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The give and take of friendship

Friendship is a helping hand within reach.
Friendship is a helping hand within reach.
© Melinda Nagy |

Friendships are a give and take of emotional support, camaraderie, and more.  When you're in a pinch, asking a friend to help out should be as easy as a normal flowing conversation.  Likewise, if she were in need, you would almost feel insulted if she didn't turn to you for assistance. This is a beautiful benefit to friendship.

Occasionally the relationship will become lopsided due to pure circumstance and need.  Perhaps a friend has a family member ill and in Atlantic Regional Medical Center and will need to call upon you for various levels of hands on and emotional support.  Or, maybe your friend is going through a divorce and overwhelmed with her own crisis.  In the midst of trying to reconcile her life she is unable to offer her full support to you until she finds her footing again. 

These are the natural waves of friendship.  What comes around does go around and there will be a time where your friend will be able to reciprocate all of the support and love you offered her.  That is the give and take that is integral to a healthy friendship.

Unfortunately, there will also be friends who continually drain you and come to you for support, favors, and more without ever offering the same in return.   These friends will take advantage of your kindness over and over and never stop to offer a helping hand when you may need one.  They may actually visibly recoil when asked for even the slightest of favors.

Although no one should ever keep score in a friendship, it is NOT acceptable to always be the one who is giving.  There must be a balance for the relationship to be worth your while and to truly be a friendship.

If you yourself are guilty of taking without giving, stop and make a conscience effort to offer something in return.  Don't be so caught up in your own life that you do not take the time to recognize the trials and tribulations of those who matter to you most.  In doing this, you risk turning around one day with your own hand out, only to find no one to grab onto.

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