Growing up I didn’t have many friends, I was surrounded constantly with family. I can’t recall having childhood friends which is unfortunate because as COVID has shown us, early childhood development is dependent heavily on human to human contact.
As I grew older I learned how to make friends and many came and went throughout my life. High School years were littered with friends who were gossips, bullies and aggressive. College was much the same but with a heavier drinking culture associated with those days. Throughout the years I’ve held onto the people that have stayed, to those that showed up when needed. Today I can say as an adult, I have a very healthy balance with my friendships and have a strong social circle. People whom I can count on and are reliable.
You don’t have to be in touch often to be a close friend; many times I don’t speak to my close friends on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, through social media we keep up with each other and only in need reach out. But when connecting to a close friend after a long period of time, the friendship does not feel faded or that a day has gone by without speaking.
Communication, like all relationships is very important; it is important to communicate clearly and openly with close friends, people who serve as sounding boards are often the pillars of strength needed to get through difficult situations.
Psychological safety and trust is healthy; building a friendship harbors on trust, if you can’t trust your closest friends than who can you let into your inner circle?
Maintain judgement free zones with those that are close to oneself, judging people in general is a slippery slope and only leads to resentment.
If someone leaves your life, watch them run; there are many people that have come and gone in my life, close people I considered to be friends. When they left I learned that not everyone is meant to stay, some are meant to teach us a lesson and are only in our lives for a season.
Create healthy boundaries; I don’t drink anymore and my friends respect that. With any decision you personally take, a friend should standby with their unwavering support.
Friendships that are timeless need to be treasured, because they are rare.
An ode to those I hold dearest to my heart: To the friends I never asked for, but the ones I’m forever grateful for, you know who you are. You show up when I call, you listen when I speak, you are fearlessly by my side, even through the most difficult times, thank you for being part of my soul tribe.