Friends are important. Personally, life without friends would be very lonely. There's a saying about if you want friends that you should become a friend. I don't think everyone really understands that concept. We have all seen one person be mean to another person. I would have to say that we have all done it too. I know I have done this in the past. Over the years I have gone out of my way to always be a good, kind person, even when others are mean to me. It is a lot harder to be kind to people who hate and are mean, than it is to hate and be mean back. It takes a lot of strength and courage to still be nice to people who do not have your best interest at heart.
Sometimes people tell me that I am allowing myself to be taken advantage of or I'm being naive. I'm not doing either of these things. I am well aware of the intentions of others, I just choose to live my life by still being a person with empathy. It takes great strength to have empathy for a person who is unkind or hurtful to you, but living life with empathy makes my life more joyful. I don't want to be like the other person, I don't want to have negative feelings or hate. Empathy is a choice, the choice to live a better life.
What people also need to understand is, I have a few definitions of friendship. Friendship isn't one-sided where only one person gets their needs met. Friendship is multifaceted and ever changing. We need friends to help us in life and sometimes we need them there to teach us a lesson we don't really want to learn. Sometimes we have friends that make bad choices but that doesn't make them bad people.
Now, do not misunderstand. If a person is physically, emotionally, or sexually abusive then that person is NOT a friend. If the person consistently does not have your best interest at heart, than that is NOT a friend: friendship is NOT one-sided. If a person's intention is to harm you in anyway then they are NOT a friend.
A friend will be there for you in a time of need even. They may not be able to drop what they are doing at that exact moment but they will still be there for you when they can. A friend will want you to be successful, even though sometimes they may have to battle demons of envy and jealous.
Here's another recent article I wrote about friendship: 5 Lessons about Friendship