Friends. We all have them. Some are funny. Some are serious. Some think they know it all. Some think they know nothing.

Have you ever kept in your feelings when you talk with your friends? You try to avoid any type of confrontation with friends?  I personally don’t like confrontation. I also don’t want to lose friends. Is it necessary for me to keep it inside to avoid making a friend mad? Do you ever feel like you’re the friend on the outside of the circle?

I’ve never had a lot of friends. As a child growing up I had 3 or 4 close friends. And as an adult, of those 3 or 4 friends, I’m still close friends with 2 of those people.  When I was younger, kids didn’t want to be my friend because of my name. Kids are great for making fun of their peers for whatever reason they choose. My name is Gay, so you can imagine the things kids were saying in the late 70’s early 80’s. In high school I went by my middle name Lynn and life was a bit easier. After high school I went back to Gay Lynn and now I go by Gay once again. I was bullied my entire childhood, because of my name.

As an adult, I still hold those feelings that people are not honest and like to talk behind others backs, but while standing in front of that person they act as if they are their best buddy. It’s hard for me to speak my mind to my friends in regard to differences. Now don’t get me wrong I will speak my mind to my employer or my server at a restaurant, but for some reason I don’t want to make my friends angry with me. So I hold it in. I pull away. I stay quiet. I don’t mention when my feelings are hurt by something they have said or done. I have learned to ignore my own feelings.

Today I woke up feeling sad about my friendships. I looked in the mirror and thought, “You’re better than that. You deserve to have friends who treat you equal.  Who make you part of the crowd, instead of making you feel like an outcast.”

What is a friend? Someone who calls you when your down. Someone who checks on you when your suicidal. Someone who brings you groceries when you are in the middle of cancer treatment. A friend makes you meals when your so sick from chemo you can’t get off the couch. Someone who laughs with you till you pee your pants. A friend is someone who knows what you like and what you dislike. A friend knows what type of wine you like. A friend pulls you up. A friend doesn’t make fun of you for being a pig parent or a vegetarian. A friend remembers your birthday. A friend listens.

As my life goes on I am realizing that great friends are hard to come by. I miss some of my friends from California. I miss talking with them, drinking wine with them and laughing with them.

Remember in order to have great friends you need to be a great friend. This is something I’m always working on. Being a great friend does mean being honest with your friends, which I suppose means telling them your feelings instead of holding back.

If you feel like an outcast in your circle of friends, perhaps they are not the right friends. When you find good friends, keep them close. Friends come and friends go and you learn something from each and every friendship. Learn from those lessons. Tell your friends you love them, keep them close and be a great friend.


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