I can’t think of a time in my life I’ve needed a great friend more than when I became a mom.
Throughout my teenage years and through college, friends, at least to me, were simply the people you hung out with on nights and weekends. If you were lucky, you would find someone you had a decent amount in common with and you could share some great conversations, too.
My view on friendships changed drastically when my best friend entered my life.
Though we weren’t fond of each other when we first met, she stepped in during a time when I really needed a friend. The patience and kindness she showed me when she hardly knew me proved to me that friendship was a substantially different and more precious thing than I knew it to be up to that point. I continue to learn from her to this day.
I’ve always been hesitant to speak or visit with people I love in a time of need. My thoughts were that if I didn’t have the exact right words to say to be helpful, what use could I be? My best friend showed me that you don’t have to have all the right words, you just need to be there. Being a constant presence for a loved one when needed and being there to listen is far more important than having all the right things to say.
Opposites Really Do Attract
Over the last few years, I found more amazing friendships. A common denominator I’ve seen in all of them is that all of my friends have qualities I deeply admire. I believe this started with my best friend. She knows how to go with the flow and constantly pivot, while I can organize a calendar like no other and have a mini panic attack when a curve ball gets thrown in. My ability to pinpoint a problem and set up a process on how to fix it has served me well in many areas of my life, but her talent of letting something be and only intervening when necessary is a skill I’m trying to learn from her.
Quality Over Quantity
While it’s nice to feel a part of a larger group when it comes to work, your neighborhood, workout group, etc, I feel pretty strongly that you only need a handful of great friends. When I say great friends, I mean the people you call right when something great or awful happens and the people you would drop everything for, in the case of an emergency. I’ve never been happier with the relationships surrounding me than I am now, yet the amount of people I consider great friends is smaller than ever.
If my best friend hadn’t shown me what a great friend really is, I wouldn’t know what it means to make and have other great friendships.
True Friends Call Each Other Out on Their Bullshit
Not every relationship needs to be a deep, great friendship. It’s great to have kind people around that tell you everything you want to hear, but true friends will call you out when you need to be called out. Because my best friend has told me things I don’t want to hear for my own good in the past, I trust her to continue to be honest with me. Anytime I have a feeling I’m about to initiate a conversation at work or with another loved one that I might regret, I wait until I can talk to my friend. She always points out facts that I might be negating or shows me that one of my personality flaws is hijacking the situation at hand.