What is this thing we call friendship? Being and having friends

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.


Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Hard to define, easy to know when you have it, this thing called friendship.

Reflecting today on this thing we call friendship that means so many different things to each of us. Today on this day we call a “day off” I had the chance to read some of the posts by other bloggers. A recurrent theme was about friendships, what they mean, and how we know if we are a good friend or if we have one.

No relationship is so important, so needed and so misunderstood as friendship. When we have friends we may wonder if they are worth the effort, but when we are without them even briefly we wish they were here.

Friends are not here on earth like a prepaid credit card to use when we need them. There are those people who treat or mistreat others in the name of friendship by constantly asking from them and then being unwilling to reciprocate.

Friendship is of course not ever fully reciprocal. The more you struggle in life the more you need friends. What is reciprocal is the caring about each other, not the doing for each other.

Anyone who seeks out a friend for what they can do for you is being short-sighted and probably abusive. The things friends do give us are intangibles that can’t be measured in money or acts. A friend cares about you when you can’t care about yourself. They love you, sometimes because of, not in spite of, your flaws.

True friends do not keep ledgers. Friendship is not a trade. They do not do 3 things for you because you did 3 things for them. Friendship is about caring sometimes even when you can’t do anything for that friend except care.

Friendships usually start around shared experiences and time spent together. We go to school together and we become friends. We work together and we become friends. We may have church friends, club friends, or blogger friends.

Real friendship grows beyond those shared activities. Many of us have been blessed to have friends with whom we keep up relationships long after the time to share an activity has ended. People in their senior years tell me about friends they have had since kindergarten. Somehow these friendships survive years of separation punctuated only by an occasional greeting card or email.

Some couples describe their mates as their best friends. The best romantic relationships often include two people who were friends first. Some couples even fall out of love but not out of friendship.

There is nothing lonelier than a person without friends. Family, you are stuck with but friends you chose and they chose you.

Life is a journey. We move along in time as well as space. Along that route, we meet friends. Some friends are with us for only part of the journey and others their path crosses ours repeatedly throughout our lifetime.

To have friends it has been said, we must first be a friend. Being that friend takes effort. It means investing in that relationship.

If you have friends you know how very important and necessary they are. If you have few or no friends you most likely already know what is missing. What you may not know is how to go about making those friends.

Approach each new person as a potential new friend until they prove otherwise. Treasure those friends you have and nurture those friendships. Keep those friendships safe in the warmth of your heart.

Put your hand out in welcome and see who responds.

To have many friends you must befriend many.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track, and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Some family secrets can be deadly.

What if your family secrets put you in danger?

Letters from the Dead. The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Sasquatch. Wandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking, and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders, see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.