Friendship as a commodity (and the importance of healthy friendships)
I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship. It might sound like a funny thing to think about. If you’re like me, you’ve been on the planet for a fair few years to experience friendship.
I’ve learned that every friendship is different.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve sometimes had wrong attitudes and views about friendship.
I believe that while each friendship is different, some key characteristics become more and more important as time goes by.
Like any relationship, there needs to be some sort of growth for it to continue. If it deteriorates, that needs to be addressed.
Here’s what I mean by that.
I don’t mean in terms of frequency when you see that person. I’m actually referring to levels of trust and reliability.
In order for any relationship to flourish, communication needs to go both ways and ideally regularly. (In saying that, we all have friendships that don’t have regular communication and where that works absolutely fine due to whatever the circumstances may be).
But let’s think about friendships in your inner circle.
Things like responding to texts and calls? Vital.
Catching up in person every now and then? Vital.
Listening and offering compassion and understanding? Vital.
If we fail at those things, there needs to be grace on both sides. We are human!
I’ve learned that apologising for the little things is required sometimes.
This year I’ve had a few little disappointments in friendships that I thought were progressing, but didn’t quite reach their potential.
And just as equally, I’m sure I’ve disappointed others in our friendships in different ways.
But to come back to my initial spiel, I wanted to admit that previously I’ve seen friendships in the wrong ways.
In younger years I wanted to have lots and lots of friends. Like that would give me some sort of validation that I’m a good, interesting person.
But over the years, and especially now that I’m in my 30s, having quality friendships that are not carbon copies of each other, and where there is depth, could not be more important.
Can I encourage you to find the diamonds in the people around you? The beautiful qualities that you see in them, and encourage them in?
Rather than always seeking out new friendships, remember to invest in the people closest to you.
New friendships are great, absolutely. I want to keep making friends for as long as I’m on this earth!
But let’s not discredit those special people in our lives. Friendship is not about quantity, but quality.
Let’s aim to bring out the best in each other. Now, that’s what healthy relationships look like.
Have you ever fallen in the trap of having the wrong ideas about friendship?
What have you learned about friendship?
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