Can we ever trust friends as much as our family?

Wooff asks: Are we all alone at the end of the day except family? Recently I have gone through a bit of depression. But I know happier days await me. I think it started when I realized no one, even your closest friend, trusts you fully. They might say they do but at the end of the day they don’t. I have experienced this in almost all of my friendships. As a child I’ve valued friendships a lot. My friends used to mean so much to me. I always try to see the best in people, despite everything. My mom always used to tell me that these friends won’t matter to me soon enough. I refused to believe so. There was even a point where my friends mattered more to me. But as I’m growing up, I’m learning family indeed comes first; but can your friends never trust you and love you as much as you do? You see Shirelle, with me, all sorts of relationships are a disaster or they turn out to be. I either ghost a person or avoid them. Believe me, I am great at doing both. I lost several relationships because of doing so. As I start spending more and more time with these people, I end up getting hurt or end up hurting someone. Which mostly results in me ghosting them. I do realize, people change. Friendships are not constant. But does that really mean that I won’t have a single lifetime friend? Are all those movies lying about finding a true friend? I still believe that every individual is beautiful in some way. But do they not want the same thing as I? A true friend? (I’m really sorry if my thoughts are all over the place, but my head is sort of dizzy.) I hope I can find someone like Handsome. You are lucky, and he is also lucky to have you. Despite everything, I do believe that there are true friendships. But is everyone selfish and self absorbed? Can a person never trust you fully? Can you never find a true friend? Are we all alone at the end of the day? Can your friends never be like your family?

Hi Wooff –

I see your question as really being two questions. One about whether anyone can be as great as family, and one about whether anyone can ever fully trust. I’ll jump to the last one first.

Betrayal stinks. No way around it. When a friend does something that takes your trust away, or when someone who should trust you doesn’t, it’s just about as bad a feeling as exists. I’m sorry you’ve had to suffer it so much.

But I think there’s a different way to look at it. Because sometimes we learn that someone is trustworthy… to a limit.

My best example from this is when I was young, maybe a year old. I had tested Handsome a million times over, and knew deep in my heart that he was absolutely perfect and always there for me. And one day he excitedly told me we were going to the park – my favorite place in the world – and took me outside and opened the back door to his car, and I jumped in joyously, and he slammed the door shut… right on my


The door hurt. A lot! But the shock was bigger: he did this?! Was he angry at me? Had I done something wrong? Had he suddenly turned insane?

No, none of those. I yelped, and he threw the door open, and in horror, checked out my tail, and kissed me a hundred times, apologizing over and over. He was mortified.

And my shock doubled: He wasn’t angry or mean or crazy… he had made A MISTAKE! I truly hadn’t realized he could!

So from that day forward, every time he takes me to the car, I’m just as excited as ever, and when he opens the door, I jump in with just as much joy as ever. But then I turn around really fast, to get my tail away from the door.

So do I trust him? I trust his intentions, I trust his love, I trust his heart, I trust that he will always do what he thinks is best for me… but I don’t trust in his perfection anymore. I don’t trust that he can’t make mistakes.

I’m smarter than that now. And that smartness makes me a lot safer.

So I still trust him… but with awareness of his limitations.

So maybe you have a friend who adores you, but cares a lot about popularity and would instantly drop plans with you to go to a party with the “cool kids.” Can you trust her? Sure, as long as you know that’s true of her. Maybe you can know that if someone at that party dissed you, she’d throw food in their face; maybe you can know that she would be your best support if anyone broke your heart; but still – she’d go to that party, and not really be able to see what was wrong with that. You see, that’s just who she is. Just like Handsome is someone who can accidentally shut a door on his favorite being’s tail. Imperfect, but still pretty wonderful.

And does Handsome trust me? He knows I love him more than my own life, but can he trust that I won’t chase that cat across the street when he’s yelling at me not to? Ha! Not a chance! And as much as it drives him nuts, he knows it too!

So my advice to you on this count, Wooff, is to see your friends for who they are, and trust them just as much as they deserve. And if you know you can trust their hearts, and their love, and their intentions, then they’re such a treasure – and so worth allowing for all their imperfections.

Now as to your other question, can anyone be as trustworthy as your family? Well, not all family members are perfect, of course. Parents make mistakes, and some are even mean or abusive. And kids and teens, of course, do things all the time that prove them untrustworthy.

But I think what you’re referring to is a really good family. Which means one that supports each other, no matter what.

Like Handsome and me.

Now wait… are Handsome and I related? Certainly not by blood – we’re very different species! And while I have a license in his name, he doesn’t have one in mine, so it’s not like we’re married.

But I’d argue that we are 100% family!

You see, though – that’s because I define “family” a little differently than a lot of people do. To me, a family is any group that puts each other first. That could be a natural, blood-family (like yours). Or it could be a group of co-workers, or a street gang, or a sewing circle, or a pack of wolves, or an army troop… or just a group of really close friends.

Or a dog and her human.

So when you ask if we’re all alone except family… maybe my answer is yes. Because I’d be awfully alone if it weren’t for Handsome. And that group of military fighters out there feel a lot less alone because they know their buddies have their backs. And that mother is a lot less alone because she has her husband, and her sister, and her best friend.

So let me pull my two answers together, and say this: Just try to look at everyone around you as clear-eyed as you can. And see where you can trust them and where you can’t. And when you find someone where you and they can trust deeply that you’ll be there for each other in every way you can (within your limitations)… they’re your family. Maybe not in the same way as your mom and brother… but sometimes, even more so.

And to the degree that, as a member of my Pack, you’re a member of my family, may I just say: Thank You! I’m so very very proud!

All my best,


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