One thing my mum would tease me about is my love for friends fearing that I might be a little too naïve; this would mostly be from her years of experience. And while I don’t take lightly what she warns I have also learnt that you don’t let people and bad experiences change the core of who you are in a negative light.
If you know me in person, you’ll agree I am quite the boisterous individual who may be tagged as a tad bit too loud sometimes (but in a good way I think). Hence I find I am very people centred, and absolutely love being around family and friends. I have been blessed with truly amazing individuals that I call friends. I have had my fair share of bad experiences but that’s life, we live and we learn.
I am aware that not many people can boast of solid and beautiful friendships and while I think to some level good friendships are a gift from God, to another extent we as individuals play a significant role in the kind of friendships we have in our lives.
So, I have decided to give little pointers I have picked along the way that I believe has helped me in gaining and maintaining beautiful friendships.
- Be friendly and kind– as cliché as it sounds its truly key. Now I know that we all have different personalities and not everyone is cheery and chatty from the get go but a lot of the time a smile and a welcoming demeanour will go a long way. Not every time guarded disposition. Also, little acts of kindness may provide the opportunity to meet and gain the trust of wonderful individuals.
- Know yourself and be confident in that – I used to fall into the trap of needing friends to reaffirm my worth and value because I didn’t know that for myself; and let me tell you I suffered the consequences. Growing up and learning to appreciate my value changed a lot in my thinking pattern. The scripture love your neighbour as yourself meant more because I learnt to love myself. Knowing and loving who you are triggers a sense of confidence from within that frees you from the mercy of what people may think of you.
- Be forgiving– some of us have let go of impactful friendships because our pride may have gotten in the way of making mends with the ones we love. We are all humans and are bound to make mistakes and hurt one another. However, a heart of forgiveness will give us the opportunity to see the good in people. Now it’s up to you to decide if the good far outweighs the bad or vice versa and make a judgement call.
- Don’t be afraid of letting people go– a lot of the time, personalities clash and not every individual will be best suited to you and that is okay. The fact that you may have known someone for a long time does not mean you must stay friends forever. A lot of the time growth and maturity may mean that you don’t mesh well with certain people and that’s okay as long as this is not done out of arrogance or pride. What I personally do is that in letting people go I try my best to ensure it is done in the most peaceful and loving way as possible (no need for drama) because you never know what tomorrow brings.
- Understand that friendships are an investment– a lot of people complain about losing touch with friends because they rarely have the time to catch up. It is hard work to maintain good friendships especially in this age where everyone is everywhere. So, my advice is pick the number of friends you can manage and pour yourself into it; as you grow older you realise that there’s only so much of yourself you can give so choose wisely.
- Be honest– you’ll be surprised how many people are not truly honest with those closest to them maybe because they are wary of conflict or ashamed or want everything to be perfect so badly that they just aren’t completely truthful. We are in real life and that may sometimes mean awkward and embarrassing moments as well as times of hurt. Part of what helps us rise above is how well we respond to these situations and alot of the time honesty is key to acknowledging what the problem is and dealing with it.
- Not everyone of your friend is your best friend– I have learnt that not all your friends will get you on the same level and vice versa. So, it is important that you learn about who your friends are, their strengths and weakness and flow with them that way. Whatever it is, you must learn to acknowledge people are different and not everyone can handle every part of yourself you present to them the same way. So be as discerning as possible.
- Finally I’d say be Selfless– our world today is a very selfish one with everyone looking out for their own interests not caring the impact it has on those next them. Even I have been guilty of this but one freeing thing I’ve learnt is that although friendship is a two-way street, it is not always balanced out the way most would prefer it. If you are a loving and caring person, you don’t show it only because you’re getting it equally in return, you show it because that’s you staying true to who are regardless.
As a Christian my faith has helped build my confidence and I would also advise to pray for wisdom and discernment in picking the right friends and for the right people to come around. God is always looking out for His own and as a good father He does not withhold good gifts from those who ask him.
Love and Blessings…