ASK DENISE: What is true friendship?

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Editor’s note: Writer’s answers do not reflect those of the Mitchell News-Journal and are not meant to replace medical or mental health care.

Dear Denise: What do you think is the definition of true friendship? I have been so disappointed in the past by people that I thought were my friends but then turned on me. I guess maybe I am doing something to deserve this, but I don’t know what. What can I do to make people stick with me better?

Dear Reader: I am sorry you keep feeling disappointed, but the truth is we cannot “make” people do anything. People have free will and shall do what their minds and spirits tell them.  The only thing within your control is to be the best friend you can be. 

But to answer your first question, a true friend is one who gives as much as they take. It is someone who is genuinely concerned about the well-being of others, and does things for others out of kindness and love, without expecting something in return. They do not focus conversations on strictly their issues, but also show real interest in what the other person is saying and feeling. 

They try to learn about the other person, such as likes and dislikes, so they can be able to give gifts that matter. 

A good friend loves the other with unconditional regard, without stipulations and restrictions. They will accept the other’s flaws as well as their positive qualities. They don’t judge; they are just there for support. 

If you practice being the best friend you can be, and accept people for who they are, and you may find more satisfaction and happiness in your friendships. I wish you the best.

Dear Denise: I am confused. I want to eat right, but every time I read an article about nutrition, it is something different. They contradict one another. Eat olive oil, don’t eat oil. 

Don’t eat eggs, eat eggs. Where can I find out the right information so I can prepare healthy meals?

Dear Reader: You are right. It is confusing, with the plethora of current information out there. You are also correct in saying the “experts” change their minds a lot about what is the healthiest approach. 

My suggestion is you search reputable sites such as the ones put out by the FDA, the American Medical Association and the Heart Association. 

The information you find there will be empirically tested and will be the most current. Happy searching.

Denise Harrison is a Licensed Counselor in Spruce Pine. Send questions to or leave a message at 828-467-0037. Submissions are anonymous.



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