Being a social creature by nature, I have developed my own concept to understanding friends throughout the years. I call it “Trina’s Tree of Friends,” which is broken down into three different categories of friends. For the purposes of this piece, I will compare my three types of friends to T.D. Jakes’ three types of friends. My “tree of friends” includes trunks, branches and leaves, while T.D. Jakes describes them as confidants, constituents, and comrades.
Trunks are like finding a diamond in the rough. I probably have three or four trunks in my life currently. These trunk friends rarely change over time, but can if necessary. I keep in constant contact with at least half of my trunks and the other half are people who I contact occasionally. Trunks provide definite support in the time of need; they are loyal and consistent.
Confidants are very similar in that they are by your side regardless what may happen between the two of you. Confidants don’t judge you; they feed you positivity when necessary and confront you about your actions shall the need arise. Branches are the people in life that connect you to your trunks and leaves. The branches in my life range from short to long periods of time. They are not as solid as trunks, but definitely have more stability than the leaves. Branches serve a unique purpose in that they help you feel connected and nourished in your accomplishments and goals—just like they do for actual trees. Unlike trunks, branches are not hard to find. They are plentiful in the world. Constituents are those friends who are for “what you are for” and are always looking for the next person that meets “their” agenda, according to T.D. Jakes. Constituents don’t mind leaving the relationship—just like branches do at times. They understand that the relationship may only be for a season. Coming and going repetitively is not unusual for constituents.
Last but not least are the leaves and comrades in our lives. Leaves are those seasonal friends that help you to reach a “specific” goal. They fall out of your life, just like they fall off of trees, and disappear over time. Leaves happen to be valuable and resourceful in my life. Leaves on trees serve the purpose of absorbing energy and water, which is essential to the feeding of the tree. Leaves are easier to meet than branches since you do not have to really “know” leaves well. Comrades, in comparison, are definitely expecting to leave after they help you “fight the fight” and are victorious. Comrades are not supportive, but selfish and use you in an attempt to reach their own goals. Comrades and constituents are not the friends that you share your dreams with because they actually might steal them. True trust should never be a factor in relationships with leaves and comrades.
Now that I have shared my concept of friends, I hope that you will be better able to categorize your friends and make choices that benefit all of you. Happy Friending!
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