Friend or no?

“How many slams in an old screen door? Depends how loud you shut it. How many slices in a bread? Depends how thin you cut it. How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live ’em. How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give ’em.”

~ Shel Silverstein

In today’s society, I don’t think its easy to keep and develop good friendships. We are too busy, too swamped, to make it worse, we communicate so often over cold, impersonal mediums such as texting! If you’re communicating with a friend of text message, things can be misread, or misstated and often ignored altogether. It’s easy for them to pretend they never saw your message.

Countless times I have sent messages to women, maybe just encouragement, or asking for a time we can get together, maybe asking advice on something, or inviting them to my house or party, and they ignore me completely.

I begin to wonder, is there something wrong with me? Did my message even get to them? Why won’t they ever respond to me? It almost feels like some kind of “texting epidemic” or something.

Maybe it’s technology. If I talked to them face to face, it would be harder to blow me off. But even then, people are just undependable, it’s frustrating and hurtful. Of course, I don’t know the reason of why they have chosen to ignore me. I only know, they never responded.

When I begin a new friendship with someone, I know up front that it will take a lot of time and effort to grow it into something where I feel like I might be able to confide in them. Deep relationships take a big investment. Many of us just don’t have a lot of time to devote to creating many of them, we might only have time for say 2 or 3 good friends. And then the rest of women may be on a different level.

Keeping friends is work, hard work. I like the work though, and I think a lot of women do, but a lot of women out there don’t understand that friendship goes both ways.

You give and then she gives. I’m talking emotionally here, not necessarily gifts and service. When a friend that I view is someone that is on the level of “ya, I could tell her really personal stuff” stops giving, I may have to back away and give her space and look elsewhere for that kind of friendship. In my life, there have been very few of these types of problems for me, I attribute that to being the friend I want someone to be to me, considering them over myself.

I’m not a very needy type of friend. I can have relationships that started years ago, even when we don’t talk for years we meet up again, and we pick up where we left off. I am not a jealous friend. I do not get upset when one of my good friends hangs out with someone else or plans a party and doesn’t invite me. Jealousy has never helped anyone or thing, and its detrimental to friendships.

I suspect, (because I am human and horribly flawed) that I do things sometimes that might not agree with my friends. Maybe they don’t see eye to eye on an issue, or they think I am mistaken about something, or they don’t like the color I have on, or they think I’m no fun. I’m sure there are any number of avenues given who I am, that might rub someone the wrong way. Most the time, we girlfriends don’t really let it bother us so much. Sometimes, we have an obligation to tell a friend about something we see in them or their kids or husband that isn’t pleasant. That doesn’t mean you wreck your relationship over it! You talk it out, you work through it, you forgive and or ask for forgiveness and then you move on if possible. And yea, I’m aware that every time a friend has an issue with you, it does chip away at what you had previously. Your relationship may be a bit more tender. That doesn’t mean it can’t heal. Just like a broken bone, it may take some time.

“Friendship is delicate as a glass, once broken it can be fixed but there will always be cracks”

 ~ Waqar Ahmed

I view my friends as what can I do for them (most the time). I speak love to them by giving them little things here and there, calling them ” just because” and having lil get-togethers and lunches and listening to them speak and pour themselves out. I don’t answer very quickly when asked advice, (haste makes mistakes especially with the tongue). Many times, I find that when I talk out something, I find the right answers as I talk. I know this and allow my friends to speak as much as they wish, and they often times work out their own problems and conclusions to what should be, and I don’t have to say but a few words.”

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”

~ Albert Camus

Its hard to be a friend. It’s harder to be a good friend. It’s extremely hard to be the kind of friend that someone will confide in you too and regard you as someone they will always love and invite to most parties even when they know who you are and the problems you have had and the annoyances you might bring. Friendship is an investment in the most precious creation God ever made. Another Person.

You can’t be hugely judgmental when it comes to your friends because none of us would have any! We make judgments all the time about people we know. But that doesn’t mean you write them off as “I can’t be friends with her or him because they might soil my perfect reputation of godliness.” Of course, by this I don’t mean you should hang out with women her drag you down and aren’t aiming for Heaven on a regular basis, it’s all about balance, and coming back to the different levels of friendship.

Whether we have a few or a lot. There are many ways to be a good friend and below are a points and or ways I think might make ladies better friends for each other.

“Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked. ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’ ‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.”

~ E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

  • Listen to your friend. Don’t just blab yourself the entire time. Allow some space for her to talk to answer you or offer her opinion. Do not butt in while she is making a point and run over her with your words. You’re taking more than giving here, and the relationship will always be about giving to you. You can not keep friendships healthy if its always about you.
  • Ask your friend pointed questions to start the conversation. It could be anything from ” I like your clothing, or how is your paint on your house holding up, to do you like the opera? Find something in common that you both share to talk about.
  • Call your friends, “just because” you haven’t talked in awhile. It’s really annoying when a friend calls ONLY because she needs or wants something.
  • If words of love are hard for you like they are for me to speak out loud, give little gifts with sweet cards to your friends “Just because.”
  • Actually, pursue setting up a time to spend with your friends. Don’t just say “sometime we need to go out” We all know, “sometime” may never show up.
  • If you say you are going to be there or will do it, then do it! And if you forget, fall all over yourself dripping with an apology that you failed your commitment.
  • Pray for your friend if you know she is having a hard time with something. In front of her, with her or over the phone.
  • You don’t have to point out your friend’s failures constantly. That is the quickest way to be defriended. Sometimes, you may have to have tough talks, but you can do it with gentleness and love. Mostly, be encouraging where you can.
  • Don’t wait for your friend to be the better friend. You be the friend you would want her to be. What if we all practiced being the better friend?
  • You don’t need to tell your friend everything. Humans have problems with keeping their mouths shut… Be careful what you say and who you say it too. How many times do we run and tell someone else and then think about what we said after it left our mouths?
  • If your friend’s kids are a problem with yours, or you just don’t prefer their company around your kids, find different ways of hanging out that don’t involve the kids.
  • Try and understand that all ladies are different and we all have different ways of interacting. This doesn’t mean you have to keep pursuing a relationship with someone that drives you nuts! I think they will get a clue that you don’t prefer to develop a real in-depth relationship when you are obviously not engaged with them. You can’t hide your true feelings. But, don’t be nasty and disrespectful about it.
  • If you are trying to develop a friendship with a woman that you think you would like well or get to know, and she ignores you, know that there are other fish in the sea. God will provide those healthy, blooming friends for you if you ask Him.
  • You can’t force a friendship. I learned that lesson when I was a kid, and my mother tried it a few times. Don’t ever try and force friends on your kids, it will immediately backfire.
  • Remember your friends and connect with them depending on the level you are on with them. To have friends, you must be one.
  • If you find yourself with a lot of dead friendships that ended poorly or problems that never got worked thru, maybe you need to examine yourself and see if that was your doing. Maybe you need to go back and open up those scars and do some healing. As they say, “If the whole world stinks, check the end of your nose”!
  • Be forgiving when you reach out to women, and if they don’t respond to you, as so many times has been the case for me. You can’t hate them, for hurting your ego and making you feel like you’re nobody. Remember you don’t always know why they don’t answer, it could be multiple reasons. Just move on, and somewhere out there, is another lady that has the time for you and desires to build a relationship.

Friendships are a garden with a variety of different flowers and some weeds. Some of those flowers will always come back every season, those are your long time, forever friends. And some of those flowers are one season only, and those are people you meet just for a season, and the friendship becomes, just a memory in short amounts of time. We can enjoy and do enjoy all types of friendships! Tend to your friend garden and add new varieties to it yearly! The Lord made so many different kinds, didn’t He?

~ Alice

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”

~ The Bible | Proverbs 27:17

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