“And if you call me at 4am, too sad to even say hello, I will listen to your silence until you fall asleep.” ~ Unknown.
The writer of this quote is unknown, but it could have been any of us. Any one of us who has encountered true friendship. When it comes to friendship, the importance is in quality, not quantity.
The importance is in having people (or a person) who will pick up the phone at 4am and listen to your sad silence until you fall asleep. A person who is actually invested in your life and wants to grow with you. Someone who will not only give you well thought out and helpful advice but also hold your hand through a storm.
You have to consider what actually matters at the end of the day. You can have fun with anyone. But not everyone you have fun with is your friend. You need to sift through all your relationships and arrange them into friendships and acquaintanceship. An acquaintanceship is less intimate than a friendship. It is defined by the Macmillan dictionary as ‘someone you know a little’. Truly knowing someone is not a simple matter of knowing their favourite colour, their favourite drink, and the type of car they wish to drive one day. Does this person, that you call your friend, know your deepest desires in life? Do they know the traumatic experiences that have shaped you into who you are today? Do they know that bad habit you keep as a secret and are they able to hold you accountable for it? That’s what matters at the end of the day. Someone who understands you.
Friendships are a beautiful thing in that you share your life, both the negatives and the positives, with someone. Obviously, if you’re not having fun, then you’re not doing friendship right! But the truth is that it has to go beyond that. It has to go beyond the clubs and the shopping. A friendship is intimate. You’re opening up yourself to someone and sharing your raw and authentic self with them, and they’re doing the same.
Some people become disillusioned by looking at the large number of people that surround them and reach the conclusion that they have many friends. It’s not about the quantity. You may have 20 “friends” and the day you need someone to pick up the phone at 4am there will be no one. Just 20 missed calls.
Jesus is the perfect example. He had 12 disciples, but within them, He also had an inner circle which consisted of his three best friends: Peter, James, and John. With them He shared his most glorious moments and his most painful moments (such as the Agony in the Garden). They knew Jesus the best. They knew who He was on the inside, his courage, as well as his fears. (Arkansas CATHOLIC).
To add on, a friend will encourage you to be the best version of yourself. A friend wants to see you win! One statement that I have never understood is “fake friend”. If they are fake, they are not a friend. If you feel negative vibes emanating from them when you share good news, they are not a friend! A true friend will be so happy for you that you wonder who the good news really belongs to.
That being said, we cannot expect others to become what we are not. Before anything else, we must make sure that we ourselves are good friends. Friends that will pick up the phone at 4am and listen to their unhappy silence until they fall asleep.
Life is too short to call mediocre relationships friendships. It’s too short to intimately share with people who are not completely on your team. It is beneficial to evaluate your relationships and see who exactly in your life is a friend. That way, when you need to make that 4am call, you know exactly who will answer.