A Friend for Every Need, Indeed; In Deed!!!

The original proverb as well as my modified versions highlight the conditional aspect of friends and friendships. If the very foundation is based on need or deed, then why cry out when you are let down by a friend? 

After all, if purpose is served, then what is the point of the friendship? After you wash your hands with soap, you leave it in the dish and return when you need to wash your hands again, right? Just imagine the soap crying because you used it and walked away!You can only use what is useful to you, right!?!

I am not saying that friendships should be need-deep. However, yes, we all need to establish deeper connections. But with whom and how many? That depends on the type of butterfly you are in the friends and friendship zone.

Are you a fluttering butterfly, then you definitely would have plenty of friends and almost no deep connection. If you are the type who opts for deep connections, then you probably are the butterfly that prefers a few flowers and flies around observing the beauty of the garden. We are all social butterflies, irrespective!

Come friendship day and we are all over the place – making new friends, hugging the already existing ones and giving sermons on friendship. Then there are those sulking about broken friendships and venting about the toxic ones that betrayed us. This is all because friendship, as we know and see it, is based on our needs. When the need is not met, we walk away cutting the thread of connection.

But what if we take the conversation of friendship on a different path and establish a contemporary proverb, perfect for new-age friendships?

A friend indeed is a friend above and beyond every need. 

Friends and friendship are feelings and emotions. When you think about any friend from your past or present, memories are churned and a feeling or emotion surfaces. The good times bring joy, the negative situations bring pain, the disagreements bring anger, etc. The needs they served feel momentary in comparison to the emotion and feeling the memory brings up.

Friends fall off the tracks and friendships break when they cannot live up to expectations. However, when we realise that one friend alone cannot be indispensable to serve our every need, we begin to establish more friendships and look for connections that are enriching.

We all need ‘friends’ to nurture us, just as we need to be friends to many who need our nurturing presence. One friend need not nurture every aspect of our life. Instead, the many friendships we cultivate can help us nourish many more dimensions of our personality. With more friends and connections, we make our world thrive in emotional wellness through authentic friendships.

We tend to take those few special friends for granted, or then we blur the boundaries and allow them to take advantage of us because we believe friendship is about thriving on each other’s weaknesses, pain, etc. Every friendship you establish should be emotionally empowering.

The entire concept of toxic friendships is steeped in an imbalance of feelings and emotions in the bond between the two. One may be in the Krishna zone and the other in the Arjuna zone on the battlefield of life. Remember when Arjuna was at his weakest, Krishna got off the chariot and admonished Arjuna for being weak and toxic? Krishna’s empathetic friendship uplifted Arjuna and inflated his stature to rise and fight.

In our friendships, there are times when we are Krishna and times when we are Arjuna. Friendships are about riding with each other through life’s battles. However, was Krishna Arjuna’s one and only companion? Or was Arjuna Krishna’s only bestie? They both nurtured so many more friendships through time and space, enriching their own lives and those of others.

In the realm of connections, bonds often begin with specific needs but true companionships go beyond utility. Like butterflies in a garden, the eternal bond between Krishna and Arjuna, or the compassionate friendship between Krishna and Sudama, relationships take various forms, each offering a unique essence.

Let’s explore extraordinary types of friends—compassionate, influential and more—that enrich our lives in unparalleled ways, celebrating the many colours of companionship.

  1. Gourmet Pal: The friend who shares your love for fine dining, exploring gourmet restaurants and trying out culinary delights.
  1. Fitness Partner: The one who is dedicated to fitness and encourages you to stay active, try new workouts and lead a healthy lifestyle.
  1. Road Trip Companion: The perfect friend to join you on spontaneous road trips, exploring new destinations and making memories on the go.
  1. Curious Explorer: This friend has a thirst for knowledge and enjoys visiting museums, attending lectures and engaging in thought-provoking discussions.
  1. Memory Crafter: The friend who is exceptional at planning and organising unforgettable events and gatherings.
  1. Eco Warrior: This friend is passionate about environmental issues, promoting sustainability and making eco-friendly choices.
  1. Bookworm Buddy: This friend shares your love for reading and enjoys discussing books, exchanging recommendations and attending literary events together.
  1. DIY Mate: A friend who loves do-it-yourself projects and crafts, inspiring you to explore your creativity and unleash your artistic side.
  1. Adventure Associate: This friend is always up for thrilling and daring activities, seeking new adrenaline-pumping experiences.
  1. Nostalgia Navigator: A friend who enjoys reminiscing, sharing memories and cherishing old moments together.
  1. Philosophical Ponderer: This friend loves deep conversations, discussing profound ideas and exploring life’s philosophical questions.
  1. Dance Floor Ally: A friend who shares your passion for dancing and is the ultimate dance partner, lighting up the floor with spectacular moves.
  1. Star Gazer: A friend who is fascinated by astronomy and enjoys stargazing, identifying constellations and contemplating the universe’s wonders.
  1. Laughter Expert: The friend with an infectious sense of humour, always ready to make you laugh even during the toughest times.
  1. Yoga/Meditation Partner: This friend shares your interest in wellness and mindfulness practices, meditating and practising yoga together.
  1. Culture Connoisseur: A friend who appreciates art, music, theatre and cultural events, enriching your life with artistic experiences.
  1. Nature Enthusiast: This friend enjoys spending time in nature, going on hikes, camping trips and appreciating the beauty of the outdoors.
  1. Tech Innovator: A friend who keeps you updated on the latest tech trends, gadgets and innovations in the tech world.
  1. Philanthropist Pal: This friend is actively involved in charitable causes, inspiring you to give back to the community and make a positive impact.
  1. Pet Lover: This friend adores animals and enjoys spending time with pets, making them an integral part of your friendship.
  1. Motivational Mentor: A friend who motivates and empowers you to achieve your goals and pursue your dreams with determination.
  1. Travel Enabler: This friend is the ultimate travel planner, helping you explore new destinations and making your travel dreams a reality.
  1. Game Guru: A friend who shares your passion for gaming, engaging in video games, board games, or card games together.
  1. Fashion Forward Friend: This friend has a unique sense of fashion and loves experimenting with different styles, inspiring you to express yourself through clothing.
  1. Green Thumb Buddy: A friend with a talent for gardening, providing gardening tips and sharing plants to cultivate a green oasis.
  1. Film/TV Show Aficionado: This friend enjoys binge-watching movies and TV shows, discussing plot twists and analysing characters together.
  1. Storyteller Companion: A friend who excels at storytelling, captivating you with their imaginative tales and narratives.
  1. Language Lover: A friend who enjoys learning and teaching various languages, fostering a multilingual exchange.
  1. Wellness Advocate: This friend is passionate about holistic well-being, encouraging you to practice self-care and follow a balanced lifestyle.
  1. Comedy Partner: A friend with whom you share an affinity for comedy shows, stand-up performances and laughter-filled moments.

Go ahead . . . add more to the list!

What is important to know is that when you depend on one, two, or maybe three friends for everything, or you are the first, second, or third friends on the list of others, there is a possibility of the friendship being restrictive and becoming toxic due to over-dependence.

We are all well-rounded human beings capable of perceiving so many experiences through life. Thus, you need to establish friendships and connections that expand your horizon of experiences and widen the scope of perspective so that you wake up each day cultivating the best version of yourself.

Just as your clothes in the wardrobe don’t feel betrayed as you dress up as per your mood or occasion; none of your friends will feel betrayed or let down when you go out enjoying various experiences. There will be so much more to share – so much more personal growth and self-development.

P.S. I don’t think butterflies ever come across toxic flowers! So, choose your flowers (read: friends) carefully. You are a combination of your top five friends – you become who they are.

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