How do you understand the word “friend”?

I must say that having good friends is one of the best things in life. Introverts may enjoy being alone, but in reality they also long for companionship. It’s just they are very picky in choosing people to become part of their lives. Yes, I’m quite an introvert but I’ve learned to socialize a bit. Yes, only a bit.

These are the definitions that I think some people are thinking about the word “friend”:

1. “They are not my enemies.”
As long as they are not my enemies, they are my friends. No, definitely not! They may be your acquaintances but not friends. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word “acquaintance” as someone who is known but who is not a close friend. As the saying goes, “Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are.” It’s a bit harsh, isn’t it? But it’s true. So be careful who you call your friends, and who you call your acquaintances.

2. “He/she is nice to me.”
You don’t call someone a friend right away if he/she is just being nice to you. That’s good, but you don’t actually know him/her. You may have shared some experiences together but it takes more than that to actually know a person.

3. “He/she is a friend of my friend and we had a bit of conversation.”
Again, you don’t know the person yet! You may put your trust on that person since your friend trusts him, but it’s not wise to trust entirely. Your friends are your friends. Your friend’s friends aren’t your friends.

4. “He/she was an old friend.”
But you haven’t talked for years now. Well, even if you were best of friends in the old days, that person may have changed already, correct? So it’s better to catch up first before putting your trust again on your old friend.

5. “He/she treats me often and lends me money.”
Sadly, using money is one of the easiest ways to gain “friends”. Give someone some money and he or she will be nice to you and may even grant you favors. Look, it’s just money. What if he/she lends/gives you money just to gain your trust, but actually plans to betray you? Get to know the person first. Friends aren’t bought, they are earned.

The Bottom Line

You must get to know the person first, and it takes a while to do that! Remember, we’re just talking about friendship here and not a romantic relationship, and romantic relationships should be taken a LOT more seriously. Sadly, many young people engage in romantic relationships and commitments very quickly and most of the time there are regrets afterwards. Anyway, that’s a whole other topic that I don’t want to dive into.

Lastly, why say true friend? Just call it a FRIEND.


NOTE:

This was one of my drafts that I saved on September 23, 2014 (according to WordPress) and I feel posting this now. I recently finished (at last) the TV series Friends and as I grow older I want to make sure that who I call friends are really my friends.

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