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Friends like these...
Would having one best friend, to whom you tell everything, make you happy? How about a group of close friends that you spend most of your time with; or would you rather spend your time going from one group of friends to another?

There’s that old adage that says, “Friends are the family we choose for ourselves.” And isn’t this just so true?

As great as our families are, we can’t help but enjoy the time spent laughing with a group of close friends.

Popularity

Having a lot of friends on Facebook doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re the most popular person ever; it simply means that you know a lot of people.

You may not realise this, but it’s not the number of people you surround yourself with, it’s rather who you become when you’re with them. If you can’t be yourself among a group of people, then they are not your true friends.

Real friends

Friends should accept you as you are and not because you have a huge collection of designer shoes that vary in size. Being a friend means always being there when something goes wrong. A friend is there through the good times, as well as through the bad; no one likes a fair weather friend.

Friendship is a blessing,” says Dr Bill Denton, a preacher and consellor from CrossTies Ministry, “a friend is the channel through whom great emotional, spiritual, and sometimes even physical blessings flow.”

Friendship circles

While some may feel more secure with one best friend at their side at all times, others feel more comfortable in a circle of four to five close friends. Then you get the real extroverts who have many different groups of friends. Where you fit in, you decide. Most people prefer to have one small group of friends in whom they can confide.

It can be healthier to have several social circles you can fit into, as spending all your time with the same friends can start to feel very insular and stagnant, especially if you are someone who enjoys meeting new people.

In a close circle of friends there will always be that one stand-out individual who you find you can confide in more easily and more comfortably than the others. If you find yourself with many friend groups, there is probably one you spend more time with, and within that group, there’ll be that one ‘best friend’. As much as we would deny this, it’s the truth!

Long distance

Although in some cases, best friends may not see one another for long periods of time, due to distance. Distance between friends plays a huge factor in our lives. Your friend could live in Johannesburg and you in Cape Town; or your best friend could live on some remote island in the tropics. The point is, if there is communication (which, with Facebook, BBM and more; is a lot easier) your friendship will survive.

“Best friends are people whom you can entrust with your innermost secrets, with the understanding that you will not be betrayed,” says writer Dieng Soon Kheong, who recently wrote a touching essay in the attempt to reconnect with his childhood friend. “Best friends shed tears along with you in trying moments, and rejoice and laugh along with you when you are successful in what you do.”

Consider this

“Best friends are like wine - the older, the better.” Do you ever picture yourself as an old woman? Sitting in a rocking chair, sipping on sweet lemonade and sharing stories with your neighbour?

In the TV sitcom How I Met Your Mother, character Lily insists that all her friends’ new boyfriends/girlfriends pass the “bridge test” – that is, can she imagine that person joining the group for a game of bridge on their porch when they are old and grey? Who would you like to have sitting next to you in your twilight years?

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