On Being a True Friend
If there’s one thing I’m most proud of, it’s the people I’ve chosen to surround myself with. They are brilliant, creative, hilarious and kind. If you’re in my circle, please know, I’m incredibly grateful for you.
So, what does it mean to be a true friend? To me, a true friend looks out for another’s best interests, and is there to offer support, especially when life just plain sucks.
I’m far from perfect at this. I sometimes forget to call friends on their birthdays or fail to bring them meals after they've had babies. But, being a good friend is something I strive for. It’s a lifelong project.
My dear friend Kristi taught me one of the most poignant lessons about friendship. Kristi is the type of rock-solid friend that everyone should be fortunate enough to know. She’s the person I want to talk to when I have the winter blues. She’s the person I want to talk to when I have a new creative idea. She accepts me for who I am, 100% of the time. Oh, and we have a plan for the zombie apocalypse (obviously).
Years ago, when Kristi and I began our habit of talking on the telephone for long periods of time, she would always ask me, “What do you need?” Such a simple question, and yet these four words have changed the way I think about friendship. The fact is, I usually don’t need anything. (Well, sometimes I need a pep talk.) But no matter what, she keeps asking.
Asking takes just a few seconds, and it’s such an incredible gesture. It makes me feel loved, cared for and safe. It makes me feel important, good enough and nurtured. I have started asking my friends, Kristi included, the same thing. Rarely do they ask me for anything, and that’s not the point. I want them to know that I’m here for them. I want them to think of me when they’re sick and need someone to drop by with soup and medicine and those really soft tissues with the lotion in them. I want them to let me be a true friend.
I’ve become closer with my friends since I started asking, and that’s a gift.
So, what do you need?