Friday, 26 December 2014

What Makes a Good Friendship?

I want to start off with stating what is not a healthy friendship. Some people drain the lifeblood out of you, They are always negative. Their story is the worst one ever, and your problems can not possibly compete with their's. They will monopolize the conversation and not really listen to what you have to say. It is almost like they have an addiction to sympathy and a "poor me" way of thinking. Basically, these people are self-absorbed and have nothing to give. You begin to feel that the relationship is one-directional. OK, everyone has some baggage, unresolved issues, but if there is no effort for self-improvement, these people remain stuck. Their misery will start to effect your personal happiness. I call these people "takers".

Another type of person to avoid are the well meaning people that want to make you their make-over project. I call them the "control-freaks".They say they have your best interests at heart, give you criticism to "expand your horizons" and lend you advice you did not ask for. They pretty much think they are smarter than you and have all the answers. In reality, their own lives are a mess and it makes them feel better to fix yours, because you are much worse off than they are. (sarcasm) In this "friendship" you always feel like you aren't good enough, that you can never live up to that person's expectations.

What will ultimately kill any friendship? Jealousy! No one can be a true friend if they are not happy for you and your accomplishments. Feeling superior to you, keeps everything just perfect from their point of view. They are often the type that confide their problems to you in hopes that you will spill the beans to them.This personal information becomes juicy gossip that they can pass on to their other friends. They feel important that they have the latest info to thoroughly make you look bad. Of course,they are free to embellish or even invent a story, just to be the center of attention.Trust is big component to a friendship and once breached, can not be easily regained.

With that said, the chances of finding true friends appears bleak. But once found, friends are precious gems to be nurtured and cherished. The people in my life I consider good friends become lifelong relationships and are not superficial. Age, distance, cultural background, race, gender, occupation, education and economic status, do not present a barrier. Even after a long period of no contact, that person still has a place in my heart.

So many people are satisfied with their own little cliques and do not allow new people in. They are afraid to lose their position of influence and do not like change. Being open to new relationships keeps life exciting. Everyone has some knowledge, insight to offer. A friend is not a clone, mini-me. It is an individual that has their own opinions. Friends respect differences and accept you the way you are. I like to say I am a work in progress and I try not to judge others where they are at in their journey. However, feelings need to be mutual. You can't make someone like you and not everyone will want to be your friend. Move on, there is a whole world of people out there!