A Test of True Friendship
True friendship goes beyond mere acquaintanceship. Signs of true friendship consists of :
- Spontaneous appearances without warning
- Constant availability in times of Need
- Sometimes experiencing more intimacy than with a family member
True friendship is trust, a feeling of at easement and acceptance around another, including a freedom of expression. If you are unable to go to the home of a so called friend unannounced then that friendship needs serious work.
One great perk of a good friendship is that it allows us to grow in loving kindness and tender mercies toward one another. In any friendship, two or more people will experience the ups and down of life. There will be conflicts and disagreements from time to time, but true friendship endures such times of testing with forgiveness and reconciliation. After the resolution of each conflict, true friends should know a little more about one another. But if we go into a potential friendship believing that it is a relationship made in heaven, we will be highly disappointed when the inevitable storms hit our relationships.
Two or more people will enter into a friendship with different personalities as well as human flaws. However, this is not an opportunity to dismiss the friendship as no more than a mere acquaintance. In fact, two people who possess opposite personalities can greatly complement to one another, resulting in significant growth in character and knowledge. A quality of one person’s personality can complement that of the other’s personality. This idea goes along with the statement that opposites do indeed attract each other. The bottom line is that the universe has a way of empowering us through the opposites of those who we cherish the most. Here a list of examples:
Bold vs. Timid
A bold or adventurous person can complement a timid or overcautious person. Adventurous people take many chances, some of which can be downright dangerous. But a cautious friend can stand as a remainder of reaching beyond that which is disastrous. However, a person who is timid or super cautious may miss out on many wonderful opportunities in life, resulting in a life of failure. This is where the adventurous person teaches his friend how to seize the day when opportunity knocks.
Measuring Your Friendship
Playfulness vs. Conservatism
A person who loves to have fun talking, laughing and joking can help a conservative person to losing up and freely express himself. A Conservative person can help a playful person to stop and reflect on the serious of life and the important things that needs to be done with a calm demeanor. Many time people who are overly playful may not be taking urgent issues serious enough. This is no more evident than in the corporate world where conservatism rules. People who laugh and smile a lot are usually seen as weak or undependable when it comes to executing tough business deals or transactions. However, those who are conservative or who show little emotion are viewed as tough minded and equipped to win a battle by any means necessary. Nevertheless, the conservative person needs to learn how to loosen up and experience the freedom of expression.
Spontaneous vs. over calculating
A person who is spontaneous can help an over calculating person to take chances with spending a few dollars for an occasionally movie or romantic dinner. A person who is over calculating can help a person who recklessly overspends the importance of saving enough money to pay the bills on time and stay out of debt. I have known people whose only goal was to live for today and let tomorrow take care of itself. This idea may sound good, but it has consequences that can last a lifetime. For example, I friend of mine had an outstanding college loan that was in default. After college, instead of making monthly payments of the loan he would make unnecessary purchases on a moment’s notice. As a result his college loan debt multiplied five times the original payment. If he’d taken the value of a friend’s advice on paying his bills first, he could have paid off the loan in as little three years. A sign of good friendship is when both parties value and act upon the reasonable advice of one another.
Other Complementary Relationships
Two people who become friends in different careers can also complement one another by sharing the knowledge of their profession. For example, consider the list below:
- A teacher and a business person
- A humanist and a religious scholar
- A researcher and a philosopher
Careers: Education vs. Business
Growth in friendship doesn’t have to be based on opposite inner qualities that complement each other. Two people in opposite professions can also complement each other based on their careers alone. For example, a person who is an educator can complement a person who is good in business. A friend in education can teach a business partner how to write a research paper and discover new insights. A business person can teach an educator what it takes to start a business, such as a daycare school or training center. The list goes on and on.
The most important thing is to understand that no friendship worth the time is void of opportunities to grow in knowledge and character. All true friendships must be entered with this expectations. Only then will it endure the ups and downs of life while refining our character and enriching our minds.