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Posted on 1. October 2010

Friend or Faux

By Kris McFalls

Beyond food, clothing and shelter, arguably the most basic human need is friendship. As humans, we need a true friend to share our hopes, dreams and sorrows with. But, for those with a chronic illness, a true friend is essential for positive health outcomes. A true friend is to the soul what immune globulin is to the body. That person protects us, gives us hope, and boosts our energy level. Charles Caleb Colton said, “True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it be lost.”

I think there are three basic levels of friendship: true friend, crisis friend and faux friend. A true friend and crisis friend are to be valued as highly as an irreplaceable heirloom. A faux friend needs to be dropped as quickly as a hot potato.  Sometimes, however, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them. So, I sought assistance from my family and friends. As I suspected, many of them had strong opinions regarding friendship. Here is a little of what I learned.

A true friend will drop everything to get to you when you are in need. A crisis friend will put you on their calendar to bring you dinner until the crisis passes. A faux friend looks for ways your needs can benefit them.

A true friend will pick up the phone when they see your name on their caller ID even if they are on the way out the door. A crisis friend will see that you called and send you an email to inquire if you need some help with chores. A faux friend will tell you they’re sorry they missed your call the next time they see you.

A true friend is there for you in good times and bad. That friend supports you and cares for you as if he or she were a part of your family. A crisis friend will admire your good times from afar, but will always be there to help out in bad times. A faux friend will be there in bad times out of curiosity, and then gossip about it later.

When you have a party, a true friend will stay away if they are sick, but still send the dish they promised to contribute. A crisis friend will be sure to wash their hands before grabbing any food and never double dip. A faux friend will bring a sick kid and rationalize it by saying, “It’s just the sniffles.”

A true friend will cry with you in sorrow, and then push you to move past it and find the silver lining. A crisis friend will send you a card to let you know they’re thinking of you. A faux friend is more interested in sharing your sorrows with others.

A true friend will laugh with you and is not afraid of laughing at you or at him or herself. A crisis friend will laugh at you only if you are laughing at yourself. A faux friend won’t get the joke.

When you move, a true friend will stay in touch throughout the years no matter how far apart you are. A crisis friend will stay in touch via Facebook. And, a faux friend will never be heard from again, unless of course, you become rich and famous.

Chronic illness or not, everyone needs at least one true friend. For those who have a chronic illness, a true friend is a lifeline. Tell us about your true friends. Who is there for you through thick and thin? 

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Categories: Life With IG

Comments (7) -

Matt Hansen
11:03 PM on Friday, October 01, 2010

Does being the first to comment on your blog qualify me as a true friend or a crisis friend? Beautiful blog Kris! It gave me opportunity to reflect on my true friendships and on how I can be a better true friend.

Lynne
11:18 PM on Friday, October 01, 2010

Kris, you speak from the heart and do it rather well.
I am lucky enough to be your friend, through think or thin. You and your boys are an inspiration to all of us.
I'm a phone call away cuz I don't want to intrude on others lives. I will do better though.

Susan RI
5:20 AM on Saturday, October 02, 2010

I have to say that my husband has truly been my best friend. I thank god that he totally gets my illness. He totally understands when I am not up to going somewhere, when people are sick going into a crowd of people, the times of infusion he knows that I am going to need to rest more than usual. He never complains about it. I am a very lucky women to have him in my life

Betty
5:44 AM on Saturday, October 02, 2010

On friendship
I guess my friends range from new- 8 years to old -55 years.

A true friend is more beneficial sometimes than a family member. I have two wonderful neighbors, friends of 8 years, who have simply shown up at the door with plates of food after recent surgeries- who know I have "ailments" and call if they do not see me in the yard.

In my 40's I made a friend in a new neighborhood who introduced me to her friend- who turned out to be a former teaching acquantaince of mine. In the past 13 years or  so we have all become buddies - checking on each other, traveling when we can, commiserating and enjoying life's tragedies and triumphs.

And lastly I have my friend of 55 years- who asked me as a new student in my school  at age 8 at Recess time  to be her friend and I asked  "Why?"

She said, "Because I want you to."

We still  do not know why but through  school  and moving away and getting together again, the friendship has  lasted all these years. She is my best friend.

Betty
6:37 AM on Saturday, October 02, 2010

And how did I forget my frie nd from the "jewelry shops" days when we were teens working at part time jobs, who  calls me every weekend from another state to see how I am and to just "chew the fat: as they say.

God bless them all- where would we be without freinds- good and true ones?

Megan
2:03 PM on Monday, October 04, 2010

Kris, you made me really stop and think about what kind of a friend I am. Made me think of ways I need to improve.
Also that maybe we are only capable of being a true friend to a certain amount of people. There are many I'd like to have that level of friendship with but how do you keep up with everyone you'd like to and still keep up with personal responsiblities, with life. Thanks for being my friend.

Brian
10:19 PM on Friday, October 29, 2010

Thanks for being out there! I always feel like I am fighting the suggestion by many in the medical field that if they don't understand what I tell them or what they see or can't measure that I must have done something to bring my ills down upon myself. Perhaps if they Have really expierenced a real insight they could share it with the world so that those who come after me could be helped.

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