Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Full-Featured Friend

The other day my friend Rich and I were texting about a goofy conversation we had shared over the weekend about meat (seriously, it was just goofy -- I can no longer hear that word without giggling). As most conversations between us go, it veered wildly into discussions about anemones and clown fish and Brahms and eventually settled into something normal about his family heading out of town for a bit of time early next month. I suggested that while we could in no way make up for his family, we should absolutely get together while they were gone to ease the lonely. The conversation wrapped up with the following:
Rich: Thanks for quasi-adopting me while they're away.
Me: Well, keeping people sane is just one of the features I offer.
Rich: True. You're quite the full-featured friend. :-)
I. Love. It.


Seriously. Full-featured friend? That could be the best phrase I've ever heard with regard to friendship.


So I started thinking about what kind of features I want in a friend. Here's my list.
  1. They make me laugh -- Maybe it's totally shallow, but honestly, that is one of the top features I look for in a friend. Life is unbearably funny. I want a friend who understands and thrives with that. And who helps me find the funny when I'm having a hard time seeing it (because seriously, everything is funny).
  2. They make me think -- As much as I love to be entertained, I also need to be challenged. I love it when someone gives me something to chew on mentally. I can't express how many blog posts have come from conversations I've had with friends who challenge the way I think.
  3. I can be honest with them -- Very little endears me to someone more than the ability for me to be honest. If someone asks me a question, I appreciate it when I can answer unedited. It's good to know that a relationship can withstand "wrong" answers. That's a pretty rare thing.
  4. They are willing to be honest with me -- Even though it's not necessarily easy to hear, I want my friends to be honest with me. If I'm being a jerk, I want someone to tell me. A constant that I find among my closest friends is that they are able to deliver the truth to me in a way that lifts me up, even if it's a criticism.
  5. They know how to hug -- Not that side hug stuff -- real hugs. No matter what my mood is, a full embrace will improve it. When words can't cut it, a hug will. 
  6. They play -- This one is big to me because this is is an area where I am lacking. I don't have an innate ability to play, so I rely on my friends to help me access my need to be a kid once in a while.
  7. They are characterized by love -- When they evaluate a situation, a full-featured friend will choose to be loving. I've seen some close to me be in situations where the loving choice was not the easy choice and have made it anyway. That speaks volumes to me about their character.
  8. They have unbridled passion -- (Okay, I'm adding this one in a few hours later, but I can't let this post rest without it!) Watching or listening to someone fully immerse themselves into something that they love is intoxicating. They don't have to mirror my own passions (though that's always a plus), but I do love to see my friends engaged in what moves them. It's truly beautiful.
So there you have it. I can't think of someone genuinely close to me that doesn't have every one of those features. I have friends that may not be full-featured, which is totally okay! But those truly close (my bffs, as it were) have it all. I am crazy lucky to have a couple of full-featured friends.

What kinds of things do you look for in a full-featured friend? And no kidding, am I wrong, or is that not just the best phrase ever?
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I'm a wife to an amazing man, and mom to four incredible kids. I'm a Christian woman who sometimes struggles with doubt. I'm a musician and a writer who is sometimes afraid to play and write. I'm trying to be more authentic every day.
 
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