Friendships: Tips to Navigate and Qualities of a Great Friend

Friends are a necessity in life, they are with you through the ups and downs, they laugh and cry with you. They are also huge supporters in your life.

Today, I did something I have been avoiding for quite some time. I made a Facebook like page for my blog. My nature is to avoid the spotlight and self-promotion is excruciatingly painful to me. I did it though.

When I did the first people to like it were my friends and family. They are always my biggest supporters; they can also be the quickest to point out my flaws. They do get the good and the bad of me so that is alright.

For me though, the good in my friendships has always outweighed the bad.

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Pinky swear?      I pinky swear.

As women we know about many things in life and friendships is an important part of our lives.

Friendships begin from an early age. We make our little friends during preschool, elementary, middle school; they are the ones who we play with during recess, who we tell our secret crush too, and the ones who always accompany us to the bathroom.

In junior high our friendships begin to change, boys become more than only crushes and as our bodies go through changes so do our friendships. One minute you are friends with a certain girl then she ends up liking the boy you like and it changes your friendship most of the time forever.

High school friendships become even more challenging.

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Gossip, which was always present, takes on a “larger than life” space in our lives. Friendships begin to have devastating problems, in high school even though you are considered still a child you begin to face the beginning stages of adulthood problems. Emotional pain is experienced, fights happen, disagreements, betrayal, it is a bit like living in a soap opera.

Adulthood then comes. Take a moment and pause. Adulthood. Yes, the thing we desperately couldn’t wait to experience it until we live it for a few years, with the pressure, bills, making real grown up decisions then we wish we were younger but we press on.

Adulthood is a little more aloof you never really know when you are in it or about to be there. Does it happen in college or after college? When you are married? Divorced? Have children?

Either way friendships are in our lives and here are some tips to help with the relationship we call our friends.

Personally, I have had many women friends; they have varied from all over the world and from all sorts of different kinds of backgrounds. Either way. one thing has remained, they are still my friends even if I don’t speak to them often, or if they live hundreds of miles away. Our friendship is there, still loved, still valid, and still supportive.

Today I celebrate the wonderfulness of good friendships and the benefits good friendships have brought to my life.

Before we dive into all the things that make a great friend.

Here are a few life lessons I have learned along the way about friendships.

Friendships.

  1. FRIENDS CHANGE.

And you know what? It is okay.

For some reason we feel like we have to remain with the same group of friends forever. We don’t have to. Friendships change, people change, you change, your common interests change, you live in different cities many, many things can change a friendship. The season changes, friendships are like seasons. Few friendships stay with you through every season in your life and that is fine. If they do stay and you have things to discuss from kindergarten to parenting your own children, to retirement funds then you are a lucky one.

  1. IT IS OKAY, TO LET GO.

In my life, when I went to college, there were people I wanted to be friends with and pursued a friendship with them. They were amazing but every time we would try to spend time together it never seemed to work out.

It was difficult to find things to talk about or we didn’t mesh together.

Oh well. Let it go.

Another part of letting someone go is when he or she is the toxic friendship. You know who I am talking about; you feel way worse after spending time with them. I don’t have to spell this out for you. I am sure you know who these people are in your life. Let them go. Maybe later it will come back around, but for now. Let go. It is okay. Let go.

  1. FIGHT FOR IT.

When you have a close relationship with anyone there are going to be disagreements. Some disagreements lead the way to an argument. It is alright, but try to find a way to work it out. Apologize, realize in almost every argument, it was not completely only one person’s fault. Work it out.

Even after doing all of these things there are times it doesn’t get better. Fight for it.

When I was in college I had a close friend and we had a disagreement. We discussed it and tried to work it out and we weren’t nasty to each other or anything. We just couldn’t seem to work it out no matter how many times we discussed the issue. So, we decided to stop spending time together. We had mutual friends and one thing we both decided to do was to not discuss our problems with them, we just would say when people would ask, “Yep. We are friends, we aren’t hanging out as much right now.”

It was strange and kind of felt like a break up but we pressed on and even though I didn’t like the fact we were fighting; I respected her enough and she respected me enough to not discuss each other with other people.

One day another friend of mine asked about our friendship and I gave him the standard answer.

His reply was different then everyone else. He told me that was a shame and we had a great friendship and we should really fight for it.

I took his words to heart and even though others may have said it was sad or didn’t ask any other questions, he gave advice. I called her again and after discussing everything we managed to work it out and we are still to this day great friends.

So, if this friend has stood the test of time, trials, and remained loyal by your side; this is a friend worth fighting for.

Perfect example before we enter the next thing I have learned in friendships.

  1. BREAK UP.

Breaking up with a friend sounds strange right? There are times it needs to happen.

When you are in a romantic relationship if things are not going well you break up. Right? Friendships for some reason don’t work this way. I think they should.

Instead of avoiding the text messages, blowing off the invites, have an honest conversation with the person. Let them know you can’t be their friend right now, they are going on a different journey than you or you need a break from them.

It is harsh, I know. If you care about them, I think they will appreciate this more than the alternative. It may not happen in the moment but later down the road it is much more helpful.

There they are. My four main points of things I have learned in friendships.

What do you look for in a good friendship? Are you a good friend? Now here are the signs of a good friend.

 

 

QUALITIES OF A GREAT FRIEND.  

These are clearly my opinion and may not be as meaningful to you as they are to me.

  1. ACTIVE LISTENER

-They listen when you speak. Not only do they listen but they remember what you have said.  They ask you about what you shared the next time they see you.

  1. SPECIAL EVENTS

-They remember the special events in our lives.

For some of us this is birthdays, others would rather you forget their birthday. Graduations, the day their animal left the earth. Whatever it is. Friends try to do their best to remember these days.

TIPS- If you are not good at remembering this make a mark on your calendar, or an alarm on your phone. Remember it.

  1. ENCOURAGER

-We all need a cheerleader, a cheerleader who is not our mother.  A person to tell us we are awesome, we can do it, we are stronger than we believe.

-A Great Friend reminds you of your dreams and pesters you to achieve them.

  1. REBUKE

-Perfect one to come after the encourager.

=We all need to be told when we are being fussy, annoying, unreasonable, or throwing too many pity parties for ourselves. If your friend is a true friend they also point out when you are not so awesome. It goes both ways so be kind when picking out the flaws.

“You can say anything you want to a person it only matters how you say it.” -ME

  1. HAPPY FOR THEM.

-When we have good news we are bursting at the seam to tell someone, we got the job, we met the guy, we won a million dollars. It is only as enjoyable as the people who celebrate with you.

-A true friends celebrates with you when you achieve goals, when your good fortune comes.

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The utter joy on their faces at their friends achieving their dreams.
  1. ADVICE.

-They give sound advice.

-A good friend will listen, think and give sound advice.

-They may even suggest you need some outside help like counseling. It sounds harsh but a real friend will be looking out for your well being and this may be the best advice they can give you.

  1. PUTS FORTH EFFORT

-Every relationship needs tender, loving care.

-A Great Friend will text, call, email, snapchat, message etc.  They put forth the effort to let you know your relationship is important and they are thinking of you.

 “You will always make time for the things in your life if you feel they are important.”-ME

CONCLUSION

If you want amazing friendships in your life than you need to be a good friend too.

Friendship is needed exactly like every other human relationship is needed. It is also beneficial to nurture it, as it is a living-breathing thing. Everything that is alive needs attention, so do friendships.

Furthermore, not every friend is going to possess all of these qualities let us just make sure they possess a few of them.

If you don’t have a great friendship then make a new friend this week.

MAKE A NEW FRIEND.

The comment of “that person doesn’t need any more friends.” May be true for a few people but most people always need another good friend. Maybe you are just their friend they can talk about their weird obsession with rather it be pinterest, fruit, Colin Firth, gardening, unicorns, different kinds of popcorn. . . you never know.

HOMEWORK. 🙂

Tell those friends who are special in your life they are amazing, and you wouldn’t have it any other way than with them.

Find one of your friends this week; thank them for their friendship.

Post a sappy social media post about them even if it isn’t their birthday.

Give them a hug.

Invite them to go and do something with you.

Tell them you appreciate them.

Who makes your life special? Who is your friend you can always be yourself with?

Tell them.

And to all of you who are reading this blog. Thank you my dear friends.

See you next time.

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