What makes a good friend? Is it someone who saves you the last Oreo or binges Netflix with you on a warm, sunny day? Is it someone who sticks by you no matter what or calls you on your bullshit? Is it someone with whom you feel most like yourself?
I’m an adult. I have the privilege of choosing whom I want to surround myself with but, sometimes, that’s an incredibly daunting task because I have to determine which friends are worth having. I see value in everyone. It’s hard to prioritize friendships. It’s hard to let some go.
Since college, I’ve had to make some tough calls regarding friendships. I’ve also been at the receiving end. More than once, I’ve been told, “Being friends with you is a lot of work.” That sucked.
So, my question is: Should friendship be easy?
Yes, some friendships are less maintenance than others. But, just because a friendship takes more energy, doesn’t mean it has less value. We’ve been conditioned to believe that the truest friendships come easily. On the contrary, some of my closest friendships took a long time to build and require a lot of energy to maintain. Their value lies in reciprocity. Friendships are a balancing act; a give and take. Both people need to put in the same amount of time and energy. Those are the friends who challenge each other and, thus, make each other better.
So, what makes a good friend? A good friend is someone who commits time and energy to someone else without expecting anything in return. (And yes, she also saves you the last Oreo.) A good friendship is when two people do that for each other.