Making A List And Checking It Twice

To my chagrin, my birthday is just around the corner. I’ll admit I am not one of those huge birthday fans when it comes to celebrating my own. Everyone else’s? Yes please. But there’s simply something awkward about being the center of attention for an entire night. I always end up running around trying to make sure everyone’s having a good time and that my varied groups of friends are all getting along and nobody’s feeling left out. It ends up being a chore rather than a relaxing celebration. So I had it in mind that I would keep any celebration this year extremely low key… So low key, perhaps I’d make the celebration non-existent. Until my best friend Michelle twisted my arm to have at least a small party to celebrate.

Baby BeeBee?

(This looks like it could be a baby BeeBee, doesn’t it??) Random Internet find #4,762

“Just invite your BEST, best friends,” she said. “Keeping it really small will make it a fun night so you won’t feel stressed. You can just focus on those who really matter.”

So I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship lately. Who knew this year would be a birthday full of soul-searching? What do I consider the top qualities that dictate who my true friends are? My BEST, best friends, as Michelle puts it. The ones who never let me down and always make me feel loved, or at least try to. Not the periphery characters who call themselves friends, but only touch base on Facebook or are constantly checking their Instagram likes, looking distracted in the middle of a conversation.

I’m keeping this list simple, but I think I’ve narrowed the necessities down to the Top 3 qualities of a true friend. Let me know what I’ve missed in the comments section if you have a Top List of your own.

1. Friendly Support

There’s something called “friendly competition.” I don’t think there’s a place for it at all amongst great friends. We should treat each other like sisters and not like foes, no matter how “friendly” we label our conduct. Does your friend support you in the things she says? Does she make supportive comments that bolster your self-esteem, rather than tear it down? It seems obvious that we should and would never have friends in our lives who make us question our worth or cause us to doubt our abilities, but it is more common than one might think to have at least one of these Debbie Downers flying under the radar in our circle of friends. A true friend communicates with you in an encouraging and compassionate way–not with back-handed statements or pessimistic, not-so-helpful opinions guised as genuine advice.

2. Loving Ears

How simple is the mere act of listening to a friend? So simple and yet it does wonders for maintaining your connection and for the evolution of your friendship. It’s rarer than it seems to find a friend who truly listens to you and makes an effort to really hear what you’re saying, instead of simply waiting for the moment they can get the conversation back onto themselves. A true friend seeks understanding instead of leaping to assumptions about what they think you’re saying. A good friend also keeps it in mind to open up the conversation so you’re each talking about the same amount of time, instead of one person always taking center stage.

3. Making An Effort

Does your friend remember what you’ve said to her, especially if it’s important, and keep you in mind throughout the week? It gets difficult as we get older to maintain best friendships because you’re no longer seeing friends everyday at school, at clubs or at practices. Instead, you have to mark it on your calendar and make an effort to cultivate friendships so they don’t drift into the ether. A good friend is reminded of you randomly and doesn’t let too much time slip by before checking in or asking to hang out or catch up. They fit each other into their busy schedules, no matter what it takes. If it can only be for a quick cup of coffee or a Skype date, then so be it, but a good friend will make it happen. And on occasion true friends will put aside a lot more time for you so new great memories can be created with each other.

Thinking about all this, I now have my list of BEST, best friends. It’s a short list, but the few are worth many and are all people I love and can count on for all times. Who would be on your list and how would you decide what makes a true friend?

Thanks for reading, everyone. 🙂 Lisi will be back next week with another ah-mazing Blah-g post.

x x

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9 thoughts on “Making A List And Checking It Twice

  1. This was a great post! After college I found it was a lot harder than I thought to stay in touch with people I was once close with, but as you get older you realize it’s a lot more important to have a couple of good reliable friends than it is to look cool in group Facebook photos. Best of luck with the bday gathering 🙂

  2. Hey Alisha,

    Great post! I totally agree with the whole “Friendly Support” thing. Teenage girls tend to get so jealous of each other and act as if everything is a competition, from grades to extra-curriculars to boyfriends to looks in general and it is seriously draining and a waste of time, trying to compare yourself to a friend.
    This is just a general statement, but surrounding yourself with positive friends is a must. It brings up your overall spirit and personality and it’s just too often I see someone being influenced by their friends’ bad attitudes.

  3. Great post! My friendships used to be pretty toxic, on both sides, but thankfully I’ve found some true blue besties who will be there for me. Glad you do too! And let Lisi know that I hope she and her friend getting things sorted and that everything ends up okay. ❤
    Laura
    Oh and BTW, if anyone's interested, I just started a YouTube channel. Click on my name for the link to my cover of Autumn Leaves by Ed Sheeran. I'd really appreciate any support I can get. Thanks guys! 😉

  4. Sweet post x) My friends and I tend to finish each other’s sentences at times, but I donno if that’s just creepy. And I’m not a birthday person myself… in the sense that I really really hate birthdays and have never celebrated my own since the moment I got a choice in it. I’m like that late-40s woman who can’t let go of the fact she’s growing older and… less attractive… and still paints on the makeup. Except my problem isn’t the physical or romantic… I just ilke being a kid ^_^

  5. Lisi could u please please make movies of the other clique books please because I’m having a hard time visualizing it!:( PLEASE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Alisha another great post. Thank you for filling in for me yesterday while I was with Jenn. Her mom passed away and I was at the funeral. I got a speeding ticket on the way because I was afraid I’d be late. How’s that for a friend? 🙂 One more thing to add to your list is the ability to forgive. We’re all human and no matter how hard we try to be there for each other sometimes we mess up. A true friend will be honest about their feelings and then forgive instead of holding a grudge. Just saying.

    • I completely agree. I knew I’d leave something off the list! Accepting our imperfect nature, having forgiveness and compassion for our friends and ourselves–even when they or we mess up–is definitely essential to a true friendship. Thanks, Lisi. 🙂

  7. Great post! I feel like in current friendships, friends (not unlike the pretty committee) make mean comebacks and remarks that are meant as jokes. Things like, “EW, you’re wearing that? HA! I’m totally kidding,” and they sometimes hurt. To me, that is. I sometimes think, what if they mean it? Plus, my friends are total dramaqueens (don’t get me wrong, I can sometimes be one too) and annoying. They basically will talk about one friend to another, then go hang out with that friend she just talked about! Plus, just today we were all talking about hanging out, but I have lacrosse in the mornings so I had to miss swim. Then, after my practice I texted her.
    SHE DIDN’T REPLY FOR 3 HOURS!
    Then she was all, “Oh, sorry! We were just having such a good time. What’s up?” “Nothing much. You.” I was talking in an annoyed tone, but she was too annoying to care. “Hanging out with ***** and *******. Gotta go. Bye.” and hung up the stupid phone.
    After the phone call, I actually sat down and was like, I hate her.
    I know, dramaqueen on me. But this has been happening for weeks and I’m tired of it. They won’t stop asking me to hang out though, and I don’t just want to ditch them.
    But how do I ditch my friends I’ve been friends with since I was six?
    Plus, I have school friends I like a lot better than them.
    What do I do?

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