We go together like....
I've been tasked to write about 'friendship'. The annoying thing about this is I was not given an angle to tackle it with. I scratched my head and stared at the blank page, perplexed on what to actually write... and then it hit me. You don't 'tackle' friendship. It's not some knot you need to untie. It's not some puzzle to solve. Friendships is easy and they are my favourite relationships.
I'm one of those people that don't belong to a specific circle of friends. Don't get me wrong, I love friendship circles, but it's very hard to identify a specific group and be sure that I'd be there. That being said there are certain friend groups that I do love!
It took me a long time to actually identify key friendships and what a great friendship looks like. I used to associate a good friendship with spending time together (I'll address this in a bit), pictures, and just generally being seen in public. However, a few years ago, I fell out with a 'best friend'. What I expected to be a heartbreaking experience, left me feeling absolutely nothing. A few people were adamant that we'd kiss and make up. But I knew that it was over. I sat down and evaluate what the substance holding that particular friendship together was and well... there was nothing. A few shared moments of fun but nothing key.
It was then I began to pay attention to who I let in my space. I realised that I was wasting energy on the wrong things and unfortunately people. I was so fixated on optics that I was ignoring quality friendships.
If you ask me now who my best friends are, I'd probabaly name 10 people without thinking (15 if I do). However, when I think about how intentionally I've groomed my friendships, there's a good 30 people who could fit that slot. Now, I can't speak for them and say that I'm their best friend in return, but I can say that a solid friendship exists because of a few key things that I've been sure to put in place.
1. Quality time: Remember where I said I spent time with that old friend. It lacked quality. None of the minutes were spent doing productive things. I moved to a space where we could discuss plans for the future, worries and joys of the present and the stresses of the past. Quality time in friendships is so important because you should be able to dwell in the company of friends and not worry about what needs to be said, what silence means and what's on their mind. Anything and everything goes (except disrespect).
2. Memories: I became intentional about creating unique memories of our friendship. It's all well and good to have memories, but to live off nostalgia is unsubstantial. Creating memories is doing things you both enjoy, trying out new experiences together, commemorating significant milestones and life happenings. You want to do this with your friends at your side.
3. Showing up: Friendship requires support and dependability. Some people make themselves there for you in ways that aren't visible. Some people think support is showing up at events, RT's and story shares - and while this is true, it goes beyond that and includes emotional support during trying mental times, financial support without pressure, yaaasss'ing on the gram and more.
4. Discipline: Good friends will never shy away from reprimanding us when we're in the wrong. If we offend a good friend, there should be no reason to make them uncomfortable to tell us we've done so. When we've done something harmful/hurtful to ourselves or someone else, they should be able to tell us so too. Our friends should be able to tell us off as much as we mess up.
5. Consistency: We can take those who are always available for granted. It's easy to become complacent and relaxed and not put in efforts. Good friendship doesn't mean everyday texting or phone calls. But it means understanding the necessities of communicating, checking in and being available. Not always, but to a great extent. We can have good friendships with people we speak with twice a year, but the reality is that our best friends are the ones we interact with more commonly.
This list could go on and on with things I believe make a good friendship, but I'm wondering what else you guys value in your friendships? Are there things you'd never compromise? Are there things that would make you throw the whole friendship away? Let me know.