someone you’re so close with not want you to reach your potential in life, but instead drag you back and keep you from achieving? It’s a no brainier.

If I or anyone else who has had an experience like this were to convey any message it would be one of caution. It’s very easy for someone to put on an act and be a good mate in front of you, only to let their true attitude towards you come to light in the sanctuary of private conversations and gossip circles. A genuine friend isn’t in any way selfish or nonchalant either when it comes to you and through thick and thin should always be expected to be right there alongside you. Mum and Dad weren’t lying when they told us to pick our friends carefully. Please stay wised up people!!

And just to top it off, here’s some Kanye West…

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