I have been so lucky with friendships in my life. Curiously though, many of the friendships I have had in sport, work or socially have all be marked by one peculiarity. Inevitably each friend has had one or more irritating trait or fault that enhanced rather than diminished that friendship.
Let me expand on this. One great friend of mine in my later teens soon after I started work had the same interests as me. We played cricket and tennis together, we liked the same movies and always found each other company at the local drinking hole at weekends. He was generous in my poverty and good humoured in my naivety yet as I slowly got better at my job, earned more money and started to fulfil my ambitions he stayed as he was always making plans for the future, going to do exciting things but never quite achieving them.
A few years later I befriended a workmate who I socialised with in the hedonistic seaside town of Brighton in England. What a laugh he was, he knew all the right people, knew all the exciting places to visit and clearly enjoyed my company as we seemed have the same sense of humour. Sadly he too was flawed by having been a lover of a married woman who was murdered by her jealous husband. Yet few knew that he was cause of her demise. Sadly that secret was shared by me.
When I first came to Australia one of my first jobs was to supervise some major building work in a country location that took me away from home all week. In the country town where I stayed I became mates with a traveller in smallgoods who delivered his wares to all the country towns nearby. We met playing pool in a café and drinking in the local hotel and I was encouraged by him to join him in a game of poker with a local business man and his cronies. So I went, lost the money I could afford and stopped playing. Not so my friend. He lost his money and some of his employer’s cash, and then borrowed from me. Surprise, surprise, he was a gambling addict!
I could go on, but I think I have illustrated my point. Friendship is forged by the ability to relate to another person, to enjoy their company, and to forgive their faults and help them out when it is necessary. What is essential is to like a person for the good qualities they have but accept that like yourself they are not perfect and that hopefully they can forgive your faults too.