Each of us has, what is in essence, a bank account with each of the people we have a relationship with. We deposit things into that relationship through time spent, conversations together, helping, and just being a friend. We withdraw from the account when we need to ask something of them, whether small or large, it places a withdraw on that account. Now the best relationships do not actually keep a tally, that is what makes them true friendships and not a mercenary affair.
No matter how true the friendship is one party can feel as though they are withdrawing more than they ought to in a given time period, this often happens in times of crisis or need. That person will inevitably say, “I’m sorry, I’m not being a very good friend right now. I’m asking you to do everything and I haven’t even done anything for you.” While this may be true in the short term, in the aggregate nothing could be further from the truth, that relationship has so much equity that you could put a draw for a long, long time before I would even consider you going into the red. And honestly if you consider that person a friend then that thought does not even cross your mind.
We develop deep friendships with people never for what they can give us, but because of how they bring out the best in us. True friendship is built around mutual love and acceptance, not trading favors. So when that relationship is drawn on we don’t think of an account, we think of memories. Would I want to help this person that I spent every afternoon talking with; why yes, of course I would. Do I think that someone who has walked me through so much of the healing in my life is flaky because they are sick and were not able help me one day, or month, or year; no. of course not. Do I give a single moment’s thought to rushing to the bedside of one of my closest friends, whether they are in the hospital for a day or a week; no, that is what friendship looks like. If we have developed a relationship built on love, then no storm or time of crisis is going to change that, in fact I would argue that those things only strengthen the relationship.