I’m sure. You and I have friendships to talk about. Young or old, there are others in their circles that make days extraordinary. We don’t seem to see them as friends the first time you meet, but there are those who make your days extra happy and bright every time they are with you.
I have met many potential keeps but not many made it to my lifetime list. I realized that people come and go. Some are a blessing; some become surprise lessons.
I could count in my fingers the number of friendships I have been keeping through the years. There is nothing extraordinary with my long-time friendships. However, they are those I would like to keep for life.
Have you ever thought of what consists of a good friendship?
Let me share with you points to remember as to the kind of friendship that you can keep. A true friendship is-
Present. Children and adults treat friendships differently. The younger ones need their new friends to be constantly around to establish the bond. On the other hand, adults consequently maintain friendships amid busy schedules. The need to be together like high school days is outdated. Distance is not a problem; in fact, it enhances ability to wait for one another and be excited at each other’s stories. Friendship is always present in spirit and never goes off even at the worst times.
Truthful. Real friends are truthful to one another because they are truthful to themselves. Truth begins with oneself so if one is untruthful to another, chances are, he is first untruthful to himself. Truthfulness in friendship requires genuine humility. To quote Mother Teresa, ‘humility is truth’.
Faithful. Faithfulness is not only for romantic relationships. It first exists in friendships where friends stand by each other especially at tough times. Faithfulness means the ability of a friend to trust his judgment when another friend is unstable. When you love a friend, you accept everything about him. A true friend trusts that the other can go past the clouds. If a friend cannot do this, it reflects his lack of faithfulness to his friend’s capacity to fight adversity. Faithfulness in friendship requires trust in one’s judgment of the other’s greatness despite weaknesses.
Trusting. One cannot be faithful to a friend if he does not trust him. Trusting someone may have differing results: a blessing or a lesson. A friend who is truthful is a blessing to keep while one who is dishonest and unfaithful may turn out to be a lesson to learn. Being trusting is a positive trait. However, if one chances upon a ‘friend’ who secretly resents him, then entrusting one’s life may not be a good idea at all times. Nonetheless, the one who trusts is blessed to have trusted completely, while the one who betrays proves himself not worthy of being trusted. Friendships are safeguarded and sealed with a certain degree of secrecy. If this is violated, it is time to let go. True friends do not betray one another.
Respectful. A friend who truly loves accepts everything about the other. It does not criticize, undermine, resent, gossip about a friend’s weaknesses or entrusted stories. Moreover, a real friend stands by, consoles, understands, keeps quiet and prays for a friend’s situation from afar without trying to fix it. He keeps away from dipping his fingers into his friend’s situation and respects what he is going through. He never judges and he simply stands back and trusts that his friend can overcome the difficulty.
Sensitive. No one is never without a problem. A friend respects the thoughts and feelings of another. One does not insult, laugh, or play with somebody else’s situation or feelings. If such is the case, then, the friendship is a fraud. Normal people do not go around destroying others. If this is happening in a friendship, then, it is time to leave it behind. True friends will never laugh at one’s struggles. True friends take care of each other’s hearts.
Nurturing. Good friends look after one another. They achieve balance in the relationship and see to it that they are sensitive to each other’s needs. Nurture means care and this requires a certain degree of entrusting one to the other. At crunch time, friends come to help. When one is in pain, the rest listens and whispers a prayer clandestinely. There is no room for envy, only sharing. In friendship, there is suspended judgment. It does not bully or put one to shame. A nurturing friendship is a result of one’s total acceptance, respect for and trust in another. The aim is to love, bond and understand no matter what the situation is.
Loving. Friends protect through each other’s embrace. When one tips off, the other stands by to help and listen. Despite the closeness, each backs off from the other’s issues and silently means well. Friendship brings about oneness. If friends think in unison and does not discriminate in challenging times, there is a danger to corrupt the relationship. At one time, it may erode the friendship. Therefore, good friends decide to love in spite of being. This is the ultimate goal of living for others.
Is there a friendship that hurts? Any friendship that does not have any or any more than one of the characteristics mentioned may be in danger. These are the foundations of a good friendship. So when a friend shows otherwise, think twice. Friendship is mutual. If a friend does not serve you right, bring the relationship to an end to prevent more pain; to avoid destruction. Friendships encourage love; it is not exclusive to the good of one. This way, know what to keep and when to walk away. Either way, it is for the good.
graphics by TYason