What makes up a healthy genuine friendship?

Anybody can say they have a “friendship,” but acquaintances are often what’s more common in our society today. When you “friend” somebody on Facebook it’s not a true act of “befriending”– not really, it’s a contact point, an acquaintance.

A healthy – real – friendship is not easy to come by. It takes prayer, purposeful effort and lots of time on your part and on the part of the other person to gel. You can’t hurry a friendship.

As Christian women, it is important to use wisdom to connect with the right type of people. In a healthy friendship you give your time, your energy, yourself. You also receive(take) similar portions of the other person’s time, energy and themselves. Basically a relationship is based on a give and take situation. If you’re in a relationship that’s all give and no receive, or take and not giving, that’s not healthy. Relationships are meant to be two ways - you give and take or you take and give.

So what makes up a healthy genuine friendship?

1) AVOID MAKING A BIG DEAL OVER LABELS

Avoid titles such as "best friend" or at least cool down on the intensity. The term "Best" can be very scary and can create some very unrealistic expectations in your head sometimes or for your friend. However, each friend is special in his or her own way. Justifying your friendship under a certain title forces your friend to act in a certain way towards you, creating unrealistic expectations, pressures and demands for both of you. If the bond is special or spiritually strong between the two of you, you will both know and sense the love and know you are best friends - have faith.

2) AVOID HIGH EXPECTATIONS

Don't expect the world from your friend. They have the free will to be who they are. If you don't like them for who they are, don't pursue the friendship or force them to change. It's as simple as that! Having high expectations leads to disappointments and obligates, and pressures your friend to act a certain way towards you all the time causing them to resent you.

3) COMMUNICATE 


If something is bothering you about your friendship, talk to your friend and be honest and straightforward. Express your feelings and avoid misunderstandings.  Nothing is as bad as it sounds or feels. Go to the source. Your friend can't read your mind, so verbalize your thoughts and feelings right away.  Don't run to other friends to solve your issues, because in the end you will think and choose to do exactly as you please anyways. So speak up! Chances are, they will appreciate and respect your honesty.

4) AVOID THE TRAP

Don't be friends with someone if you feel obligated. It's not fair to them or to you. Have the decency, maturity and respect to be open and honest with them about how you feel and then cut all ties. The truth may hurt, but it will set you free. You're not forced to be someone's friend and they shouldn't be mislead or deceived into believing your feelings are mutual.  It's very painful to be on the receiving end of a surprise break up, or to be dumped when you've been friends with someone for so long believing they genuinely cared. Don't lead them on, confuse them, don't waste their time, and  don't waste your own time either.

5) RESPECT AND BE RESPECTED

If you feel that your friend is using you, taking you for granted, leading you on, mistreating you, gossiping about you, taking advantage of you, never trusting you and so on,  either read tip number four or cut all ties. You deserve to be treated with respect at all times. You shouldn't be a tool in the shed that is used when needed and then stashed away when you don't serve a purpose!

That's not how healthy and loving friendships work. Also, pay attention to double standards.

6) PERSEVERANCE MATTERS

A strong friendship consists of compassion, open communication, transparency, honesty, patience, respect, effort, love, appreciation and of counting all the little blessings;  of making each experience count. This is what creates and forms those special unbreakable bonds - the one's that pass a lot of hurdles, pass the test of time, endures a lot of up's and downs, but still manages to make it through the storm; the one's that last. These type of friendships are rare, courageous and special, so cherish your friendship as best as you can, when you can!

Research shows that friends are more important to psychological well-being than even our love and family relationships. Friends bring more happiness into our lives than virtually anything else.

Not only that, our friendships (or lack thereof) have a powerful impact on our physical health. Studies show that a lack of social connection can be as damaging as smoking, drinking too much, or leading a sedentary lifestyle. The quality of our friendships is even tied to longevity.

Written by By V.S.Atbay and Inside Woman Online

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