If there’s something that truly enriches your life, it’s friendships. Don’t you think? I just ADORE my friends. Some friendships going back as far as 1st and 2nd grade!
For all the attention we shower on love stories, some of the most special, compelling, and fun or crazy stories are those of best friends.
Pam and Gina, Chandler and Joey, Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff, Bert and Ernie, Woody and Buzz and the list goes on and on.I’m currently rooting for Issa and Molly, so we shall see.
It’s an amazing feeling to have a group of people who have got your back and who stay with you through thick and thin, making the challenging journey of life a beautiful one.
But it is not at all easy to cultivate true friendships and maintain them. Especially as we evolve and grow over the years.
I have seen countless friendships diminish as people drift away, and I have seen friendships takeoff even after a rocky start and a hardship. I have seen strangers become lifelong friends, and I have seen the best of friends become total strangers.
More than just witnessing it all happening with someone else, I have experienced it all in my own life. Sometimes I felt like it was out of my hands and with other situations, I felt like there was more that I could have done.
Regardless of the case, do you know what the key element that makes or breaks a friendship is?
It’s communication – the cornerstone of an enduring friendship. In addition to loyalty and support.
Communication is an art. Like a painter trying to illustrate his or her point of view by crafting strokes with finesse to create a masterpiece. You practice over time; you might change up your style after making mistakes or learning something new. Some are naturally good at it, while others realize that its not their strongest trait.
It involves actively reaching out to share feelings, thoughts, and experiences openly and honestly. But that’s not all.
Communication also means listening to others in a non-judgmental way to understand where they are coming from and being open to differences of opinion.
The latter, I believe, is where most of the difficulty is and why friendships either fail to develop in the first place or end prematurely. Just because you’re friends with someone doesn’t mean you always have to agree on everything. But being able to respectfully communicate through issues and miscommunications is what will keep you and your people tight.
Hey, I get it having awkward conversations are hard and well of course awkward but its so worth it. If you find yourself in a communication breakdown with a friend remember all the reasons, you’re even friends with that person in the first place. And if you aren’t ready to sit down and chat it out face to face, a good way to capture how you feel is the good ole pen and paper (or email for my techy folks.)
As always. Onward and Upward!
TS