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Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection between two or more people. Friendship comes in different forms and different persons have their own definition of what it means to them.

Some of us may want some or all of these characteristics in our interpersonal relationships; kindness, love, affection, sympathy, empathy, honesty, respect, loyalty, mutual understanding, compassion, comfort, company, reliability, trust etc. from a friend.The type of friends we keep can break or make us. Friends are vital parts of our survival.

Sometimes in our lives we all have pain and sorrow. Times like this, we need someone to lean on, someone to be there for us when we’re not strong, people who’ll help us carry on and share the load we have to bear. The Same things applies to our successes. When we reach a certain milestone in our lives, we need to share our joy and happiness with those who matter most be it friends or family.The question is what type of company do you keep and what kind of friends do you follow?



tree analogy of friends by Tyler Perry

I have this tree analogy when I think of people in my life, be it friends, family, acquaintances, employees, co-workers, whomever…They are all placed inside what I call my tree test. It goes like this:


Some people come into your life and they are like leaves on a tree. They are only there for a season. You can’t depend on them or count on them because they are weak and only there to give you shade. Like leaves, they are there to take what they need and as soon as it gets cold or a wind blows in your life they are gone. You can’t be angry with them, it’s just who they are.The leaf people can bring instantaneous happiness but they do not make meaningful friendships in the long run.


There are some people who come into your life and they are like branches on a tree. They are stronger than leaves, but you have to be careful with them. They will stick around through most seasons, but if you go through a storm or two in your life it’s possible that you could lose them. Most times they break away when it’s tough. Although they are stronger than leaves, you have to test them out before you run out there and put all your weight on them. In most cases they can’t handle too much weight. But again, you can’t be mad with them, it’s just who they are.


If you can find some people in your life who are like the roots of a tree then you have found something special. Like the roots of a tree, they are hard to find because they are not trying to be seen. Their only job is to hold you up and help you live a strong and healthy life. If you thrive, they are happy. They stay low key and don’t let the world know that they are there. And if you go through an awful storm they will hold you up. Their job is to hold you up, whatever it may be, and to nourish you, feed you and water you.

Just as a tree has many limbs and many leaves, there are few roots. Look at your own life. How many leaves, branches and roots do you have? What are you in other people’s lives?. Over the years, I’ve found out that most of my friendships have fallen along the way or forgotten. The tree metaphor have really been helpful in my quest to really keep true and meaningful friendships.

I’ve been able to evaluate the roles people play in my life and also the roles I play in the lives of those that I’ve been blessed to cross path with.I once had a friend to me at that time, we were friends for life. I thought we had these bond that couldn’t be broken, we did everything together, shared our dreams and hoped to achieve them together. Then all of a sudden we stopped communicating because we moved to different cities in pursuit of our life dreams. We had no fights nor arguments.Tyler Perry’s tree analogy places him in the branch category.

Friendship needs no promises, no demands, no expectations, it just needs sincerity and trust.

best friends

good friends

There’ll be some friends who’ll be there during the great times, but are unable to handle the challenging times. These are like LEAVES that fly away in a windstorm.Others will be there during the great times and during the challenging times along their paths to a point when it’s no longer favorable. These are like BRANCHES that can only handle so much weight before they break.

Over the years, I’ve learnt to build more meaningful friendships (the ROOT friendships). These category of friends are very rare so when you are blessed with one, never let them go.I’m of the belief that people come into your life for a purpose, some will stick around and help you and then leave, some will teach you lessons and leave; others you’ll help to teach and direct their paths.

Life is better with good friendships.

happy friends

best friends

Nothing ever happens out of the ordinary, for every person we come in contact with, they come to play a role. Some we meet along the path, some walk with us for a while but eventually they have to leave us for their own journey, others are always there all through the journey, always there to support us and all. Even when we choose to take different roads, it’s all in vain. This is not to say that they don’t have their own life but, that indeed your lives are meant to go together. These goes for us as well, we come to play different roles in peoples’ lives.

There’s a friend who sticks closer than a brother. These are the types of friends we should all seek to have. These friends love and accept us for who we are, always there to help us, guide us, and offer a hug to us when we need a shoulder to lean on.
They support our dreams, hopes and aspirations. They miss us when we’re not there and cherish every moment we spend together. We feel happy and safe when we’re with them.

We might not see or speak to these ones as often as we would wish to but whenever we do it’s like nothing ever changed, such friendships are not forced, they come naturally.
Although just like every human relationship, there are bound to be differences but these type of friend will always want to work on the relationship and never give up.

Choose your friends wisely

The important point is to recognize the leaves, branches and roots in your life and really hold dear to your heart those that matter most.And in as much as we all aspire to have the root type of friendships, we should also ensure to be a root friend too to someone else and by so doing we radiate love, one friendship at a time.


Read more: Coping With Exam Failure

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