Updated: Aug 4
Real friendships never die, and that is not just some overused cliché. I can attest to connecting and maintaining friendships for decades. Not all friendships last, there are still some friends that I am gladly keeping at a distance because to be honest, it is just better that way (I can count them on one hand). We are still friends, the relationship is just not at the level it was before the breakdown and it might never return to that level.
When you become friends with someone, there is a certain expectation, well, there are several expectations. There is always an exchange, personal information, time, food, etc., but for some, the exchange is not always equal.It is not uncommon for the first few encounters to be completely awkward. You are charting an unfamiliar territory and the most important thing you would like to know is that this person can be trusted. How do you build trust with a total stranger? It begins with an exchange, preferably an equal exchange. Over time, the mutual exchange progresses and they are not just privy to information about your favorite food, but also your life; where you grew up, bad habits, good habits, phrases, family life, past relationships, present relationship, and all those glorious things you only share with those closest to you.
We all have different friends for different things. There are some friends you can share certain things with, and there are some friends who you leave out of the conversation. You don’t need to make a list of the friends you have because without hesitation you know who they are and guess what, they feel the same way too. Friends never question loyalty. If you have to wonder for even a second, then forget about it.
You genuinely care about your friends, you appreciate the moments you spend with them. Moments filled with honesty and love and plenty of shenanigans. We all have a certain friend that we have to pardon because some weird behavior. We are not all the same and that is why people connect, similarities yes, but mostly in part due to the greater appreciation of our differences. The spice of the moments, variety, the ultimate spice of life. Accepting those differences is usually what makes the bond stronger and last longer.
Friends support friends. Whether it’s a far-fetched dream, a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear. Friends push friends and they cheer each other. Over time you develop trust and respect for each other. Respect for each other’s time, beliefs, relationships, family, even respect for the funny looking big toe!
Friendships, like every other type of relationship will only work because of communication. I know it’s hard to really tell people to back off or even say I need you help if you don’t say it no one will know. That’s a lesson I’m learning and it’s really not as easy as it sounds. There is the common misconception that because you’re friends, you don’t have to say anything. That’s not always the case. Girl talks or guy talk is not only for entrainment. It is during these exchanges that we learn about each other’s strengths and weaknesses. We build rapport and comfort. We build trust and respect. We build a friendship.