Why did I feel this need? Because my verra bestest friend in the world was sad and suffering thanks to the actions of a couple of people she considered friends. In true Best Friend fashion, my fangs descended and my hair spontaneously combusted. And it started me thinking about friendship and led to that status update.
Several of my FB friends answered. Yippee! A sign of friendship, I think, that you're moved to comment about someone's FB status. And yanno what? Of the handful of answers posted, only one was posted by someone I've actually met in "real life"---a friend from high school, actually. :) The comments addressed not liking to lose friends on FB due to disagreements on politics and/or religion (gee, if I wanted to be friends with people who agreed with my views, I'd clone myself and be done with it) to a few prefaced with "Friendship is..." And yes, I'm going to copy/paste those here.
Robin: What I have found on FB is that friends will "un-friend" me if they disagree with my beliefs and views-- but I try to understand why they think the way they do. Doesn't always work, but I hate to lose friends over politics or religion.
Susan: Friendship is having someone on speed dial who you can spill your guts to, exchange nonsensical banter with, who will laugh and cry with you, share your joy, calm you down when you're irate, reassure you when you're upset and help you see things from another point of view when you're so immersed in a situation you can't find your way out. Friends give you the advice you may not want to hear, but need to. And the fact that you may not have ever met this friend "in person" is totally irrelevant.
Aida: The funny thing is that the friends that I have made on FB and elsewhere are turning into real friendships. I love knowing people who have different beliefs and opionions cause like Laura I may actually learn something new that I wouldn't have thought of before. If people are unfriending you because of this then they aren't true friends after all and not necessary in your life. The simple act of just having someone hear you out is the real meaning of friendship to me. It's not what can you do for me.
Jon E: Friendship is knowing what you say will not effect how the other person feels about you. Also knowing that you will do anything for them and vise versa.
Liz: Friends are also the ones you can talk with, even years later, and it's like no time has passed at all.
Gee. I don't think I could've said it any better myself. Susan's definition definitely resonates with me, as does Jon E's and Liz's. The only thing I can think to add is...
A true friend is loyal.
A true friend won't stab you in the back to make you look bad so they look better than you.
A true friend isn't judgemental.
A true friend accepts you as you are---warts AND diamond tiaras.
A true friend will tell you to your face that your breath stinks, then offer you a breath mint.
A true friend will tell you that shade of hot pink not only looks ridiculous on you and makes you look like you have liver problems, but will also hunt high and low with you at the store until you find a shade of pink that makes you look awesome.
A true friend will cry just because you are crying.
A true friend will sympathize with you when you have a milestone birthday, and then put it in perspective for you: "40 sucks, yeah, but 50 sucks even more. See what you have to look forward to?"
A true friend will tell you she's been wearing multi-focal lenses for years and survived when you bemoan you've passed into the Progressive Lenses Years even as she's laughing herself stupid over it (Thanks, Sherry, that made me feel better. :D).
A true friend is a gem, even more brillant and valuable than the biggest, sparkliest diamond ever found. And if you have one or more true friends, savor and treasure your friendships.