In my experience, it's when major life events happen that you realise who your friends are... the ones who are there to answer your 2am phonecall, the one's who leave work meetings just so they don't miss your call, the ones who come over when you say you don't need them to (like Carrie on new years in SATC1)...the one's who tell you you're out of order and stick with you nonetheless... the ones who know you need to talk and force you to 'sip' when you just need a little bit of Dutch courage to say the words out loud. They say in life you are lucky if you have 3 real friends....
I stumbled across a really great youtube clip, where TD Jakes speaks about 3 types of 'friends' - confidantes, constituents and comrades.
Confidantes are behind you no matter what, you can tell them anything and they are FOR you...they're INTO you and they will always be INTO you.
Constituents are behind what you are behind. They're not FOR you, but they're FOR what you are for. They are into what you're into...they will support what you're into. But when you are no longer into what they're into, then they're no longer behind you - and that's because they were never actually into YOU in the first place. I have a number of constituents and until hearing what TD Jakes had to say, I was confused that they seemed to slip in and out of my life. It all makes sense now and there is absolutely no reason to feel bad about that...these people are my constituents... you know like that best friend from school that you spent EVERY day with...well, now that you've moved town, you don't speak, so she's probably your constituent.
Comrades are where it gets interesting. These people are not into you and they are not into what you're into. Instead, they're against what you're against. You're both fighting the same thing...so you're 'friends' for that part, but once the battle is over - you no longer have anything in common and since they were never into what you're into, the friendship dissolves. Again, this explains SO much.
So there you have it - confidantes, constituents and comrades...I wonder if there are any other 'types' of friend? Time will tell. Why does it matter? Why the need to classify people we call friends? Well sometimes, I've felt disappointed and let down by so-called friends. I have 274 facebook 'friends' yet in times of need, there are only 3 people that I would call without a second thought.. only 3 people out of 274 that I'd call my true confidantes. Now that I know the difference between confidantes, constituents and comrades, it's much easier to deal with any disappointment - simply because now I don't expect anything (and I mean NOTHING) from my non-constituents. Where before I just called everyone 'friend', I understand that it doesn't always work both ways..
Phew - I feel that I stumbled across this video in the nick of time. For now, I feel really blessed to have a handful of real confidantes in my life! Hooray for you guys - you know who you are!