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By common definition, a friend is somebody you can trust plus a person who will also be there to freely support and help you out of good will. However it is never as sweet as it seems when it comes to reality because it is rather common to see friendships with one another go bust and turn bitter. Questions are raised on how do we actually identify who are our true friends and what would you do differently if you were given a second chance to reevaluate your friendship with your friends?

But first of all, how do we actually define a friendship anyway? It is rather amusing to see how the current generation of youths loosely defines the term friendships. It seems to them it would be generally sufficient to categorize an acquaintance as a friend if you are able to know his or her name and probably after meeting them for the first time. It might sound a little absurd at first, but if you think about it a little closely, you would have to agree that this scenario has happened to basically everybody at least once. However it is true that the term friendship has a pretty broad definition and it differs from one individual to another, and even though it might not sound like a big deal, yet a line should be drawn to distinguish mere acquaintances from the real friends.

Good things are always hard to come by and this too is true in the case of friends. How do we know whether we’re mixing with the right type of friends? There is a misconception when it comes to determine who your good friends are for most would people think that all good friends are supposed to be obedient law abiding people. However this is far from the truth, even people who might have run-ins with the authorities might be considered good friends. They might seem to be a “bad apple” in the community as a whole, but in the eyes of certain individuals they might be buddies or comrades who stick it out at whatever cost.

So, how do we resolve whether our friends are good or otherwise? A friend usually is somebody you can rely on who is willing to lend an arm when you’re in trouble or in a fix. However that definition can only be supported by the idealist in the community because in reality, things are always far from perfection. There is always a shadow of a doubt at the back of everybody’s mind that how good a friend may be there would always be a slight possibility that he or she would turn around and stab you from the back. And when it strikes you, it will hit when and where you least expect it and scars left by it would last a lifetime.

In this less than ideal world that we live in, betrayal amongst friends is a common occurrence. The heart of the problem lies right here in society itself being just too naïve. Nowadays most people are willing to believe and follow whatever their friends say without even thinking of the consequences, this is well in fact peer pressure. Also this relaxed and lazy attitude observed by society nowadays to turn a blind eye on these things will inadvertently lead them to let their guard down and thus literally leaves a gap open which can only spell trouble if exploited.

Thus leading to the final question, how do we ensure that our choices of friends are right? We can never exactly determine who our true friends are because we are but only humans, prone to make mistakes as we go along the way. But all isn’t lost, even though there isn’t a clear cut solution to tackle this problem nevertheless there are always guidelines along the way to help us make the best choice, and as the saying goes prevention is always better than a cure. And the best way to deal with bad friendships is by trying to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Getting to know more people is a great asset but when it comes to choose friends, do it wisely. It doesn’t hurt to take some time to get to know them a little better before moving forward and as a matter of fact, on any given day quality almost always surpasses quantity.

And as said before, we may not make all the right decisions in our lives however if we could just step out of this limbo and ponder for a moment on whether these people have played an essential role in our lives, maybe then we might be slowly on our way to realise the true meaning of friendship.

Yoong Shu Hsien
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