Saturday, 1 February 2014

That's what friends are for. . .

Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager are among the prolific songwriters of their generation, producing some memorable songs that defined many of our greatest and saddest moments in our lives.  When it comes to friendship, I can't go past the classic and endearing "That's what friends are for", the cover version made famous by Dionne Warwick and friends - Sir Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight. The original version of the song was part of the movie soundtrack featuring Rod Stewart in Night Shift.

The overarching sentiment of the song promotes the idea that true friends, even when they are apart, share good times and bad times with you in your lives.  They are dependable, reliable and responsible people who are there for you when you need them most, and even when you tell them to leave you alone, they're smart enough to know not to leave you alone, they will give you space, but they will never leave you alone.  Such friends, even if you do fall out with them in bad times, will keep their distance and wait for you to stop being mad at them (so be kind to one another if you intend to stay friends with good people worth having in your life).

So this begs the question:  What about those people who don't know what friends are for?  They are the types of people who could possibly use you as a punching bag (that "mean girls" mentality), will humiliate you every chance they get (most of your high school friendships when you come to think of it - well the worst of them anyway) and the other end of the spectrum are those friends who have wronged you and will try to get back into your good books by talking to other friends you have introduced them to, in the hopes of gaining your good graces again.

There is an unwritten code to friendship and I thought that it would be good to get it out into the open just so that we can gain some consensus on what "friends are for":

1. If you end a relationship, it is not ok to start a relationship with your friend's ex 
2. If you are going through a rough/bad patch with a friend, it is not ok to talk to the other friends that you were introduced to by the friend you have wronged, to try and get back into their good books
3. Be very selective about your friends - if you can't trust them, they're not worth having
4. Be careful of friends who constantly do all the "taking" in your friendship.  If they are not generous people in return - cut them from your life and finally
5. Listen.  You don't have to offer advice all the time.  True friends are not fonts/founts of all knowledge, they are people who listen and are there to offer support not a psychoanalysis.

To all my friends out there, just remember,
In good times and bad times
I'll be on your side forever moooooooreeeee
That's what friends are fooooooor