Writing Prompt Day #4: The Most Important Qualities In A Friend

Wow,  I’m not too good at this. Writing Prompt Day #4 on the 7th day of April? Hmm.. I can’t seem to do routine in my down time. At work, I’m routine to a tee, rigidly so. But out of work, I like to have a more relaxed outlook, which means I regularly avoid doing anything that feels routine-y. But I will continue with this, because at least it gets me writing.

I must admit, it is quite difficult for me to list the qualities I find important in a friend. I am a terrible friend. I don’t keep in touch, I forget birthdays and important dates. I hide myself away like a hermit and rarely tell people anything, ever. Unless they ask, that is, and they can only ask if they can pin me down. I’m elusive, and a loner.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have friends, but my closest friends are around because they have made an effort to keep in touch. If people make an effort with me, I am more than happy to meet them, halfway sometimes, and sometimes more of a desultory quarterway. It all depends what mood I’m in. And also on whether I trust them or not.

I do appreciate the friends I’ve got. I see them as special, because not everybody gets a place in my circle of trust. It’s funny, because I do remember in my younger years, desperately struggling to keep in touch with various people who quite obviously couldn’t be bothered. Maybe that is why I’ve changed. Most people just can’t be trusted, and I refuse to put myself out for anyone these days, unless they have earned it.

My best friend Michelle lives approximately 150 miles away, which suits me fine. We see each other about twice a year, when she comes to visit. It is much more convenient that way as she has no kids or pets, nothing to tie her to Newcastle. I should make the journey up there someday as it seems rude not to, but she doesn’t appear to mind. And I have more baggage. We have been friends for around 20 years and met through a mutual friend when she lived in my town. I get the feeling that she was a little lonely. I didn’t have any female friends, all male, but Michelle instantly stuck to me like glue. I guess this impressed me, as no other female had ever showed such an interest in befriending me before, and staying friends with me. When she moved back to Newcastle, I assumed that we would drift apart, but that has never been the case. Okay, so we don’t keep in touch regularly. But we always gravitate back towards each other. She makes more of an effort than me, I’m ashamed to say. Not because I don’t want her as a friend. But because I need more time alone than the average person. She doesn’t demand much of me. I’ve never been one for confiding in people, and over-the-top girly friendships. Michelle is the same. She suits me. She is also independent, not too sensitive, and despises the majority of the human race, same as me. We get together, get drunk, have a good catch up, bitch about people, and then drift apart for a few months. It’s all good.

I have a couple of other friends from my old job. Again, we keep in touch by text and get together every so often for drinks. They don’t impose on me too much, and I don’t bore them with my fluctuating moods. It’s a win-win, I feel. I can be too much, so I keep myself distant to save them from the irritating parts of me.

So, qualities I find important in a friend. Trustworthy, not likely to get upset when I do a disappearing act, not clingy, doesn’t ask me too many personal questions. While I may sound like an awful friend, I will always put myself out there for somebody if they need me. So, while I tend to shy away from human interaction, if someone comes to me with a problem, I will go out of my way to help them. Therefore, honesty is the biggest quality I find important. I am extremely socially awkward and at times stand-offish, but deep, deep down is a caring little soul who just wants to help people.

I hope that my friends know that about me. Because, even though I rarely show it, they mean the world to me.