Interestingly, I read this article shortly after my last post.
I read this article last week and it really spoke to me. As somebody who’s had more than her fair share of crisis over the last few years, and some good events too, I can say that I definitely agree with much of this article. Mostly that it is very surprising who shows up, and who doesn’t. I have been both touched and hurt by this, multiple times over. A few years ago I was in the middle of a crisis, and started to have a crying panic attack in my car outside of our local supermarket, unable to even face doing the shopping. I texted three of my closest friends, hoping one of them would come to me, not a single one did. I’ve let that go, but I’ve never forgotten, because I know I would’ve been there in a heartbeat. I still remember when I finally went home, over the panic attack but heartbroken by what an awful person I must have, but nobody would take the time to come to me, (or even ask if I can come to them if they are stuck at home alone with the kids.)
To me, when your friend needs you, you be there. I won’t say that I’m a perfect friend because I know I’m not, but I do try to be a good friend, and I do try to be there for friends in need. I’ve left work early to comfort friends in a crisis, I’ve left home in the middle of dinner to pick up a friend’s child and drive them to a lesson, I’ve left my family at the last minute because somebody called on me, and I’ve checked in on friends when I know they’re having a hard time, and I’ve done everything I can to be there to celebrate good times with my friends.
In spite of that, one thing I do disagree with is the idea that only good friends show up, or that hard times teach you who your true friends are.
I mean in theory that sounds great and true, but in practice I just don’t think so. I don’t think it’s necessarily always the good friends that are there for you, and the bad friends that aren’t. I think really it’s just that some people are better at it than others. Some people know what to say and do, others don’t.
Indeed, I would even go so far as to say that sometimes it’s the bad friends that show up. The friends that thrive on drama, that are curious about how someone in a crisis is doing and can only find out by showing up, that have their entire self worth tied up in how generous and giving they are, or that do things for others with strings attached.
However, I do think that we as humans are always learning and growing. There are lots of different ways to learn. Sometimes through experience, sometimes through articles, somethings just come to some of us naturally.
I think, perhaps, the cardinal rule is to try to be the type of friend you wish to have. Not because you want it to come back to you…I’ve learned that it doesn’t…but because it’s a good way to be.