Acts of Friendship
For Ashley, it was like this: She was sitting with a big group in the school lunchroom when she accidentally knocked her drink onto her lap. As word spread that it looked like Ashley had wet herself, the laughter began to mount. Then she noticed her best friend doing something strange.
“She poured water on herself,” Ashley said.
True friendship is hard to find, Ashley says. But she knows it when she sees it. And so do many of you. We asked our readers what it takes to be a good friend. The responses poured in — more than 5,000 of you shared your thoughts on friendship.
For some, the defining moments of friendship were profound, such as the soulmate who helps you through the grief of losing a family member or camps out in your hospital room when you’re sick. For others, it’s smaller gestures that loom large — the friend who talks for hours when you’re feeling alone, even if it means going over on his cell phone minutes; the one who helps you with your homework, even when she hasn’t done her own; or the friend who helps you search for your retainer, even when it means going through the garbage from the school lunch.
What Friends Do for You
Big or small, it’s actions that seem to count the most in friendship. In a time when we can chat effortlessly by text and IM, talk is getting cheaper. Many of you believe that the evidence of true friends is what they do to show their loyalty, honesty, trustworthiness, or willingness to make a sacrifice when you need help.
Kaitlin, 14, told us about a friend who took the blame for her when she got in a fight at school. Her friend was suspended for 10 days. And Marissa, 16, said she discovered the difference between a close friend and casual friend on a school trip to California.
“I got sick, and my friend ran to the bathroom after me to hold my hair back as I became the Exorcist,” Marissa said. “She stood by me, while my other ‘friend’ yelled at me to get off the floor and clean it up.”