28 Feb Friend Or Foe? 3 Ways to Tell

It is a war, you know. All of it. Every day of our lives, in every aspect of our lives we are in a battle “to be or not to be” while dodging the “slings and arrows” that fortune brings. From the time we’re born fighting for breath to the time we hang up sword and shield and leave this place.


Whether we are a lover, fighter, healer or teacher, we are all in the war. One of our best chances at survival is to surround ourselves with comrades in arms we can trust. True friends. That can be trickier than it may seem–hence the term “frenemy”. There are turncoats and cowards among us. But here are three things that show we’re in the ranks with the right sort.

You don’t need armor on to be with them. They are safe. You don’t have to agree with them on everything, pretend you’re okay when you aren’t or live in their shadow.

“I want there to be a place in the world where people can engage in one another’s differences in a way that is redemptive, full of hope and possibility. Not this “In order to love you, I must make you something else”. That’s what domination is all about, that in order to be close to you, I must possess you, remake and recast you.”–Bell Hooks

They don’t retreat when things get rough. Nobody wants to be avoided or abandoned when they need support the most. But it happens. A lot.

“True friends are those who came into your life, saw the most negative part of you, but are not ready to leave you, no matter how contagious you are to them.” –Michael Bassey Johnson

A true friend doesn’t use you as a human shield. This can mean a lot of things. That they don’t cast blame on you to protect themselves, use you to feel better about themselves, take advantage of you or treat you like an object.

“An honest enemy is better than a false friend. When in doubt, pay more attention to what people do and less to what they say. Actions not only speak louder than words, they are more difficult to fake.”– Zero Dean

When you really examine these three simple things, you’ll realize your army isn’t very big. But that’s okay. Even one is enough to have your back in the war.

I’ve been blessed with a handful of true friends that I’m so grateful for. It’s a give and take–free of strings. My true friends help me to be a better person. They comfort me when everything is falling apart and allow me to serve them. They’re there for fun as well as the hard stuff and they let me be there for them too. They tell me the truth and let me tell them the truth. True friends care if I succeed and don’t resent it when I do or if I don’t. They make life better. I wouldn’t want to be fighting this war without them.

“A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.”– Arnold H. Glasow


Jo Schaffer
  • Heather Cullen
    Posted at 01:11h, 04 June Reply

    Well said, Jo. I’ve also found that true friends will move heaven and earth to help you but when they really can’t they say, “NO” and it’s OK. Sometimes friends really CAN’T be there for you but they will call you from a distance and pray for you and find other ways to help. I have two friends who are not friends any more because one had tragedy strike while the other was at a family event in Hawaii and couldn’t come right away. That just hurts to think about.

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