I firmly believe that you can not make it through life without friends. A group of people who are loyal, dependable, and will be next to you through all of life’s ups and downs. It’s nice to have romantic and familial relationships, but cultivating friendships are essential for being a well-rounded person.
Some people treat friendships as optional accessories. Meaning something that they can pick up and put on whenever they have time or need a favor, or to fill their calendars with brunches and day parties. They keep things superficial and interact on a surface level.
But friendships are just like any other relationship. And guess what’s the most important aspect of any relationship..?COMMUNICATION.
Lifelong friendships don’t materialize without any real work. ALL relationships, including friendships, are built on open communication, honesty, respect, and love. And it takes time to build all this up.
You can expect friendships to go through changes. That’s only natural because we as individuals change and have life experiences that change us. However, lifelong friendships support us through these changes. You can also expect disagreements in your friendships. But disagreements can be resolved through being open, honest, and sharing viewpoints, thoughts and feelings in a constructive and non-judgemental way.
I believe in some instances when people say that they have drifted apart in their romantic relationships and friendships, it’s because we don’t really take the time to deeply reveal ourselves to other people. Shared vulnerability helps to build intimacy. When we keep parts of ourselves hidden and disclosed from our friends it creates disconnectedness and thus your friendships aren’t able to grow and deepen. Loving and enduring relationships require nurturing.
This year I read bell hooks’s All About Love. It has deepened my understanding of love. In the book, hooks offer this definition of love “the will to nurture our own, and another’s spiritual growth”. She further states that love is an act of will, both an intention and an action.
When we are intentional about the relationships in our lives, then we can have a better understanding of one another, empathize better and build sustainable friendships. It’s imperative that we learn to be better friends to one another.
In what ways do you cultivate your friendships?