Often in the past I’ve spoken about how I have a very small family of friends, but that’s because I hold each one of them to be so near and dear to my heart. Past friendships have made it a bit difficult for me to let my guard down so that others can fully get to know me. It wasn’t until this past October that I realized just how bad I must be at being completely open with those who are dear friends of mine. Someone who I would consider to be one of my very closest friends said, “I can’t believe that in almost ten years of knowing each other, I never realized until now much I really didn’t know. I’m so glad that in the last few months we’ve had a chance to spend more time together because I learned so much about you.”
After I closed my mouth from shock, I sat back and realized that I must really keep more to myself than I thought. I’ve had the end of the year to kick back and reflect on this, as it isn’t the first time someone has pointed out to me that I tend to keep everything to myself and I can only attribute it to how I have been my whole life. Being an only child, I didn’t have any brothers or sisters to become close with and throughout my formative years I only had a couple of people I would have considered over the years to be best friends. Unfortunately, aside from an amazing friend I had in my early school years, the rest turned around and burned me at some point before the end of high school and I became really good at learning it was best to not get too close to people.
Being in entertainment throughout the years, I’ve always been surrounded by the type of people that are my polar opposite by needing to be known and loved by everyone. It’s funny how there are very few that tend to be in the middle of the spectrum on this one, but it’s also something that is generated by experiences we all went through while growing up. Here is a suggestion to both sides of the spectrum that can be useful whether you have 5 friends or 500. Make sure you are taking the time to nurture the relationships you have with that those that matter the most to you. Although you should be courteous, kind and polite with everyone, you don’t have to be friends with everyone around you as it leaves you little time to focus on those friends who are the most important in your life.
Being a good friend is hard work. It takes patience, persistence, and lots of trust to form a strong friendship that can endure many years of crazy experiences. I was fortunate to strengthen several of my friendships last year by finally learning that being a good friend includes sharing just as much as it does listening. I was also put into several situations that made me stop and think if the friendship was one I should be a part of after a few incidents. In the end I know one thing for sure, I’m beyond thrilled that the few close friends I have in my life have been there with me through it all as I have been with them as well. I’m looking forward to many more years full of laughter, joy, tears, and sorrow with them as everything always seems better when there are there to experience it all with me.