Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Rob -- A True Friend For Nearly Four Decades!

I just got off the phone from speaking to a friend that I've had for 39 years. His name is Rob and we went to high school together. Fourteen years ago this week I was running through northern Idaho during my solo run across America. Rob was the one who would update my running website with photos from the road that I would mail to him on CD (before the days of smart phones and instant uploading of images). Rob and I reside on opposite sides of the country, but our friendship has been going strong for nearly four decades.

On this day 14 years ago I had stopped at the Powell Campground in Idaho after logging a 39-mile day in 95-degree temperatures. I called Rob on a satellite phone since my cell phone could not get any reception. Rob was always very good about listening and sharing an encouraging word. Usually, I could post writings to my daily blog, but in situations where I had no Internet connection, I would call Rob and he would post an update to my blog so that those following the cross country journey via the Net wouldn't worry. In fact, in the online guestbook for the U.S.A. run my mother wrote, "Thank you Rob... for keeping Paul's journal and photos up to date on the Web. It is a great comfort to see the entries each night and to learn that Paul had a good, as well as a safe day."

I recently read a list of the qualities of a person who has friendships that last. I see these qualities in Rob and appreciate the friend that he is.

Good Listener
Listening doesn’t just mean you stand there and say, “Yeah,” and nod your head up and down. It means actively listening and engaging with your friend. Truly hearing a person makes a person feel special.

Non-Judgemental
Everyone has that one friend you can call anytime and vent to without feeling judged. The beauty of a good friendship is that you can be your true self with that person.

Appreciates Others
Like any relationship, you need to let the other person know how much you care about them. A person who can maintain long-lasting friendships does this with ease.

Loyal
Someone who can maintain friendships knows how to be loyal. This means he or she doesn’t talk behind your back — they’ve got your back. Even more so, they will stand up for you if someone is trash talking you.

Good Communicator
Being able to communicate properly doesn’t just mean a good friend knows how to pick up the phone to call you — it means they can communicate their feelings. A person who has longstanding friendships knows how to address issues head-on.

Honest
You want to know that when you ask your friend for advice, he or she will be honest with you. A true friend is someone who tells you what they truly think, even if it’s hard to hear.

Makes Plans
Friendships are all about give and take. It can’t be all one-sided. That is why people people with long-standing friendships make an effort to be close with their friends. Communication is key. It doesn’t take much to initiate, but it makes a world of difference.

Handles Good and Bad
A true friend is there for you through the good, but more importantly, there to lean on through the bad.

Dependable
People who can maintain friendships are usually dependable people. They are the kind of person that will pick you up at the airport, no questions asked. They don’t dodge your phone calls, or flake last minute. You can count on them. You know when they say they are going to do something, they will do it.

Vulnerable
One big part of having a long-lasting friendship involves the act of sharing. In order for any relationship to grow, both people need to be vulnerable. You need to open up and share things about yourself. This will increase the trust within a friendship, as well as a deeper connection between the two of you.

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso