by Stella Ramsaroop
(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 28 September 2007)
Everyone looks for different features when establishing friendships, but the most important aspect of any friendship for me is trust. When it comes to friends I have found there are four different categories of trust. It does not take long to place a new friend in one of these categories, but it always helps to know the telltale signs of each kind of friend.
The first type is the blabbermouth friend. This is the friend who you know beyond a shadow of a doubt will tell everyone else any secret that you have shared. This is the person who cannot wait to leave your presence to tell everything they have just learned with anyone who will listen.
The blabbermouth is like a busy bee, buzzing from one person to the next with the juiciest stories they have collected that day. These types of friends have no conscience regarding trust, so they feel no remorse for freely sharing their information with the world. You are better off finding another friend than to have this one around.
While looking for another friend, you might come across the second type of friend – the insecure friend. This is the friend who tells your secrets to feel more important. Unlike the blabbermouth, the insecure friend will not spontaneously start sharing their information, but will instead give slight insinuations that they have a juicy morsel of news should anyone be interested.
The insecure friend wants others to believe that they are ‘in the know’ and will drive others to desire the knowledge that only they can provide. This friend feels good after sharing your secrets because they believe others look at them as more important for having such hard to find news. You can live with this type of friend, but there are others who you can trust better.
For example, the third category is the type of friend you can trust better. This is the teakettle friend. This friend means well, but will spill the beans when the pressure is on. This friend wants desperately to keep your secret and will even pretend they know nothing at all if they are prodded for information.
However, if the pressure gets to be too much to handle, this friend will blow. After they have spilled the beans, they feel absolutely horrible and will confess their weakness and failure to you in hope of forgiveness. These friends are good friends, but it is best you do not share your darkest secrets with them.
The fourth category is the trusted confidant with whom you can share your darkest secrets with the confidence of knowing they will never be repeated. This person puts your secrets under lock and key and would never share them with anyone else - no matter what.
This friend never has to worry about how to feel after they have told your secrets because they will never be in that position. This is the best type of friend to have, but this friend is so very hard to find.
Now the last question at hand is perhaps the most difficult one – and the most important one - to answer in regards to the relationships we form with others. What kind of friend are you?