Friends. A relative term really because there are so many kinds. Real friends. Fake friends. True friends. False friends. Convenient friends. Loyal friends. Best friends. Second choice friends. The list just goes on. So I have been pondering this post for a while. Soon I will finish this post – visiting the subject of am infinite balance in friendships. Stay tuned!
You are 5 years old. Young, trusting, and entirely green in the friendship province. This is the age when one of your best friends is the girl who shared her toys on the first day of prep, one is the daughter of your mothers’ friend, and the other is the imaginary superwoman of your daydreams. Goodness it seemed so simple back then – say hi, you are my best friend, share some sandwiches, tell lame knock knock jokes that make absolutely no sense, and laugh hysterically until someone shushes you all (yes Penelope might be invisible but she is a pseudo-person too WHC). As an adult however it has become so much more complicated – but does it have to be? And how many times do we actually stay friends for a lifetime? Well let’s just visit a while the issue of INFINITE FRIENDSHIPS, and their delicate balance.
Most of you have already read my post on “SNOW WHITE & THE 7 FRIENDS” which you can read it here: https://balancedawesomeness.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/snow-white-and-the-seven-friends/and really it must have touched on a nerve because it has been one of my most shared and viewed post so far. But I don’t think it is enough to just identify the good and the not-so-good friends in your life. It is also important to identify why they are good or not-so-good, and ways to nourish and nurture these friendships. And the reason for that is to ensure that your relationships with others follow a contribute not contaminate, value-adding not valueless road. Life is too short for anything else. But that doesn’t mean you cannot interact with those who are the latter – it just means that those people are maybe not in your “circle of trust”. The FISH! Philosophy components provide just the formula to decipher all this.
Your typical “not-so-good” friend doesn’t understand the importance of this concept and really reads this as “be there – when its convenient, or you have nothing better to do, or it is pertinent to personal gain, or is pertinent to public appearance/opinion”. However, your authentic friend will “be there” because it cultivates this friendship, and develops trust, and grows connections, and well and just because they are your friend.
Examples of being there include but are not limited to – coffee dates, keeping each other on track in health, answering your phone when they call (unless of course you are on the loo – step away from the phone), returning calls/text messages in a timely fashion, active listening (this includes not just saying mm hmm, yes, ah hah because you are watching something on tv – if the show is that important then request a better time to chat and go watch the freakin show), providing advice when needed but understanding that venting amongst friends sometimes requires us to just reply with “oh that sucks!”. Be present, be attentive, BE THERE.
CHOOSE YOUR ATTITUDE!
Your typical “not-so-good” friend has no ability to choose their attitude. When they are down they go to great lengths not to just vent their upset or utilise a shoulder/listening ear…they suck the life out of the person they are with and anyone within a 1km radius. Their idea of choosing their attitude is more like “choose how you are going to make everybody else feel today”. However, your authentic friend will be able to be emotionally intelligent and realise that just because they are in a crappy mood, they are able to vent/share/whatever then move the hell on like the adult they are meant to be. But this authentic friend is also able to decipher between toxic and value adding attitudes too – and wont give you whiplash with inconsistency.
Examples of this include but are not limited to – putting an enthusiastic attitude into events that require such, consistent with their attitudes toward others despite who they are or what they are or aren’t doing on any given day. I also believe that this also includes consistency in your STAND, or your values. This actually helps cultivate these friendships as people are not trying to guess what is going to piss you off or make you upset on any given day. Choose joy, choose love, CHOOSE YOUR ATTITUDE!
MAKE THEIR DAY!
Your typical “not-so-good” friend will always make sure that special events, moments etc is all about them. These people are unable to do selfless acts, or think of ways to create special moments in the everyday lives of others. Your authentic friend however knows just the way to “make your day” in any way they can. They can make your day just being there!
Examples of this include but are not limited to – making someone a priority not a second choice, putting yourself out once in a while to step up to a need, get to know what people are really like – not just what we see on the outside (no stalking allowed…its illegal WHC), turn up when you say you are going to turn up – laziness is really not a good enough excuse, and well you get the general direction.
Your typical “not-so-good” friend doesn’t really understand the concept of fun – or is so blind to this concept that they remain in their ever so safe little worlds. They will spend every second visiting you on an iPad (even when you have taken annual leave to be with them), they find every possible reason to just sit and do nothing (and seriously why not just do that at home), and again the list goes on. But an authentic friend will want to cultivate a friendship of fun – one that is memorable and amazing, but sometimes that involves having fun.
Examples of this include, but are not limited to – a family activity for everyone – kids and adults, trying something new, something outdoorsy (ok yes I am a bit biased to this), cook together, learn new skills together…anything really that is positive.
Now along with cultivating this in your friendships you also must be prepared to be this for your part also. We know none of us are perfect and as one of my friends said in her blog, to cultivate good friendships you must be a good friend. So this year I will endeavour to work at cultivating good friendships, and identifying which ones deserve that careful cultivation. And in turn I ask that – well nothing really – I ask for nothing in return because your actions will speak louder than your facebook status.
Now over to my followers and fellow bloggers…how do you cultivate your friendships? How do you deal with those toxic friendships? What ways do you have fun, be there, make their day, or choose your attitude? Speak up – its by sharing knowledge that we learn and grow!
Everybody Be AWESOME In Friendships!!!