Everybody sing! “Friends!” (You know you’ll be singing that song for at least the next 18 hours, right?)
Have you ever noticed that whenever you have something on your mind, pretty much every fourth Facebook status update alludes to it in some way? Well, lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship.
Here are the top ten things I need in a friend (DISCLAIMER: This list will and SHOULD change for you. This is MY list. Make your own. Damnit.):
- Laughter. O.M.G. You must make me laugh, or laugh at my jokes, or laugh with me, or laugh at me. I don’t care which, but laughter must be involved.
- Consistency. In some way, I need to know I can count on you. Note: You do not have to be consistent in all ways; nobody is. But, I need to know that some element of our relationship provides a touchstone in my life.
- A sense of unconditionality. Face it. The only way I’m going to tell you my deep, dark secrets is if I have some assurance that on the deepest levels they won’t change a damn thing about the core of us.
- Predictability. I want to have a basic ability to know what you would say or what you would do . . . because you’re just so darn solid.
- Spontaneity. Don’t be TOO predictable. Every now and then, I would want you to be the one to say, “Hell, yeah. Let’s go!”
- Intelligence. Sorry about this one, but you’ve got to be intelligent. You need to stimulate my thinking. Fortunately, my best friends all do this almost constantly.
- Flexibility. Although I rarely change plans, I like to be around people whose response to changed plans (mine or others) is, “No problem.”
- Faults. There should never be more than one perfect person in any relationship.
- Analytical skills. If I could figure my way through my own problems, I wouldn’t need friends. And, lord, do I need friends.
- Compassion. I will need it from you when I make mistakes, and the best way I will know I can get it from you is by watching you express it toward others.
I make no claims that this list is complete or in any way perfect, but it’s pretty damn close for now. My dearest friends have all of these. I only hope I can give them back even half of what they give to me.