Are You the Cause of Your Failed Friendships?

3 Important Traits Every Friend Should Possess

Charlise Limjoco-Ragasa, Reporter

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High school is all about forging friendships and building relationships. Unfortunately, it’s no secret that some of them end in an inevitable crash and burn by the end of our four-year-long teenage career. Elementary school kids play tag, middle school students play cards, and high schoolers play the blame game! However, I’m not here to pass judgement. Rather, I’m here to offer you a reality check in the form of a hard pill to swallow: have you ever considered that maybe you’re the toxic one in your relationships?

After surveying 15 fellow high school students at James Campbell High School, I’ve found that there are three common, essential themes that either make or break every relationship (in order of least to greatest significance!).

Honesty is the Best Policy

Being authentic is essential. How can you have a true friendship when lying is a common occurrence? Senior Brianna Rivera says that honesty is important because “if you were really my friend, you would tell me the truth rather than letting me find out what actually happened from someone else.” I know I’ve been in this situation a few times, and the outcome was never pretty… so save your friends the embarrassment and tell the truth always!

Student Council friends celebrating the end of the year. Photo by Olivia Laciste.

Comfort Zones

You know how people say that “nothing great ever comes from being in your comfort zone”? Well when it comes to friendship, that isn’t necessarily true. The truth is that your friends should be your comfort zone!  “It’s great when you can talk to your friend about anything. And you can go weeks, maybe even months without talking to them, but once you finally do speak, it’s as if you never stopped talking,” senior Maile Morrell said. “It’s nice to know where you stand with your friend no matter how busy you both can be.” The reality is this: high school is hard. In addition to the academic strain, there’s a new pressure added to the mix: the pressure to make the right friends and practice your social skills nonstop. It’s a new ball game, and when it all gets to be too much for you to handle, you need to be with someone you find comfort in. If you can’t be your friend’s comfort zone, do you truly care about their wellbeing?

In Friends we Trust

Two friends enjoying coffee at Glazers. Photo by Rosie Cullen.

Here’s the bottom line: no one wants to associate with or stick their neck out for someone who doesn’t have their back. The difference between romantic relationships and friendships is that while romance and crushes may burn out eventually, friends stay consistent through thick and thin (or at least, that’s what they’re supposed to do!). “I want someone who I know won’t go behind my back and spread lies,” said senior Akala-Pua Momohara. Trust is the basic foundation of every relationship regardless of where you are: whether it be in the workplace, in school, or even in your home. An important thing to remember is that trust doesn’t only refer to the act of keeping your friends’ secrets and “pinky-promising” not to tell anyone. It’s so much more than that. Trust is knowing for a fact that your friend will defend you in your absence, and having faith in the fact that your friend can be your escape, your guide, and your own personal reality check whenever you need it.

There are many common misconceptions of what it means to have a true friendship. With technology, it’s hard to know for sure these days what human connections are genuine and which ones are out of pure superficial convenience. But here’s the 411: friendship isn’t easy. Chances are that if you’re honest, you’re going to get into arguments with your friends. Friendship isn’t all kicks and giggles. It’s screaming at each other and pushing each other away and even shutting them out sometimes when things get hard. That’s where the trust comes in. Real friends fight, but real friends also have trust in the power of forgiveness. The fight isn’t what matters; it’s what you do afterwards that takes the cake (or smashes it everywhere, leaving a huge mess of trust issues and bitterness all over the carpet).  

A friend is someone who you feel comfortable talking to about the difficult emotional struggles you face, but also someone who, in addition to the deep stuff, you can also joke around and have a fun, wild time with. Regardless of the situation, you should always feel comfortable with being yourself around your friends.

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Are You the Cause of Your Failed Friendships?