How Long Should You Know Someone Before They Are Considered A Friend?
Here’s an exercise for you to try. Take out a piece of paper and start writing the names of everyone you would consider a friend. I know there are various definitions of friendship, but for this task let’s consider people who you like to be around and you trust. Your list certainly would include your best friends and confidants, but it should also include people that you just enjoy going to the movies with or meeting with socially.
I used to think that for me to consider someone a friend that I needed to have known them for a long time or we needed to have a lot of shared experiences. As I have gotten older I have come to realize that I have the ability to choose my friends even after just meeting the person for the first time. Yes, I have good friends that I have known since high school, but I also have met a lot of quality people in the last few years that I am proud to call my friend.
I believe that categorizing someone as a friend is a choice that we all have. To me, sharing myself with someone else and bringing them into my circle of friends is a very freeing and uplifting experience. I am opening my heart to that person and sharing a part of myself. I then am honored and touched when they allow me to share in their life also. Occasionally, I find that my offer of friendship is not reciprocated. That’s OK because everyone has a right to their own opinion. I accept the relationship for what it is and continue to be open to other people.
I feel strongly that life is too short harbor bitterness or jealousy towards anyone. My life is full in large part because I am willing to extend the hand of friendship to everyone that I meet. Why don’t you try it? You might like it.