Friday, May 14, 2010

Good Friends Vs. Great Friends

I realize that writing an entry about my friendships doesn't at first seem like it has anything to do with my weight loss journey. However, since I'm attempting to improve my WHOLE self -- body, mind and soul -- I feel like it's important to evaluate my relationships and how they effect me.

In short, I've hit the jackpot when it comes to friends. Some studies were done recently where researchers concluded that on average, people have only two very close friends whom they feel that they can confide in. I'd say I have about 50 people whom I consider good friends and out of those, about 10 are extremely close friends -- the type of people whom I can tell anything to and who I think of as family. I even have one close friend whom I've literally known since birth. How many people can say that?

My luck with friendships has been reinforced for me even more as I've dealt with my broken leg. Several of my friends have gone above and beyond when it comes to doing favors for me. My best guy friend drove me to the doctor's and was with Jon and me in the examination room as I got my bone popped into place. Another good friend picked up my wheelchair for me. Another, who is a doctor, patiently took harried calls from me as I questioned her about some medical issues I was dealing with. And still another actually schlepped over an hour to the hospital so that she could comfort me as I awaited my leg surgery. Meanwhile, I'm getting to know a newish friend/neighbor, who's already offered to help me out in several ways; I forsee us becoming close, as well.

On the other hand, there have been some people who've disappointed me. I recently asked a small favor of a friend (whom I've done some big favors for) and was given the brush-off. I don't expect people to owe me for the things I've done for them -- that isn't what being a good friend is about -- but I was disappointed that this person wasn't willing to accomodate me while I'm in a wheelchair.

Still, I should make it clear that I don't think that this friend is a bad person -- it's just that some people are willing to go the extra mile and some aren't. I really hope that I'm the former. I'm sure that there's more than I can do when it comes to that department and I want to work on it.

Last night, I went to dinner with a friend and we had a long discussion about weight loss and my injury. She suggested that there's a larger purpose behind me breaking my leg and that in the end, this setback will lead to something better. She then noted that this could be a time for me to deal with my bingeing problems and get my entire body into better shape as my leg heals.

I think she's right about that, but I also think that part of that "greater purpose" also involves my friendships. Over the past few weeks I've truly been able to see what it takes to be a GREAT friend versus a good friend. A good friend is someone who you think is nice and who you enjoy spending time with. However, a GREAT friend is more than just that -- they're someone who you can count on for that extra something. Good friends are the people you invite to a party because they're fun to be around. Great friends are the people you call at 2 a.m. when you're dealing with a family crisis.

I really want to be a GREAT friend to those people I love -- the type of person who can be counted on and who makes the extra effort. I hope that no one close to me ever experiences a crisis, but I'd like to think that they can depend on me as much as I've been able to depend on them.

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