The Real Meaning of Friendship

real meaning of friendship

I'll tell you the litmus test for any friendship worth a hoot, and although it won't shock you, I hope it will provoke you to examine how your current friendships are functioning. Here's how to know what you're in for: a friendship's longevity and meaningfulness can be measured by the degree to which the two of you can be real with one another. That's it.   

There's a tipping point in every friendship, when you either mutually decide to be deep and raw and vulnerable with one another or not. This unspoken, pivotal moment takes you in one of two directions: the land of friend magic or the conversation graveyard. If you've spent enough time with someone to consider them a friend but can't seem to jump the fence from basic chat over to the good stuff, you're never going to have those talks that truly connect you on a meaningful level or allow you to really see one another. 

Sharing your realness is the soul glue of friendship; it's the intangible substance that bonds you together like a hair on soap. It creates the trust and support necessary to sustain your relationship. Establishing an atmosphere where both people can be authentic is the full fat version of friendship — anything else is the "light" option. 

If you want to test what version of friendship you're currently experiencing with someone, try dropping some real shit in your friend's lap and see what they do with it. Do they pick it up, set it aside and walk away? Or do they tenderly embrace it then gently hand it back to you with the warmth of their body still lingering on it? And if you're being honest with yourself, you can probably answer this question without actually performing the test. 

One of the most transformative things that happens when you're open and honest in friendship is that you can be seen and heard for who you truly are; and you see and hear your friend as their authentic self as well. The more two people are seen and heard the stronger compassion and understanding grows, allowing judgement to melt away. Which is how you get to the real meaning of friendship: to love and be loved as the truest version of yourself, unconditionally, with someone you voluntarily choose.  

To attract the type of friends who are going to add to your life in this beautiful way, you have to be willing to be brave, authentic, and the kind of person who gently embraces the real shit a friend drops in your lap. Don't be timid about being that person first — your boldness will encourage the other person to either reciprocate or exit. And the correct color will light up on your litmus paper.