When I was reevaluating my core beliefs and values at the beginning of the year friendship was still in the top five values. Despicable me … I started to wonder why I still allow people into my life who add little and wipe their feet all over me. Awesome me … I then wondered why some people give so much and ask so little in return. There are people who enrich your life when they arrive while others enrich it when they leave. You know what I’m saying.
We tend not to think too much about the attributes of a good friend yet we allow ourselves to be drawn into another’s circle without, dare I say it, considering the cost. Maybe it is because friendships are voluntary relationships and we feel there are no rights of expectation.
Friendships that have stood the test of time have attributes and personality traits that I tend not to have. They’re the white to my black and the serious to my silly. To flourish friends need to be trustworthy confidantes and life companions who accept me just as I am. Best of all they’re okay with my imperfections as I am with theirs. There is a place of true connectedness where we are free to be our inner child. Spontaneous laughter, open sharing and all emotions can be shared without judgement. There are no awkward silences yet what silences there may be, are natural and comfortable.
Real friends don’t run out on us when we lose our ability to be a unicorn.
Friends sow into each other’s lives, hold each other accountable and they have each other’s backs. I love to spend time with my friends, it’s my favourite thing to do. In fact I will prioritise time with friends above a host of other activities.
One or two close friendships may be all we need if we are prepared to invest emotionally and time-wise; these relationships are worth nurturing. In a world that assumes more is best, having 825 friends on social media can seem like we’re popular but in my experience friendship happens face-to-face, in person.
Nurturing genuine friendships takes more than an in-box message every now and again and let’s be honest, all the “lol-ing” on Facebook isn’t the same as a face-to-face-bellyaching laugh with a friend. C’mon you gotta agree. Friendships exist beyond social media, smart phones and blogs. Tangible friendship wraps its hands around a cup of coffee and is not bothered by smudged mascara. Real friendship holds space for us in our tender moments when our vulnerability is on show, like a wilted rose on a rumpled lapel.
This month I am participating in the A-Z Challenge. The challenge is to post six days a week during the month of April using a letter of the alphabet for each post. My theme during this challenge is that of values. You can find out more about the challenge here.