Over the last week and this weekend I have spent some really lovely time talking to and spending time with friends. Time has been spent discussing things that really matter to me, and them…….. I have asked for feedback and thoughts on my blog (because I really trust and value their opinion), we have chatted through challenges currently faced with family and work, talked and laughed together and also made plans to spend more time with them in the future.
Reflecting on this after the weekend made me realise how important these relationships are to me and how important it is to surround yourself with the right people. This hasn’t always been the case for me and I have had difficult friendships in the past which I have chosen to leave behind.
From hearing stories through friends and colleagues it seems that some people do like the drama of volatile friendships (as I remember from school) and this still plays out in adulthood – where people argue and shout, mistrust one another and find it difficult to be genuinely supportive. It isn’t easy to recognise and admit that a friendship may no longer being serving you in a positive manner, or to identify that time spent with a friend who is only negative or judgemental is having an unhelpful impact on your own wellbeing.
So what is it that makes friendships the right ones for us?
Personally, it is about;
Positive support – genuinely feeling that my friends want me to succeed in all that I do and more importantly believe in me and tell me so…. and vice versa.
Speaking freely and honestly – be able to openly share thoughts and concerns which lead to a real, meaningful conversation, and therefore feeling really listened to.
Laughing and being a bit daft – a definite theme with all of the people I spend time with is sharing a sense of humour. For every supportive, more serious conversation within the relationships there are many, many happy, silly, funny stories that link us together.
Appreciating the difference – of course we are naturally drawn to those who share our view and values but it isn’t always about agreeing, and often there may be a distinct difference in viewpoints/ politics and values, the key element is being tolerant of the differences and not judgemental in any way. Offering our support and advice, when asked, which is right for them …. even when this doesn’t fit with your own belief or point of view.
I like to think that as we get older (and wiser) we are better able to spot the ‘drains’ on our wellbeing and therefore make a choice about whether to keep investing in the unhelpful relationships. I can only speak from my own experience but positive, happy, supportive people breed positive, happy, supportive friendships! Win, win!
Have a a great week xx