What You Need to Know About Friendship
It has been said that if a man has one true friend in a lifetime, he is fortunate.
However, it can be quite difficult to create and keep friendships or even know whether someone who says he is your friend is really no more than an acquaintance.
Friend Is a Term That is Often Misused
Many of us think that if we have even the narrowest type of relationship with another person, it is OK to call him our friend.
Unfortunately, we don't realize that simply attaching a label like "friend" to another human being is basically meaningless.
It takes time to build a true friendship as well as an unspoken agreement between the people involved in it that commits them to one another.
Becoming Friends Isn't Always Easy
People generally feel that becoming friends with another person will be relatively easy.
At first, it is, but human beings rarely are what they seem to be.
We all want people to think we are terrific and successful human beings, but the truth is that all of us have problems we would not like the world to see, and all of us have flaws that embarrass us.
It is only when we trust another person enough to show our true selves to him that we create the true test of a friendship.
Doing this is always dangerous, because the other person may not like what he sees and may distance himself from the relationship or even end it.
How willing friends are to tolerate one another's issues determines how well their friendship will do.
It takes time to build trust up to a level where people are willing to reveal themselves, but doing so is the only way that a true friendship can be formed.
What Makes A Friendship Work?
The basics of any friendship require that the people involved in it
- have feelings of mutual admiration,
- trust each other,
- feel a commonality with one another,
- support each other in good times and bad,
- be willing to help one another,
- enjoy socializing together,
- put each others needs first when necessary,
- respect each other and
- feel secure within their relationship.
Doing many of these things requires a certain amount of sacrifice and compromise, which is why maintaining a relationship with another person can be difficult.
You either have to be "in" one hundred percent, or you can't be friends!
Friendships, Like Gardens, Must Be Nurtured
The people who are involved in them must make it a point to
- maintain regular contact,
- show a sincere interest in the happiness and well being of the other person,
- do whatever is necessary to meet the needs or desires of the other party and
- let the other party know their affection is true.
Doing the little things such as remembering birthdays, calling or writing regularly and offering assistance when needed, are behaviors that oil the wheels of friendship.
They are small and seemingly insignificant behaviors, but they are powerful because to not do them is to kill off the relationship.
Friendship is a two way street, where both parties have to participate regularly not because they feel they must, but because they gain satisfaction from doing so.
Pushing People’s Limits Ends Relationships
In movies and novels we meet people who are willing to sacrifice everything they have, give up their lives, or walk away from love out of admiration and respect for another person.
This makes us think that someone with whom we have mutual admiration should be willing to do such things for us if the need should ever arise.
This, however, is not reality because doing self sacrifice may not be something even a good friend is willing to do as the need for personal survival runs strong in the human psyche.
Expecting someone to do more than they are willing or able to do always pushes friendships to their limits. Thus, people should always be careful about assuming that others think they’re worth sacrificing for, because more often than not, this is not the case.
It is one thing to borrow a cup of sugar, but quite another to ask a friend to watch your three kids for a week while you are on vacation!
The Differences Between Friends and Acquaintances
People who are colleagues at work, pals at school and neighbors are acquaintances, even though they may refer to themselves as friends, and we feel that they are.
When we expect them to behave as if they were, but they don’t live up to our expectations, we feel betrayed.
This is why we need to be careful when it comes to forming friendships.
It lifts our egos when someone tells us he values us as a friend, but it undermines it when we find out he didn’t mean what he said!
Settle For Nothing Less Than the Real Thing
When you see people getting together with others often, don’t make the mistake of thinking they have something you don’t.
Going to social, sporting or political events, while typical of something friends do, does not necessarily mean that people have a lot of “friends”.
It more than likely means that they
- know more people than you know,
- may not be as choosy about people as you are or
- may be using their money to attract others to them.
Creating Friendships Brings Great Rewards
The truest friendships are those that last, fulfill the needs of each party and make each person a better human being.
If you are willing to make the effort to reach out to people and let them know you like them and want to be friends, chances are they will reciprocate.
When they do, both of you will be happier and healthier because you will have found something others treasure: true friendship.
How many people do you have in your life that you consider to be true friends
© 2016 Sondra Rochelle