“It’s not WHAT we have in life. But WHO we have in our life that matters.”
It’s become a trend when we’re approaching a New Year, our social media is flooded with the infamous “if you don’t hear from me in the New Year, it’s because I left you in 2000 and whatever” memes from followers and friends. I get it. People grow apart or someone you considered a friend could’ve really upset you. And ending the friendship seemed like the most viable solution at the time. However, emotions often blur our ability to be objective in many situations, resulting in rash decisions being made. It’s fairly easy to “cut somebody off” but if you’re like me, ‘friend’ is not a word you take lightly.
If a friendship had value to you prior to any upset, maybe take a step back and reevaluate your stance. Has anything disrespectful or untrustworthy taking place? If the answer is yes, depending on the circumstances maybe this relationship has run its course and it’d be better if both parties go their separate ways. And it’s okay to state this. But if the answer is no, maybe the issue can be resolved and all involved can move forward. You have every right to express your feelings because miscommunication is often the culprit in a diminishing friendship.
As I’ve grown…along with my friendships, there are a few key characteristics I use to evaluate the climate of my friendships and the benefits of maintaining these bonds I’ve formed:
- Are their goals and aspirations elevating with time?
I want to travel the world. They rather stay in the house. I’m beginning to take leaps of faith and creating my own avenues of success. They’re comfortable with right where they are. Something isn’t adding up. Granted, you may be the friend to give them the push they need but after awhile it’s incumbent upon you to surround yourself with likeminded individuals. You can’t want more for your friends, than they want for themselves. And if they’ve adopted a more minimal lifestyle than you desire, it doesn’t make them less of a good friend but what can you all relate on? Eventually, there may be some disconnect.
- Do they support and encourage me (or tell me what I need to hear even if I don’t like it)?
This is huge. Friends encourage one another…good friends are definitely supportive…cool. But it takes a real friend to be able to call you out on your not so great moments. You may not like it in the moment but it’s better than having a “yes man/woman” around you.
- Are they growing me as a woman?
One of my favorite aspects about Teyonna and I’s friendship is she makes me want to continue to grow and do bigger and better things. When she achieves new accomplishments in her life I’m so proud to call her my friend because I know her journey. And it motivates me and reinforces that the opportunities are limitless for us as long as we go after them!
Throughout 2016 rather than give a friend the boot for something petty, take the time to evaluate their impact on your life. Look at the big picture and say, “She may have upset me this day…but she/he has had my back.” Ultimately, if it’s a true friend you won’t want to live without them.
What characteristics do you consider essential to building lasting friendships? I’d love to hear from you!