Check up on Your Friends

Friends; a lot of the time we may think by telling them how we feel we’re being a burden.

I questioned this. Wondered why would it be so difficult to just speak up. Speak up and tell your friends how your day was or what was going on in your life?

I have a large number of friends from different backgrounds. Completely different personalities, emo-goth, cocky gangsta, or confident corporate management. Complete opposite sides of the spectrum, absolute ying, and yang. So how was I able to cultivate such unique bonds and friendships with such a variety of unique individuals? They all had one thing in common; they all cared.

Genuine friendship is a difficult thing.

Genuine friendship is a difficult thing; it has to be a part of your core being. If you consider someone a friend you really can’t expect anything from them. A lot of people have this idea a little messed up. There is no obligation for a friend to be anything other than a friend. What’s messed up is how some people define friendship. It comes in different spectrums both good and bad. So there’s a balance of giving and take, respect and appreciation, and most importantly boundaries.

For some people completely dumping and unloading their problems without a filter; someone who will listen completely defines what they consider friendship. I’ve been that person and I’ve learned that can also be pretty selfish. I believe we all have the ability to care about something; we all just care in different ways. I cared about growth and figuring things out and I would often express how I felt; in terms of learning about the problems, I didn’t quite understand. There was something unique in all my friends that I wanted to learn and grow from. Everyone I knew was a teacher; they just taught me lessons in different ways.

Friends that will not ask.

There are also those friends that won’t for the love of God speak up when they need to. We may know or even ourselves, be that friend that won’t ask for help. So what do you do?  I notice that when it comes to friendships is that their all appreciated in different ways. Caught myself in a dark place and I needed to be reminded of who I was from someone who I trusted.

I was lucky enough to have a friend. A friend in a time of need who was willing to sit with me and listen to me. Just help me figure things out. It was rough for me especially because I hadn’t really reached out to him in a long while. I would occasionally say hi and comment on a few of his posts from time to time. The first thing he wrote. “I know we don’t speak, but I’ve always considered you a friend and reaching out to me is never a burden. I’m free tomorrow if you want me to come by. I’m going to sleep now but if you need me, call me and I’ll be here for you.”

I was so embarrassed but, why?

Why was I so embarrassed? It was because I didn’t want him to see me at my weakest. I took initiative and acted on my feelings and reached out when things didn’t make sense. It was a leap of faith. Blessed to have a friend understand. A friend I did not see that often. What I learned was this; fear will immobilize you. Put the fear of being rejected by your friend’s aside when you need help. Empathy and compassion for yourself and others can help when you are going through a rough patch.

I needed to be prepared.

I needed to be prepared; to face some level of humility. If my friend was not available to speak. I would have to continue reaching out. That’s when compassion and understanding come into play when we understand not everyone may be available physically, mentally or emotionally. True friendship lies in deep understanding and compassion on both ends.

This being said; It’s just as important to check up on your friends. See how they’re doing from time to time and remind them it’s ok to talk about anything that’s going on. It’s also ok to just come by and sit on the couch and relax if that works too. Whoever you reach out to, do your best face your fear and ask for help. If you notice a friend isn’t their best self; check up on them and remind them who they can turn to when they need to.

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