A "friend" is an interesting term ... ppl have come to associate friends with two diametrically opposite viewpoints ...
First, a friend is the one who is with you in all the times, good or bad. He is the one who is always on "your" side. (He flatters you in the good times, and blames the others for your failures in the bad times. )
Second, a friend is your critic. He always points out your mistakes, irrespective of whether u just scaled mount Everest or you failed miserably in a venture.
Clearly, both the views are flawed. The former can be easily confused with a flatterer and the latter, with an antagonist.
The obvious solution is to say that a friend should have both these qualities. But, there is something more to it. A friend should know when to show which quality i.e. he should not mess up your moments of joy with stinging criticisms .. as well as... he should not wrongly blame others for your faults.
Friends who exhibit this poise are more likely to be helpful and close to you than the 2 categories mentioned earlier.
(Post under construction .... )
12 hours ago