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I was chatting with my cousin yesterday about my event planning business and wedding planning. When I started describing the fiasco of a “friend’s” wedding a few years back she playfully called me on the way I label people friends and then often follow it with how we aren’t really friends.

This got me to thinking. I do have a definite idea of what I call a friend and this particular person was marrying a friend of a friend of mine. So, in fact, she was not my friend. She was just someone who I know…and not very well.

So, now I am thinking about the people in my life that I have given the label friend. Some have truly earned or deserve the title but, others simply rode in on someone else’s connection. Yet, I have been a friend, in my own rights, to each and everyone. Only I am now wondering, as I move through personal and professional growth, which of those individuals that are now included in my circle of friends really should be released to the realm of “people I know”.

Coming from a culture/environment where friends support one another in their endeavors, I have given my support to each of my friends in varying ways. I have been there with a slap of reality, a camera to hold, a pen to edit, a ride to the airport, a meal, an ear (I am finding that I really like lists), a ticket to an event I am not really interested in attending. For what it is worth, I have included my kids when I could, I have found babysitters for them when they couldn’t be included. I have done…as far as I believe…my duty as a friend and continue to do so not out of obligation but, true appreciation for the part that each of my friends plays in my life.

For my friends, I would make sacrifices and be there even when being there puts a strain on me. Yet, I am finding that we do not all hold the same expectations for friendship. Too many of us expect our friends to be there and support us regardless of how we show up for them. And showing up on our time and at our convenience is not really showing up.

Evaluate yourself. Check your list of friends and make sure that you are showing up consistently and constantly.

My real friends are reading this post…others who are not…well, makes me wonder how our friendship fares.