I read a post on Facebook not too long ago, comparing true friends to “bus friends” If you think of your life as a bus journey, these are the friends that are along for the ride, a temporary companion. They will sit next to you, talk to you, and even gossip with you, until the bus reaches their stop. Then they get off the bus, and they go about their own life. You might feel a sense of loneliness for a while, but only until someone else gets on and decides to sit by you. These people will be by your side only when you’re traveling in the same direction.
When I read this analogy, it was like a switch inside my brain finally flickered on. Before I moved away from home, there were quite a few people who I classified as my close friends. Well, now I have been gone for a little over a year now, and I communicate with next to none of those people. And that’s okay. Those people were my bus friends. We had a lot of fun together while we were on the same ride, but eventually the bus reached my stop and I had to go my own way.
But what makes a true friend? Friendship is one of those things that can be quite tricky to define, mostly because friendship means different things to different people. To me, a true friend is someone who is there for you throughout all of life’s ups and downs. It’s easy to find someone to support you through all of your success, but it’s the people that stick around through adversity that are worthy of your friendship.
A true friend is someone who will not only accept you just the way you are, but will also push you to accept yourself. Whether you’re feeling nervous for a job interview, or you’re looking in the mirror and hating what you see, a true friend will be there to pick you up when you’re down. They’re not afraid of pulling you back down to earth. We’re all human, therefore we all have flaws. As much as we would like to think so, we aren’t always right. Be friends with someone who is not afraid to tell you when you’re wrong. After all, honesty is what sets true friendships apart from superficial ones.
Real friends are the ones who listen, not the ones who listen for a short period of time, only to bring the conversation back to themselves. I don’t know about you, but I feel significantly less fulfilled when someone keeps talking about themselves during MY venting session. True friends are present. Not necessary geographically, but they give us their full attention and awareness. Last but definitely not least, true friends are the people who bring out the best in you—one of the greatest gifts friendship offers.
To my bus friends- thank you for the good times.
To my real friends- thank you for listening, thank you for being present, and thank you for bringing out the best in me.