So what makes

So what makes a good friend? What makes a good person?

Lately I've been asking myself bunches of rhetoric questions, because of certain things going on in my life. I see myself changing... drastically, and for the worse. It started slow, when I'd get annoyed slightly easier and faster than before. When things that used to remain only in my head starting slipping out of my mouth. The condition has accelerated, leaving me in the state I am now: in shambles.

I don't really now how to stop this progression or, better yet, reverse it. I do know a little bit though.

I want people to understand me. However, I know more than anyone that I'm not making that an easy task for anyone I ask. I'm not very open about the problem or the reasons behind it. I like putting on a happy face more than I like to expose the sad one. Well... not so much that I LIKE to do it, as I feel that I SHOULD do it.

I know that the sad friend isn't the friend that people want to spend time with. The guy who bitches all the time and never says anything good usually turns into the guy who never gets invited anywhere. It's a shame, too, because when the guy is that upset, he needs all the friends he can get. But that's never the way it works out.

The sad guy is usually just sad and stupid enough to separate himself from everyone. And everyone is stupid enough to let him.

I just wish I could be sad in the presence of others and have it be okay. I wish I could just sit here and be confused, and not have people tell me that I'm right or wrong or smart or dumb. I wish people wouldn't necessarily try to cheer me up, but be there when I'm ready to be happy again. I've only got one friend who I'm comfortable enough with to do those things. Just one guy who will listen, nod his head, and understand. Or at least pretend to understand. It doesn't matter which, really. One guy who understands that not everything needs to be said. One guy who is comfortable following one of my big speeches with complete silence, or a light-hearted, non serious comment, whichever happens to be more appropriate.

I wish I could be selfish and not feel bad about it. I wish I could dwell on my own problems without worrying about other people's. I'll worry about their problems when I feel better about my own. How can I possibly be sensitive to other people's places in their lives when I'm not comfortable with mine? How can people expect me to meet their expectations for me when I can't even reach my own expectations of me? How can people unload insult after insult on me and expect me not to fire back when I feel this low? Why do people feel the need to kick me when I'm down? Why do people choose the worst times possible to present disturbing information and revelations? Why is everyone so eager to turn my problems around on them when my problems are all about me? Why is everyone trying to get me to find a solution quickly?

So back to the original question, what makes a good friend?

I used to think it was honesty. But I think after today I've changed the #1 spot. I think what makes a good friend is understanding. Understanding that sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all. Understanding that even your best friends have little spells when they get really confused about their entire lives. Understanding that, when you see your friend's entire world collapse around them, they're liable to be a bit rude and sensitive and selfish about things. Understanding that, as bad as it gets, it will get better again, but it may take time. Understanding that it's very easy to make their situation worse, and make that healing time days, weeks, or months longer than it needs to be.

What makes a good person?

Not deserting that person when they need you around the most. Whether you're a good friend, girlfriend, friend of a friend, aquaintence, or you just met him at the local bar... it doesn't matter. The guy needs people around him so he knows he's not going through anything alone. Believe me, I know that it's tougher than all hell to be around someone who is acting all depressed and weird. I've had my share of friends do that. It's extremely hard to refuse an invitation to a great kegger because you're taking your depressed friend to dinner to listen to him whine for 2 hours. It's tough answering the phone when you know it's him, and he's going to complain for a little while and may not even let you talk. But doing those things for the well being of your friend... THAT makes you a good person. However, a TRULY good person wouldn't mind doing all those things in the first place. He wouldn't consider it a chore or a favor... he'd want to do it. Not only to help his friend through a confusing time in his life, but also to know that maybe someday the friend would return the favor.

It's not an easy time for either party, but sometimes people are just all too willing to give up on the other person. I can't really blame them... everyone has their own problems.

I don't need anything else to worry about at this very instant. Any of you who are reading this who would like to complain about any part of me... whether it be my hair color or the way I drive or the fact that I'm a complete and total failure as a human being, PLEASE, for the love of GOD, save the complaint for just a little while, okay? You still have every right to say it, and I certainly want to hear what it is you have to say. But there's a time and a place for it, and now is neither the time nor place. The only way for the timing to be worse is if you told me this complaint at work. Right before my yearly review. With the owner of the company. I'm sure if you did that, I'd make it fairly clear to the owner and president that right then wasn't a good time to talk to me, and probably act really stupid and irrational. That wouldn't be a good thing.

That said, my yearly review was supposed to be today, but has been pushed back until Friday. I'm going to quit my job.