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Finding A Loyal Friend

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It seems rare, these days, to find a person who will stick with you and not just up and leave when something else catches their eye. Maybe this happens more to girls than it does to guys, but I know throughout junior high and high school, a majority of my “friends” left me. The reasons were various and petty, like not liking the advice or opinion I gave them, not liking my friendship with someone else, we just agreed to disagree, and one left me because she didn’t like that I was better at flirting than she was. It totally makes it sound like they all left me because I’m psycho, or I’m always doing something wrong, but I promise that wasn’t the case. It’s not that I didn’t choose to leave them behind, but I learned it wasn’t worth it to fight to get them back. I didn’t need lame friends that seemed to look for reasons to leave me.

I went onto college and it still happened. One roommate was my best friend for almost three years, then when me and this other girl clashed and she had to make a choice, she chose the other for reasons unknown and I haven’t heard from her since.

Another close friend of mine, since I was 10 and she was nine, slowly drifted away when she and I went to different colleges and was involved with track, making new friends there, which is great and bound to happen. But even after I transferred to the same college, she made the effort to hang out with other people from our hometown, and seemed to always leave me out, because clearly, our decade-long friendship now meant nothing.

Here’s the thing: I didn’t do anything to make them leave. I gave them my full trust, I kept their secrets, trusted them with mine, we did fun things, I would suggest new things to try, we had a great time together, and I always gave them my full loyalty, vowing to myself that I would never hurt them on purpose, and I would never leave unless they gave me a reason.

So, why was I the one being ditched?

It’s not like there’s one right answer, but maybe all these “friends” knew I would always be there. That they could go off and do their own thing and when that got boring, they would come back to the stability of a friendship with me, because they knew I wasn’t going to up and leave. I have never thought, and still don’t think, loyalty is a bad thing. Loyalty is the vital thing that keeps relationships of all kind together, so yeah, duh, we kind of need to have it if we don’t want to be alone in life. But is there such a thing as too loyal? Personally, no. There is no such thing as being too loyal.

The thing people need to realize is that they can’t just throw people around in life, using and disposing them when they don’t give you any personal benefit anymore.

Believe it or not, friendships aren’t business contracts that when all assets or benefits are exhausted, it is discontinued, broken, or annulled. People have feelings too. When one friendship ends, it’s not always a relief for you; the person on the other side hurts because maybe they didn’t get the goodbye, explanation, or apology they deserve, and don’t get what drove you away. What happened to fixing things before they were tossed out? Just because there’s a disagreement does not constitute ending a friendship or relationship. In case nobody’s realized, everyone is different; no one is going to do everything you want, and that doesn’t mean you should force it on them either. It’s called give and take, not take, take, take.

Generally, the loyal friends are a little introverted. They take things to heart, and can’t really keep things on a surface level, as they are usually found in the deep end of conversation and thought. They are also service oriented- they want to help you out as much as they can because they genuinely care for you. They are the givers in the relationship, and the other half takes what the introvert gives. Part of the problem in today’s society is that everyone is for themselves. Everyone is looking out for themselves, doing things for themselves, and plow everyone who gets in their way, leaving the friends or significant others around them as collateral damage, or casualties in the war within themselves. Not enough trust is being given in friendships because people are paranoid, keeping themselves guarded against the sting of betrayal.

But why is everyone so paranoid? When did it become normal to doubt the intentions of the other person?

These loyal friends don’t have that issue. They don’t see other people they begin friendships with as have ulterior motives or a secret agenda to rip them to shreds. They take this new person at face value, exploring what makes you who you are, and what makes you unique. They want to discover the dusty corners of your brain and understand you, not use you. They give a majority of people the benefit of the doubt, wanting to see them as the good person they know is in there somewhere. But is that really so scary to everyone else? Having a friend that wants to fully accept and understand you and be there when you don’t accept or understand yourself? Are friendships now supposed to stay surface level? Are they supposed to consist of shallow subjects like, what burrito they’re craving, or what their high score on candy crush is? Since when did it become a social norm to look for friendships that never delve into the deeper things in life and ditch those who do?

Maybe if we put down our phones, stop making our lives seem a certain way on social media, and wake up to the reality that we can’t shirk responsibility for the rest of our lives, we would see that loyal friends in life are the ones we want and need in our lives. Not only because they will be there to support you, but because they will be there to ask you the hard questions and help you figure out whatever you’re having trouble with. They aren’t there to judge you, make you feel stupid, or compete with you; they’re there for you, just like they need you to be there for them when things get hard in their life because they can only give so much before there is nothing left to give.

By Valerie Daggs

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