5 Ways to Keep Your Friendships Healthy and Thriving

IMG_9887We don’t begin to desire friendships until we are of a certain age. Once we reach that age, we start to realize that life is just much more tolerable when we have people around us that we can call on. We’re all relational creatures. We were made to love on and support each other. Over time that idea has shifted. We’ve become numb, and now everything is about cutting people off without warning and not needing new friends or any friends at all. Contrary to what has become popular these days, friendship is vital. The right bonds and connections bring so much love and comfort in your life. Take it from someone who’s always felt she was undeserving of friendship. Someone who refused to change because she didn’t understand that her undeveloped self-was the reason unhealthy relationships were magnetic for her.

I believed for a long time that black women were impossible to connect with or get along with. I thought that having solid, supportive friendships just wasn’t in the cards for me and would never happen. And then one-day reality hit. I realized that to attract all that I wanted, I had to learn to be more welcoming, receptive to love, and more supportive. What I desired in a loving friendship is ultimately who I had to become. A lot of times our friendships suffer because we are too blind to see that the common denominator is us. If I haven’t learned anything, I’ve learned the importance of keeping my friendships healthy and how to do it on a consistent basis.

Be Available and Grateful

Gratitude is essential in friendships. Ultimately your friends should know and need to know the roles they play in your life and how much they mean to you. Also, being openly available when your friends need you shows an intense level of commitment to the friendship. The familiarity and comfort we feel from our sisters when we’re in need are sometimes all we need to be reassured that all is well and life will work itself out. When we get into the habit of not being around or unavailable, it leaves a gap in the bond and creates space for disconnection that could ultimately result at the end of the friendship. Be available and always show gratitude for the roles your sisters play in your life.

Be Supportive

I had to learn the hard way that the world doesn’t revolve around my sweet little existence. Just as much as I feel I need love and support others do as well. We have to learn that when we are committed to the things that we love; our friends are too. Support your friend’s ventures without feeling like you need anything in return. Don’t always expect to be on the receiving end of that support either. Help your friend’s life choices in career, love and other friendships even when you don’t wholeheartedly agree. In most cases, all we need to know is we have the support that we need. That lack of support can often be perceived as jealousy, envy or just a lack of concern/care altogether. Support is what will help your friendships to thrive.

Always Be Honest and Be Receptive to Honesty

Everyone hates the friend that tells you exactly what you want to hear when you need to listen to what you don’t want to hear to put some fire under your a**. Also, we can’t stand the friend who finds it difficult to be receptive to honesty when their friends only have their best interest at heart. More than likely we’re calling our sister circles before we’re calling our relatives, so if we’ve built a level of trust, I need to know that I am able to trust you, to be honest with me. Be honest when your friends call you seeking advice. Be honest when you know your friend is making a mistake and needs to be corrected. Be honest when you’re in the wrong, and your friend is right. Be honest when your friend is supporting their own downfall with the terrible decisions they’re making but they’re too afraid to admit that to themselves. Be receptive to the honesty. Don’t make excuses. Just accept and seek change for the better.

Leaving Nothing Left Unrepaired

Treat your friendships like you do your relationships. When you and bae fight you’re squashing the beef after a few forwarded calls and 3-page letters via iMessage. If you disagree or fight with your besties, it’s important to talk it through. I’ve abruptly ended many friendships in the past without talking things out because I just wasn’t mature enough to do so. Granted, not all friendships need saving, but sometimes our stubbornness or inability to be expressive and vulnerable ends things before they needed to finish. None of us should spend our lives feeling as if we don’t need friends or you’re better off without them. That is a really lonely way to live. If you have the power to reach out and mend a fence do so. It’s always appreciated when we can acknowledge our wrongs and repair the friendship after an argument or disagreement.

ALWAYS Choose Love and Compassion

My biggest pet peeve is for others to lack compassion in situations they don’t understand. It’s really hard for us these days to come forth and admit to ourselves that we’re dealing with some heavy issues. It is even more difficult for us to reach out to others and admit that. Being loving and compassionate in friendships goes a long way. Sometimes we just need to know that we aren’t suffering alone. Sometimes we just need to know our sisters love and value us. Choose love and compassion forever and always. If we want our friendships to survive, we have to learn to be attentive and tend to them as we would to anything else in our lives. Friendships don’t just form and grow on their own. They take time, care and need to be nurtured. Your friends matter. Loving them matters. And extending that compassion at all times matters as well.

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Be Inspired. Be Encouraged. Blessed.

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2 thoughts on “5 Ways to Keep Your Friendships Healthy and Thriving

  1. Excellent post.

    True friends are hard to find as in friends you can call at 2am to cry your heart out or a friend who will stay home with you when you have a toddler even if they are itching to go out with the girls.

    People use the term friends too loosely these days. We must not confuse friends and acquaintances.

    I have allowed friendships to fizzle out because they were not the type of friends I needed. They were happy go lucky/let’s go clubbing friends which is fine when you are a teen/early twenties. Not so fine when you are approaching 40!

  2. Wonderful post. It took me years to see that the world did not revolve around me. Unfortunately I lost potential friendships because of it. I definitely needed some advice on maintaining relationships. Thank you.

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