This week, I learned a lot about friendship. I'm lucky that I have a lot of friends who will be there for me, no matter what. One of my friends sent me a message recently after he read one of my blog posts. He was talking about relationships and how a lot of people get it wrong when they think about relationships. A real relationship is one in which the other person makes you a stronger person. You might meet someone and really like that person, and maybe that person likes you too. But even when people like each other, that's not enough to make a real relationship.
My best friend is a good example of what it's like to have a real relationship. We've been friends since we were little kids. We don't live close to each other, but our parents make sure we get to see each other regularly. We talk to each other almost every day. We share a lot of the same interests, but we're both interested in different things also. Through our different interests, I think we learn a lot. We approach problems differently in some ways and learn a lot from each other that way too. I know that if I were hurting or in trouble, there's no doubt in my mind he would be right by my side. He really does make me a stronger person.
I've heard the phrase a lot, "If you want to have a friend, you have to be a friend." I think the word friend is a word that gets used a lot because it's an easy word to use. No one who is your friend would ever try to hurt you or kick you when you're down. I've thought a lot about the kind of friend I want to be. Thinking about this proves exactly what my friend who sent me the message to talk about relationships was saying. When I think about what kind of friend I want to be, I think about my best friend and what kind of friend he is. I want to be the kind of friend who is that loyal and caring. I want to be the kind of friend who empowers my friends to be strong because they know, no matter what, I'll be in their corner.
I learned from a very early age that when you're successful, a lot of people will want to attach themselves to you. These people aren't friends, they're followers. When you fall, these people will turn away from you in a hot minute and when they see someone else who they view as being more popular, they will attach themselves to that person instead. If you make the mistake of thinking of these people as friends, you're going to get caught up in that same mentality. You'll start caring more about what other people think and not so much about how you think and feel about yourself.
The great thing is when you have a lot of people in your life who make you stronger, you attract a lot of other really strong people. I often joke that I'm forever alone, even though I have so many people in my life who really do care about me. I say I'm forever alone because people like my best friend have helped to make me so strong that I'm not afraid to step out there alone. Look at what's happened as a result. I'm inspiring other people to step out there too.