Take the subject of friendships, for example.
What is the definition of a good friend?
Caring, trustworthy, truthful, loyal….
Take loyalty, for example.
How should we define loyalty?
Can a friend not display enough loyalty?
Can there ever be too much loyalty in a friendship?
Personally, I was born loyal. I do not believe anyone ever sat me down and told me, “Jo, you must be loyal to prove you are a good friend”.
Over the years I have become aware that there are those who could, in fact, benefit from an explanation of loyalty in a friendship….they have none.
So, what type of a friend is a disloyal friend?
Where do you draw the invisible line between the right amount of loyalty, and too much loyalty?
In other words ~ When is the right time to stand by your friends and when do you know when the time has come to move on?
Those who have known me well throughout my life regard me as loyal and I have been proud to wear that label. It has even been said that if Jack the Ripper were my best friend, I would stand by him!
With age comes wisdom, and you are never too old to learn a thing or two.
Even from those much younger than yourself.
Even from your own children.
I stand in total awe and admiration of one of my children. They are so young. They have so much to learn, and yet they have taught me that there comes a time when you have to say, “enough is enough” and turn your back on a friend.
Loyalty can be pushed to the limits and then it can break, because of a very important component in the game of friendship.
The Golden Rule ~ Loyalty must go both ways between friends. If the loyalty is heading only in one direction, it isn’t a true friendship.
In the past, especially as a young person, I have timidly backed away from a friend when I have noticed the signs that the friendship is coming to an end, waiting for some sign to show me that they were just having a bad day, had an argument with another friend…you fill in the “what if’s” here. What I’m saying is, I would accept any excuse they gave me. And believe it! (How gullible!!)
That sweet, sweet child of mine, the one who can teach me as many new things as I can teach her, has shown such loyalty to her friends throughout her life that she has given me massive amounts of pride in her behaviour, especially in this day and age, when teenage friendships can appear so superficial.
And if and when the time comes, she knows when to walk away.
She never looks back. Ever.
No amount of cajoling, apologies, sweet smiles or excuses will sway her opinion. She never looks back, not even for a quick peek, just to check if her now former friend is okay.
The loyalty must go both ways for her….
A very close friend may get a second chance. But two strikes and they’re gone!
And therein, I believe, lies the answer to the question ~
How do you know when to stay and when to go?
Ask yourself the questions, “Am I being shown the same loyalty that I am bestowing upon my friend?….and….
Is my friend being truthful with me?
If the answer is “no” to these two question ~ walk away. Don’t look back.
(Clue – you can’t have one of the above questions with a yes answer and the other a no. That’s not possible!)
My child has taught me well. I have learned the lesson well.
So, Jack the Ripper, if you are reading this, you are no longer my friend! 😉