Monday, November 23, 2009

+ = -

Last night, as I was on the phone with one of my good friends, (shout out to John! ‘sup dude?!) we started talking about how we met, and how our relationship had blossomed into a beautiful friendship flower, and how our whole group of friends had formed. It’s actually pretty interesting, tracing the lineage of your friendship tree. It’s cool to map out exactly how you met the people that you love and care about.
So, if you have some free time, sit down and list your closest friends. If you’re super popular, maybe just list ten friends. If you don’t have ten friends, than maybe this exercise isn’t for you. Here is what you should do:
- If you can, write a short description about the first time you met them. If you can’t remember the exact time or place, then you’re a terrible friend and should probably take them off your list. Just kidding. But seriously, write down everything you can remember about how you met that person. First impressions. Who introduced you? How long have you been friends?
- Once you have your list made, then go back through your friends and write why they are your friend. How good of friends are you? What makes them friendly? Why do you get along so well?
- Lastly, go back through the list one more time and grade your friendship, using three different symbols. +, -, and =. If you think you give more to the relationship than your friend, put a +. If you think you give less to the relationship than your friend, put a -. If you think you put the same amount to the relationship as your friend, put a =. Once you’ve done this, you’re done.

Obviously, this is probably an activity that you wouldn’t necessarily share with your friends, but it could be a real eye opener to you. Hopefully, your friendship tree will be graded with a bunch of = signs, but chances are, it won’t look like that. If your chart is filled with + signs, then you’re doing your part as a friend. However, maybe you should take a look as to why you’re friends with that person. If you’re constantly putting in more work, time and effort into your relationships, then maybe the people you call your friends are nothing more than acquaintances. If your chart is filled with – signs, then you need to step your game up. Don’t be lazy, and take your friendships for granted, because before you know it, they’ll be gone. All the people that you’ve clung onto and used for their friendship, will leave and spend time with the people who are reciprocating the act of friendship.
I’ll be honest, I haven’t written down my friendship tree yet, but I’m going to do it this week. I’m a little nervous to see what I find, but I think it will be a great check-up. So, if you have some time, give it a try. Let me know if you liked it.
I’ll leave you with this. I know that being a good friend and finding that place in your heart where you can truly LOVE your friends is one of the greatest, and hardest things that we have to deal with. I looked up the definition of "friend" on, and this is what I found.

Friend: a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.

Now let’s break that down:
- The best part of this definition in my opinion is the word "attached." The word attached means, joined; connected; bound.
- Affection means: fond attachment, devotion, love
- Personal Regard means: to have or show respect or concern for.

So, I guess if we break down the defintion it would look something like this:

A friend is a person that is joined, connected, and bound to another by feelings of devotion or love, who shows respect and concern for!

Look up again at what a friend is and ask yourself first...are you a "friend?" Does the definition describe you? Second, are the people you surround yourself with "friends?" do the people that you call "friends" attach themselves to you and pour on love and show you respect and would they do anything for you?

Just something to think about…

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