Welcome to my second post for Month One!
This week: Let’s talk Friendship.
Friendships are those relationships whereby we pick another, albeit random, human and say to ourselves ‘Yes, I want this person in my life’. We then take steps to invite them into our lives.
I've had my coffee now 🙂
A lot like my relationships, I always struggled trusting friends. That can be quite the issue when friendships, well good friendships at least, are based on some kind of trust. Trusting them to call you or message you back, trusting them to be there at 10am for coffee and not cause you genuine insult when they’re late (this is me), and trusting them to treat you well.
However, with that trust comes the opportunity for them to hurt you or makes you doubt the trust, maybe they don’t turn up for coffee and send a text ‘I completely forgot!’ which in itself is annoying, but for some people that would be enough to turn their backs and not want to invest more time. It’s all about the person and their expectations of a friendship. (I would absolutely not turn my back on you if you forgot but I swear to god if I don’t get a coffee after waddling ALL the way there…LORD ABOVE.)
Friendships are a lot like relationships, we choose to enter into a relationship with a person and it can be great. I enjoy laughing, eating dinner, talking about anything and everything, together. What helps me enjoy talking about anything and everything with my best friends is the trust I feel I am able to place on my friends. That’s the priority with me – can I trust you?
I would say it’s pretty easy to work out if a friendship is a positive experience in your life. It’s simple really, how do you feel when you’re around them? There’s a smart lady that once said…
What an absolute queen.
So. How does your friend make you feel? Here’s some things my best friends make me feel:
- Hilarious (I know right, shock to us all out here!)
- Cared about
OK. So I’ll stop there. Those are the feelings I feel when I’m around my best friends, I love spending time with them because they bring absolute positivity to my life, but I also spend much of my time trying to bring as much positivity as I can to their lives. It’s a two way thing. Friendship is completely a two way thing and you can’t be expected, or shouldn’t be expected to row the boat alone. You need the other person to take a damn oar.
How do I get them to take the damn oar?
- Communicate the issue to them, if you feel you can. Often, it’s much easier to ignore the issue in order to retain the friendship, but if you feel it’s something you want to discuss, I’m sure they’d want you to tell them how you feel. Be prepared for a defensive reply, they may feel embarrassed or upset by you telling them you’re not happy with something between you.
- Offer to meet up or make plans that you know are easy to fulfil. Asking them to come over on a Saturday when they’re usually busy, or have a family might be too much to ask. Or maybe Saturday is their day when they’re usually free and can make time. Making effort first will help your friendship, after all, some-one needs to take the first step.
- Take steps to make it clear what you are and aren’t happy with, but with subtle comments. Maybe they are often very negative and you find it hard to deal with but you really enjoy their company when they’re positive. When they make negative comments, try and reflect what they’re saying back to them as many people don’t realise the words that come out of their mouth and often their intentions aren’t bad. Or maybe say ‘Pardon?’ and get them to say it again – by thinking about what they’re saying, they may realise how negative it is.
- Be the positive influence in your conversations with them. Create a positive space with them. Asking “Are you OK?” can prevent you feeling wound up by them and encourages an open discussion about how they feel. Being self-aware is such a great tool to have, you’ll find you bring so much more love and positivity to those around you.
What are some of your tools to encourage positive friendships and relationships?