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BE A REAL FRIEND:
7 WAYS TO TRIUMPH AND KEEP A FRIENDSHIP

be a real friend

7 Ways to Triumph and Keep a Friendship

My dear friend, Thesa, is an artist and she put into drawing how she saw me as a friend back in 2009-2010. We first met during an interview, and I could say that she’s one of the Ms. Congeniality ladies. She had that instant “close feeling” towards me. But she felt my “wall” showing a vibe of uneasiness, and a cue to “back off”. It didn’t intimidate her though, and so that’s the start of a beautiful friendship. 

Here are 7 Ways to be a Real Friend based on Thesa’s artwork. I’ve kept these drawings for 10 years so I’m thrilled sharing them here

1. BE A REAL FRIEND BY SHOWING WHO YOU really are

THE I AM 
real

⇒ Show your I AM. To be a real friend is to be the real you first.

If you’re an introvert, don’t force yourself to be an extrovert just to fit in, or vice versa. If you don’t like doing something, don’t pretend you enjoy every moment of it. If your values are challenged, don’t act as if it’s no big deal. Be honest. Your honesty will bring people into your life who can be real themselves. 

Friendship is not all about compatibility. Sometimes friends who are total opposites give more “color” to the friendship. A person who never appreciates books may start reading some because of a friend who loves books. A person who’s scared of traveling may start exploring because of a friend who loves adventures. 

Ask yourself this serious question, “If I can’t be the real me in a friendship, is it worth keeping?” 

2. BE A REAL FRIEND BY ACKNOWLEDGING YOUR UGLY SIDE

THE SEA

I don’t know how to swim; I don’t like being under water as if the sea is suffocating me. But I have always admired the beauty and strength of the sea. Soothing when it’s calm, but terrifying when it’s stormy. And this was how Thesa described me, which I was a long time ago.

In my 20s, I had mood swings one couldn’t spell. When angry, I could be one of the most unreasonable person you’ve  ever met. When hurt, my silence could take months, or years. When in dispute, I could go to any length to win.

I still have my “slips” upon writing this, I’m not perfect. 

⇒ Everyone has an ugly side, a weakness, or that part you just want to go away. To be a real friend is to acknowledge those and be willing to make some changes. Forgive yourself when “slips” happen. And since you’re being real with your own ugly side, you can also be real in dealing with your friend’s ugly side with MORE patience, tolerance, and forgiveness. 

3. BE A REAL FRIEND BY SHOWING ONE'S POTENTIAL

THE REBIRTH

The Rebirth was Thesa’s second drawing in 2010. I remember always telling her how I hated that “it’s September again”. It reminded me of a painful breakup I went through in September 2009. The Relationship: 5 Ways to Keep It or Destroy It

She responded with a reassuring message, 

Don’t hate September, rather embrace it and let me remind you of who you are now. You’re stronger, wiser, and capable of loving and hurting at the same time. Let this be the month of rebirth of the real you. Like what I’ve told you before, there is much more in you that is worth knowing – not only by other people, but you yourself, and this month you just made it happen. So happy September and shine more! 

A precious message I kept in my journal. 

⇒ Be a real friend by showing the potentials of your friend’s problems and challenges in life. That no matter how hard a situation is or how broken one’s past is, it can alway be a springboard in becoming a beautiful butterfly, a better version of oneself. 

4. BE A REAL FRIEND BY BEING THERE IN TIMES of lostness

 LOST

⇒ Be a real friend by being there when a friend keeps asking same questions, sharing same dilemmas, and going through same things over and over again. Not achieving any. Not moving forward. Don’t give up on that friend in her moment of lostness. She’ll soon figure it out and you being there makes a lot of difference. 

We all have our seasons of being lost and that’s fine. But try hard not to stay there too long. We are to pass that “dark forest” for us to see the light, our ray of hope. Sometimes got to be lost to be found! I think that’s the reason why the song, Amazing Grace resonates strongly.

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound. That save a wretch; like me! I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see. Two thousand years ago, there’s a man who showed us our lostness that He died for our sins, the reason why we experience freedom now. Christ Died for Our Sins that We Might Die to Sin

5. BE A REAL FRIEND BY BEING WILLING TO BE PART OF THE JOURNEY

 the journey

Friendship is a journey. It’s not a one time get to know each other and that’s it.

⇒ Be a real friend by making sure that you’re always trying to be a part of your friend’s life both in joy and in pain.

In times of joy, be happy and celebrate with your friend. Be one of the reasons why a friend is having the best birthday, wedding, or baby shower ever. 

In times of pain, be there and listen. 

Be ready and willing to allow your friends to be part of your journey as well.  It’s always a give-and-take relationship. 

6. BE A REAL FRIEND BY BELIEVING IN ONE'S DREAMS

 the traveler

With Thesa and other dear friends, we shared our dreams together. We endlessly talked about the places we wanted to go to, and some indeed came true. Still so many places to visit, we’ll keep dreaming and someday we could say, “We’ve travelled the world!” 

I guess, putting our dreams on paper, it  doesn’t matter if it’s a drawing or journal, is a way of making a contract with self that in the near or distant future, we will accomplish some and abandon some.

⇒ Be a real friend by believing and reminding a friend what she’s always wanted to do, where she’s always wanted to go, and what she’s always wanted to become. 

7. BE A REAL FRIEND BY DARING TO BREAK A WALL

 guarded

Going back to the first time Thesa and I met, I mentioned about the “wall”. For her, that “wall” was this “broken wall” after a year of knowing me. She was proud of herself that she’s able to break through that wall and enter my world.

All the while, I thought I could just be a friend to anyone. I thought of myself as easy to get along with, warm personality, big smile, so I was sure people would see me as an amiable person. But I realized that I could do that if in my comfort zone.

When I left home, I also left what’s familiar – family, friends, church, etc.  and so unknowingly, I built a wall to guard myself. I’m grateful that Thesa is a real friend who cared to see and dared to break that wall. 

⇒ The breaking of a wall is your willingness to reach out and give efforts in making relationships work. I once read a quote and wrote it on my journal October 6, 2009 entry, “The power is not on the one who care less, for in caring less there is no happiness.”  I tried checking on the source to include it here, but it led me to another quote that bugs me, “The person who cares the least has the most power in the relationship.”

Well, comparing those 2 quotes, I’d rather be powerless but happy. So I’d choose to care more than care less. 

To triumph and keep a friendship…

BE REAL! 

CARE TO SEE! CARE MORE! 

DARE TO BREAK A WALL! 

by The WaitPower Lady

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