My mom always told me to surround myself with interesting people. People who could talk about “things” and not others. Quoting from a letter to me titled, “Advice to my Daughter,” my mother wrote: “In your entire life, the number of people you can trust with your heart and your deepest secrets can be counted on your fingers. No one person can satisfy all of your needs. Make lots of friends – different friends for different purposes.”
I do happen to have friends of all ages, from many walks of life. For example, I have my best girl friends, the girls I can call for anything and everything. I call each one for different reasons. Whether it be to share grief and/or happiness; to get or give an encouraging word or endless support; for help from them or help for them; pedicures, shopping and lunch – I can always count on the same group of girls repeatedly without fail.
I have guy friends, some of which have been my friends for over half of my life – our friendships have continuously evolved through each stage of our lives. I have a few I talk to regularly, and a few that I may not talk to often, but we always pick up right where we last left off. Of course, I cannot exclude my dad, fiancé, or my children from my closet circle of friends. Every one of my relationships are special and different.
Thinking of my friendships, I compiled – what I believe to be – a comprehensive list of what makes lasting friendships.
1. Give support freely. You don’t always have to support the situation, but you can alway support the person.
2. Make time for friends. Setting aside time for each other will only help to nurture a friendship.
3. Be honest, trustworthy and loyal. Don’t spread rumors and don’t let others talk about your friends, either.
4. Be respectful and always show appreciation.
5. Show up, keep promises, be dependable. Friends can always count on each other.
6. Apologize after a mistake and forgive. Don’t hold grudges.
7. Be selfless. Do favors, go above and beyond – even small gestures make a big difference. Be genuinely happy for your friends through their triumphs.
8. Listen. Actually listen and remember that you don’t always need to give advice. When you must give advice, it should be thoughtful.
9. Help friends through struggles and crises.
“Try to improve their life through your friendship” – Barry Cassidy
Friendship is a give and take. Good friendships take a lot of time and investment from both sides. “They” say good friends are hard to come by, I disagree. I think you have to be a good friend to have good friends – I aspire to be as good to my friends as they are to my family and me.
© 2019 Lauren Johnson; http://livingthroughherlegacy.com