A Little Change

My topic today is on friendships. Most of us go through so much with people that we still continue to call them friends, but in reality when we think of that relationship with the person you realize that they were never a friend to begin with. I'm not saying that you should go around thinking no one is your friend, but there are certain people that you just know are not a true friend to you. I've been in many situations where I thought certain people were friends to me but then ended up finding out that i was more there friend and they were never really mine. Pretty much "the hard way". From having to get jumped for a so called "friend" as they watch, standing up for "friends" to find out all they do is talk nasty about you behind your back, lending things to "friends" for them to go and steal from you, giving "friends" a place to stay for them to take half your cloths and things when you ask them to leave, having an open conversation with "friends" just to be invited to hangout again and see the same "friends" already together and attack you with comments from the same convo you all had, hearing personal information about yourself from other people when you know you only told a certain "friend" about, "friends" who always say you never call to check up on them but you can't remember the last time you've even received a call or text from them unless it's when they need something, lending "friends" money then when it's time to receive it back they never have it or are out shopping and going out to eat, "friends" who claim they came to visit you just to use you for a place to stay, "friends" who secretly are always trying to compete with you, "friends" who are "friends" with you because of what you have, who you know and what you do, or always being there for "friends" but when you need someone, even just someone to talk to you have no one you feel you can actually call. The stories can go on and on with my experiences lol. 

But this post isn't about me wanting to expose, be mean or talk about the crazy "friendships" I've had. I wanted to write this post because as I grow more I become more and more aware of the people around me, there character and really just who are my real friends and who I just need to give the associate title too. So I wanted to write this post so that people can also be aware of who there real and fake friends are also.

Friendship to me is defined by someone who  accepts all parts of you, are always there for you, that you can tell any and everything to, be yourself around, you guys can have fun together but also be serious. Friends are always going to support you and you are always going to support them. There's never a time you have to question there loyalty or actions, you guys help each other when needed and even when you argue with a friend you won't ever have to worry about your business being out there because you know you guys will soon be friends again. 

Lately, I've just been noticing that I give more and more for my so called "friends" and in return (even though I don't ask for anything) I never get that same kind of friendship back. So what I've decided is to just always trust my gut instincts when it comes to friendships. I always come across people who I feel like don't really know me as well as people I call my "friends", but they end up showing more love to not only what I do, but to me. They give compliments, encouragement, and are just awesome supporters of me. But I can count on one hand how many friends also do that. I know no ones perfect and no relation can come without people making mistakes, but I just want to start showing people the same kind of love that they show me. Wether were friends or not. I used to be the kind of person who tried to be cool or friends with everyone. Even if they've done something crazy to me, i would go on and forgive them and then notice that the same kinds of things would happen over and over. I guess my problem is I always believe that people have the "same heart" as me. But as I become older and more aware of things. I realize that, that's not necessarily true. 

I know many of us look for validation, or acceptance from other people. And are willing to be friends with people just for that reason. But honestly if you know someone isn't really your friend I would say just let that person go. With my experiences I've realized I have a bad habit of "cutting people off" and when I say that I mean I can really forget about someone and never think of them as if they've never existed. But I'm learning that even if people are a bad friend, that's not the way to go. You have to just learn to love people from a distance. You can be cool with someone without having to be friends with them or treating them how you would treat a friend. For me those kind of people are what I now call "Hi and Bye" friends. When I see them, yes I will speak and have a short unmeaningful conversation, but I know that I would never invite, hangout, or anything with the person because I know we're not really friends. But for your real friends or people you want to be real friends with I came up with 10 Ways To Be An Awesome Friend. These are 10 things I know I should do more in my real friendships and that I know can keep your real friends, well real. These tips will also help you determine wether or not a person is a real or even a fake friend.

10 Ways To Be An Awesome Friend: 

1.) Always Be There: 
Being a friend to someone isn't only about being there when it's time to celebrate. To be a good friend you have to be there when your friend is down also. In life we all go through our own ups and downs and we all benefit greatly from those who stick by our sides when going through the downs. A big difference to me between real and fake friend is how they deal with your Tough and Good times. Tough times are a part of life. So if you’re feeling down, a fake friend will pat you on the back and try to change the subject or even know your down and not say a word until they see you up again. Your real friends will listen to all your problems and help you find solutions even if they don't really know how to help. Just them listening can even change your mood. Real friends are people that when your down you think of calling them to help cheer you up. Fake friends names won't even pop into your head when you going through something.

No matter how tough things get, great friends stick. Be loyal and supportive to your friend not only when he/she is struggling with a difficult problem, but when you are also struggling. Being a good friend is when someone comes to you with a problem and even though you might be going through something also you just have to put their needs before yours at the moment and just listen. Being a good friend also is about celebrating your friend’s accomplishments. Wether it's something not such a big deal to you or not let the person know how you genuinely care for there happiness and excitement,
despite how you might feel at the time.

2.) Encourage Your Friends:
To me this is one of the main things i think makes a good friend at the moment. Being only 23, I think not only me but the friends I have and want to surround myself with this is one of the key things to having that good friendship. In our 20's were all still trying new things and trying to figure out who we are and what we want to be. Encouragement is one of the best things about having a great friend because no matter how down or stressed you feel, and no matter what crazy ideas you have in your mind, or the weirdest things you want to try a great friend will be supporting and encourage you to make you feel like you can do anything you put your mind to. Great friends never stop encouraging you, or pushing you to be better even when you've completed that goal. Even with having crazy ideas, a great friend should encourage you to do all of them just because there your goals. Fake friends will put you down about your interests and goals, not believe in you, say everyone else is doing, that you would be no different and never show any support for you.

Sometimes we don't want to listen to what other people have to tell us. Sometimes when we do encourage people and you feel like there not really listening it doesn't really matter. Being a great friend means that you know that even if it goes unappreciated, encouragement is essential to creating a good friendship. 

3.) Accept All Parts Of Your Friend:
Some people that know me well know that when my left eyebrow goes up it means I'm annoyed, irritated or just pissed. Those same people also know that I can be the nicest and sweetest person. Letting someone see parts of you that no one else sees is actually one of the most refreshing things about a good friendship. Being vulnerable with someone means you can tell them your deepest secrets, hopes, sorrows, frustrations and everything in between. And they'll be able to just accept that part of you without any judgement. 

I know in the previous message it might sounds like I'm contradicting myself, but there is a judge difference in accepting someone and tolerating someone. When I say "accept all parts of your friend" I mean there personalities and the way they are. That doesn't mean if you feel like someone is constantly using you or only calling you when they need something and your never receiving what you give to them back. That's not a friend. People often seek a relationship because they expect something out of it. They only put in the effort if they get something in return, but true friendship comes with no strings attached. Don't think of what your friends can do for you, but instead what you can do for them and they should be able to see that, and do the same for you. Once you know someone well, it might be tempting to judge his or her actions, but a great friend doesn't judge, because they know that judgments will only put strain on the relationship. A great friend is willing to speak the truth, but he or she holds back from adding personal judgment to those words because they know how there friend is.

When someone opens up to you, don’t judge them or put them down for how they feel. Encourage your friends to reach out to you. And let them know it’s OK and that you won’t take advantage of there vulnerability. Friendship means being selfless and giving without taking. Rewards come in the form of memories, trust and a loving support.

4.) Forgive Your Friends:
Forgiving your friends especially when you know there truly sorry is so important. Since we're humans lol, were all going to screw up at some point. But being a good friend means you know when you did, and you know when to apologize for it. With fake friends, a mistake can cost you a friendship. Real friends will know that sometimes you’ll mess up. They will forgive you because they value your friendship more than your (temporary) mistake. Real friends also know what to do differently next time to change the friendship. Or to avoid that situation from happening again. 

5.) Always Have There Back: 
A friend always having your back means that it doesn’t matter who is on the other side of your battle, what the issue is, or even if your in the wrong. A real friend will stand by you no matter what. They’re always on your side and will fight for you with no questions. But a real friend also talks to you (when you are wrong) alone and tells you your mistakes and talks to you about it.

6.) Stay In Touch With Your Friends:
Having real friends you will always want to talk to and they will always want to talk to you. Wether or not its everyday or even every week real friends will contact you wherever and whenever because they are always interested in whats going on in your life. They don’t want to know the latest gossip about your relationship. They might just want to know where or what you had for lunch. Fake friends will only contact you when they need something or want to know some juicy gossip.

Honestly if you want to be a great friend, you have to make an effort. And sometimes its the little things that matter the most. To keep a friendship going you have to put in the time to stay connected.

7.) Keep Your Secrets:
I can’t remember how many times I’ve told someone something and ended up hearing it from other people or sometimes so many other people. If your able to trust someone enough to tell them everything about you, it should be your real friends. Fake friends will treat your secrets or any information like its nothing. A real friend will always value your confidence, and you will never hear it from anyone.

8.) Never Have To Look Your Best:
When your hanging out with your friends and you feel like you have to look presentable as in put nice cloths on, do your hair, makeup and make sure you smell nice just to hang out, then you know you have fake friends. A true friend you can hangout with in your sweatpants and just chill and watch t.v. without even having to do anything at all.

9.) Laugh As Much As You Can:
I’m personally a goofy person and I love being around people who I can laugh with, make laugh, and we can all laugh together. So humor in a friendship is what brings life to the friendship. Some of the best moments in a friendship can come from inside jokes or just funny moments. Having friends should just remind you that you shouldn’t take life too seriously. Having friends that you can watch funny movies with, laugh with or just be silly with can really keep your life balanced from all the serious things in it.

10.) Be Your Own Friend First:
What i’ve come to realize in life is that anything you want from anyone else you have to be wiling to give to yourself first. To be a great friend, you have to also be your own friend first. The foundation of any relationship is any relationship you have with yourself. Having a great relationship within, loving and appreciating others will set the tone for any future friendships or relations with anyone else.

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