If I asked you the question: “Have you ever been hurt or betrayed by a friend?” What would you tell me?
My guess is that you and every one you know, has been hurt, in one way or another, by a trusted friend. Misunderstandings… rifts… quarrels…
A breakup with a boyfriend or a family problem will get attention and you will give yourself time to grieve and heal. But because we have the idea that friendships are supposed to be easy and uncomplicated, we ignore the pain or trivialize it. We don’t understand that girl-friendships take time and effort too. In our culture, a friend is hard to define. With the Internet a “friend” can just be someone who has clicked on your name on Facebook. TV depicts friendships as bitchy, backstabbing or drama-filled.
Real friendships are birthed out of connection. Something unique about that person… bonds them to us. “What! … You too?” is the perfect expression for how friendships begin. Anything can spark a friendship.
The nature of friendship has different parts:
1. Friendship involves a choice.
You choose to walk through life with this person. They are not obligated (like family members) to be around us. The nature of true friendship is that it is optional. The choice is always there to walk away.
– Is there a a friend you don’t feel free around?
2. Friendship involves access.
She knows where you keep your ‘chocolate’ stash. With close friends, you don’t have to put on an act. There is openness in the relationship. One of the difficulties in a close friendship is knowing it could get messy. Our own fears, insecurities and struggles get in the way of close friendships.
– Do you have friendships in which you feel completely open?
– Has any past friendship caused you to be closed to present friendships?
3. Friendship involves wanting the best for the friend.
A friend is a girl who is there for you. A friend listens to your breakup story.. again. A friend helps clean up after the party. A friend goes with you to doctor’s office to hear the “report”.
– Do you have a friend who is “there” for you?
– Are you the kind of friend that will be “there” for someone else?
Summer months are perfect for spending extra time with your friends. Holidays, like Memorial and Independence Day make for some great BBQ/pool/beach/backyard parties. A best friend can represent a little security.. someone to hang out or shop with.
– What is the most fun you have with your girlfriends?
“Friendship is the greatest of worldly goods. Certainly to me it is the chief happiness of life. If I had to give a piece of advice to a young (person) about a place to live, I think I should say, “Sacrifice almost everything to live where you can be near your friends.” – C.S. Lewis
Selfishness reigns supreme in most people’s life, so it’s understandable that real friendships will suffer because of it. And even the best friendships can become dysfunctional if unrealistic expectations are felt in that relationship. So, next week, I will give real insight into what makes great friendships and how to keep friends, even when you go through a rough patch.