Hi guys and gals!!! Hope you are all having an amazing week!!! I sure am! The week is ending, this weather is a-Mazing! And my school year is quickly coming to an end…
LIFE IS GOOD!
All that aside, a few things have occurred in the friendship department. And it got me thinking about my friendships near and far. When I was younger, I used to think that the more friends I had the better off I was. Isn’t that the way it is? I knew someone who was only happy circulating in huge circles of friends – an entourage. Like seriously every time we were going to get together she wanted to know who all was going to be there. Annoying!
As I’ve gotten older I realize that my circle has gotten quite small and tight —- and it’s just perfect.
I have friendships going on over 20 years, probably not a lot considering I am almost 50, but I can say that I love each and every one of them as if we have known each other a lifetime.
We’ve watched each other get married and divorced, have kids, celebrated life events together!! We’ve shared joys and heartaches, sicknesses and triumphs!! We know that every TIME we get together it’s a guaranteed great time!!!!
Friends come to us for many reasons. Sometimes it’s for advice, sometimes it’s a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes friends want you to empathize with them; share their anger over a break up or joy over the new boo – even though you know he’s no good.
At other times, friends want you to help them forget their trials and tribulations. And sometimes friends just want to go out and get roaring drunk!!!! My friends love this one!! LOL!
When friends come to us for advice they may just want to bounce ideas off us and see what we think. It doesn’t necessarily mean they will take the advice or change their behavior, but it makes them feel good to hear your thoughts. And probably just to be in your company.
Other times friends don’t want ANY advice or feedback. They merely want you to listen. They don’t want you co-signing or telling them if they’re wrong or right. And they surely they don’t want you telling them what to do. Or making negative comments.
Our first instinct is to do one of several things when a friend comes to us:
- Super Co-sign -Your friend tells you about something that happened to her/him and you say “Oh, one time…the same thing happened to me. And it was even worse.”
- Change Subject/Check Out – Your friend shares an emotional incident or funny story and you say, “OMG, wait, wait, wait, let me tell you about…or wait until I tell you about …”
- Give Advice – Your friend comes to you with relationship problems and you say,
“I think you should never ever talk to him again!! What a douche bag!”
- Judge (Boy we all do this!) – Doesn’t matter what they say, we automatically judge like “What! Girl you crazy, I wouldn’t even go there!” or “OMG, why in the world would you do that?” (and this is only what we say out loud never mind what is running through our minds!) Who are we to judge, btw?!?!
I am sure there are other things we do, all with good intentions, not even realizing how we are falling short in the friendship department.
We check out before they even start talking, because we are already formulating our co-sign, check-out, advice, or judgement.
Want to know what I’ve learned about being a better friend? Well, even if you don’t want to know, I am going to tell you anyway.
- Listen to the unspoken words your friend is trying to communicate to you. Sometimes what your friend is saying is not necessarily what they are really trying to say, if that makes sense. And listen not so much with your ears, though that is what they are for, but listen with your heart. Listen deeper.
- Don’t Judge – This is hard because sometimes we don’t realize that when we are saying things like “Are you crazy?” “Why did you do that?” “OMG” what we are doing is judging. What we are saying is (in our heads) I would never do that, because I am too good to do that. When in reality we are all capable of certain behaviors at any given moment. Who are we to judge?
- Don’t Negate – As a teacher when we are giving students feedback we are told to give two positives first and a negative (feedback that is). Not a negative and then two positives. In friendships don’t even give the negative. Your friend tells you about the great guy she just met, your response shouldn’t be, “Oh he’s kind of short, but at least he’s single.” Or “He doesn’t look your type, but I get it girl.” Like really?! Who the f*@K wants to hear that? Learn how to share in your friend’s excitement, even if it means down the road you may have to share in her disappointment.
I used to tell a friend, if you want me to hate him today because you are sad or angry, I will hate him. And when you love him, I will love him as well.
Friendships take work, just like any type of relationship.
Remember to nurture your friends as you would a flower.
Water it with love and attention, shower it with sunshiny vibes, talk to it with tenderness – and those friendships will flourish over time and bloom and re-bloom. And bring you lifelong joy!
I am not a perfect friend, but in the spirit of wanting to be better and love better I do hope I bring my friends as much joy as they bring me.