Over the course of my 38 years, I have come across many people. Some people have played larger roles in my life than others. Some people come in to your life simply to teach you a new lesson about yourself. I’ve seen friends come and go, sadly, all too often when you come out as a lesbian after a lengthy stint as a “straight girl”. I certainly don’t have the amount of friends I once did in my younger years, I can sincerely say however, the quality of friends I have far surpasses the need for a huge plethora of acquaintances. I have learned some many valued lessons in friendships and today, I’d like to share a few of them.
Learn How to Listen– Sometimes we fight for air time, talking over each other, simply waiting for a pause so we can fit our thoughts in. We’re so anxious to tell our own stories we don’t take the time to listen to others. As a good friend to a few and having a few good quality friends, I can’t tell you how important it is to simply shut up and let the other person talk. In showing your friend the respect and attention they may need at the time, it sets an example for them to return the courtesy when the need arrives.
Tit for Tat– I have had friends who have taken advantage of me in the past and I’ve seen my generous friends been taken advantage of in return. If you want a balanced friendship on equal ground, it’s always important to return the favor whenever you can. Your friend gets coffee one day, you get it the next. If you can’t return the favor then don’t expect it all the time. The same rules apply for sharing and listening. Don’t always be the one demanding attention, remind yourself that your friends have their needs too and be considerate of that.
Being Considerate– Remember that although your best friend may often listen to your troubles and be sympathetic, sometimes things come up and you may not be able to devote the attention to your friend you know they may need at the moment. Do NOT take this personally. If a person has been a good friend, give them the benefit of the doubt and let them take care of what they need to. They’ll be back as soon as they can.
Don’t be a Vampire- We have ALL had friends in our lives, you know the ones, and they call you constantly with their problems. The problems sometimes aren’t even new, they just live them over and over again, forgetting you have a life of your own and although you love them, they forget that world doesn’t revolve around them. I personally have cut out friends like this in the past. We all have. We can only help people so far, beyond that, they may need professional help and unless they’re family, we can’t take responsibility for them. These people need to learn to start making their own changes and we can’t do it for them. Make sure you aren’t one of these people; nothing destroys a relationship faster than an ultra needy and clingy personality.
Always be Supportive– There’s nothing worse than talking out your dreams with a friend only to have them dump all over it, pointing out all the ways you will fail. I couldn’t care less if my friends want to be nurses, teachers, fairy princesses or Championship underwater basket weavers. I would encourage them all the same. Being supportive of a friends dreams or plans can actually help those dreams come true by creating a positive stimulating support system rather than a negative “you can’t do that” attitude. It’s not our place to judge our friends, it IS our place to help build our friends’ confidences and esteem by being an encouraging positive friend. If one wants to know how one’s plans will fail, they can go to their parents for that.
Always be Kind– Never take out a bad day on a cherished friend. Always speak courteously and kindly to your friends. Friends who yell and scream at each other and fight constantly, aren’t really friends, they’re rivals. It’s important to distinguish the two. You also cannot take back hurtful words and should you slip and let them slide, ALWAYS apologize. It’s important to treat your friends with respect. This is how one earns respect.
I have always believed in treating others they way you would have them treat you. If you want a good friend, you have to learn to be one first. So the next time you fight with a good friend you truly cherish, apologize, make amends, I have learned in the past that a true friendship can weather any storm with a heartfelt talk and mutual respect. On that note, I am very grateful to my closest friends and I cherish you all immensely. You have all contributed to me being the person I am today. So thank you.
Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,
Your Friendship is a gift… http://quotessaying.blogspot.ca/2013/02/friendship-is-one-of-most-important.html
Friendship isn’t about… http://bitsofwisdom.org/2012/12/08/friendship-4/