Why am I writing about friendship? Because many of my clients struggle with what a "real friend" is supposed to be or do. Are friends required to be at your beck and call simply because you personally are going through a crisis? I think that all of us need to examine how much we LEAN ON our friends, and keep in mind that they too have their own "crosses to bear." You never know when you are asking someone to "lighten your emotional burden" only to find out that they are going through a tough time themselves.
According to Wikipedia:
- The tendency to desire what is best for the other
- Sympathy and empathy
- Honesty, even in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth
- Mutual understanding and compassion; ability to go to each other for emotional support
- Enjoyment of each other's company
- Trust in one another
- Positive reciprocity — equal give-and-take between the two parties
- The ability to be oneself, express one's feelings and make mistakes without fear of judgement.
Keep in mind that if you perform some task, or have some skill in a any given area, and they ask for your services gratis, or in trade, but then get impatient and go pay for the same service elsewhere and think nothing of it. Perhaps, that is not a real friend.
After all, friendship should be instantaneous and should provide immediate gratification, to your friend's satisfaction right? Not exactly..............
If you find yourself surrounded by "negative nellies," "users," or friends who try to "keep you all to themselves," you need to ask yourself if you really need these people in your life. Sometimes you will decide that you do, and sometimes you do not. Having good friends is like "weeding a garden" - if you allow people to take advantage of you what are they?
Some of the best friends that I have had over the years I barely see, and rarely speak with, and yet when I call or write it is as if there needs to be no excuse given (they know we are all busy), no apology, (for what? They understand). With others, and with the advent of the internet, I have not personally seen them in person for many years, although we live within an hour of one another, and it doesn't feel like friends the way it used to. Nevertheless, if they reach out to you as much as you try to connect with them, then perhaps the "old spark" of familiarity still exists.
I had one friend, once, where I always drove to see her. Thought of her as a "soul sister" of sorts. Set aside time in my busy life to be there for her and connect. She would inevitably call last minute and cancel, again, with an excuse of one sort or another. Finally, I realized that the friendship was one sided. I stopped calling. The friendship ended because I gave it no energy. If something or someone is negative, starve it by giving it no energy.
At times in your life, you will have many friends especially when you are young. As you age, your friends may get sick or move, or change. Allow the tides of friendship to flow freely. Some shells of friendship will wash up on the beach intact, others will be dashed on the rocks and broken never to be fixed. It is o.k. - you will make new friends. Let go and relax. They are either there for you in a way that does not create stress or you might consider letting them go. Be at peace with your choices and with your friends. Those are my musings.
Blessings~ In love and light, Karen