I used to be great friends with this girl. In fact, it’s safe to say that I looked at her as a sister. From sleepovers, to multiple hours of girl talk, to holding onto each other’s secrets for dear life. I just knew she had my back, and you couldn’t convince me otherwise. Well one day, we were both hanging out in her room listening to music like we always did on the weekends. In the middle of one of the songs playing, she turned down the music and randomly turned to me and said “Oh! Girl I forgot to tell you what ”so and so” said!” I assumed she was just going to tell me a funny story about a conversation she had earlier. But to my surprise, what she had to tell me… was about me. She happened to be in a conversation with a group of people and as they were talking, some pretty hurtful things were said about me. Of course, no one enjoys hearing that they are being talked about in a derogatory manner. But instead of asking her more details about what they said about me, the first question that came out of my mouth was “And what did you say?” When I asked her that question, she just looked at me. A few moments later, she tried to remedy the situation by swearing she didn’t say anything and convincing me not to worry about their remarks. But it was those few moments of silence that told me everything I needed to know. Those few moments of silence revealed a wound in that was present in our friendship that could never quite be repaired. For the first time, in our friendship we experienced an awkward silence, and as she tried to change the topic of the conversation to distract my mind… my thoughts just kept racing. At that point, what all those people said didn’t matter to me,. Instead, the only pain I felt was realizing that my best friend failed to defend me. I was upset at imagining the sight of people saying awful things about her best friend of almost 4 years, and she just stood there allowing it to happen. I was upset that she didn’t have the courage, or even the desire to stick up for me when I was unable to stick up for myself. Most importantly, I was disappointed that they even felt comfortable talking about me negatively in front of her at all.
No friendship is perfect, but every friendship has expectations. And if someone is lucky enough to have you call them a friend, they should value that title. If people feel comfortable discussing you negatively to your friends, that shows a reflection on how others perceive their reverence for your friendship. Your friends without ANY doubt, should love you, defend you, and protect you not only in your presence…but in your absence. You should be able to trust that when your haters and naysayers are on a mission to destroy you, your friends will gladly opt to stand up for the honorable outlook that you uphold. Your friendship should be so solidified that outsiders wouldn’t even dare to try and speak negatively of you. Because they know that if they even try, they’ll have a defense greater than the United States army ready to attack and preserve your good name. And sometimes are friends say nothing in these situations. But what they fail to realize, is that although silence is perceived as “harmless”, in reality, it sends the message that your friendship and your character in the sight of others isn’t even worth defending. And by silently enabling others to talk down on me, you’re subconsciously saying that you agree. With true friends, you never have to wonder…you never have to question…you never have to search for their loyalty… because its already there without you even asking.
As far as my friend and I, we eventually drifted apart. But from her, I learned to not only keep my enemies close….but also the importance of finding TRUE friends, and keeping them even closer.