What defines a true friend?
BFF. Bestie. Girlfriend. Boyfriend. Pal. Buddy. All these names or titles signify friends and friendship. But what defines a true friend?
I found a couple of definitions of the meaning of the word friend from some online dictionaries: One is a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection. Another is someone you add to a list of contacts associated with a social networking website. Possibly, a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard. Lastly, a person who gives assistance, a supporter.
These definitions definitely all vary in one way or another.
You could be a “friend” just because you know someone and like them or because you “added” them to your contact list on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or maybe even MySpace, if anyone still uses MySpace. Who is your true friend and when did you realize it?
I believe a true friend is someone who is there for you when you need her, gives you her honest opinion when no one else does and respects you for being you. A friend is also supportive, forgiving and trustworthy. Most importantly to me, my friends make me laugh, laugh hard. Laughter is said to relax the whole body, boost the immune system, trigger the release of endorphins and protect the heart. I don’t know about you, but laughing sounds pretty healthy to me! The more laughing the better!
I really love this following quote from Oprah: “Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” To me, this signifies the ups and downs of life. You may be having an up in your life, everything seems to be going good, and you feel like you have lots of friends. However, once your life takes a turn down, all your “friends” may seem to disappear like a shadow. Having a friend who’s there for you when everything is going great is important, but also being able to rely on them when times get tough should be equally as significant.
When times get tough, you should be able to talk and rave to someone about what’s going on if you want to. You shouldn’t be afraid that your friends will get annoyed from hearing you blabber on and on because if they’re a true friend, they care for you, and they want to listen, and they want to help.
I personally don’t have an experience where my life had a big turn and lots of my so-called friends disappeared or where something tragic happened and only one friend stuck around. But I am normal and imperfect, so of course, I do have good days and bad days. My friends are always there for me, no matter what. They are there to celebrate with me for the good events that take place, and they are also there to comfort me when I’m down.
The feelings I have for my friends are indescribable. I think most people have different kinds of friends — friends you can go to for anything, friends you go to for advice, and friends you just like to be around, etc. I think we’ve also all had friends who we thought we would be close to forever but ended up straying apart; I know I did. For me, it was when I moved away from where I formerly lived. I assumed that my friends and I would stay close, keep in touch and make frequent visits since it’s a short distance of an hour. We stayed close for awhile and kept in touch, but now I only hear from them once in awhile. One of my friends and I used to be inseparable, but before I knew it, we stopped hanging out and barely spoke to each other. We didn’t end in a bad note, but we simply grew apart, which honestly I’d rather it be that way. We change and our friends change also.
I have learned its not only important to be a good friend and maintain good friendships, but it’s also important to know when a friendship has run its course and move on in a mature and dignified manner.
Rebecca Younger is a sophomore at Vantage Point Charter School.
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