Sunday, October 2, 2011

Do You Lose Friends Quickly?

Why do I lose my friends so quickly?’
One of my readers is searching for an answer  to this question.
I’ll start by asking them this -
‘Are you sure they were your friends in the first place?’
In this post I want to think about what we mean by having a friend, what friendship is all about, and how to keep our friends.
  • School friends.
When I was at school, aged about 7, I was always making and breaking ‘friendships’. We had little gangs, who hung around the playground together, played games and teased one another.
These young friendship groups came and went, changing all the time.
These groups were where I started to discover what friendship was all about.
  • Grown up friends.
Later, as I got older, I realised more and more the importance of friends in my life.  Some of the friendships I made back then  have lasted for years, whereas others will disappeared as quickly as they came.
Why is that?
What makes a lasting friendship? 
1.   All friendships start because we have something in common.
My oldest friends go back to when I was a student.
What we had in common was that we all wanted to teach.
Our lives have gone in varying drections since but when we meet up that shared interest is still there and we pick up where we left off.
We might make friends through a mutual passtime – dramatics, music, sport, writing, and so long as we continue to share that particular passtime, the friendship continues.
2.   Friendships are made when we share an attitude to life.
  • We share the same outlook, the same values.
  • We have similar aims.
  • We may lead quite different life styles but we still understand the other person and can stand in their shoes.
3.   Friendship means we are always supportive.
  • We don’t have to agree with what ur friend is about to do but wesupport them if that’s what they need.
  • Having a true friend is like being on a see-saw. We try to balanceone another. They can be ‘down’ but we’ll be ‘up’ on their behalf. We try to lift them out of their dark place.
  • If the phone rings in the middle of the night we don’t hesitate to help them.

4.   Friendship should be a partnership.
  • The relationship is reciprocal.
  • You work together.
  • You give and you take in equal measure.
  • You try to provide what they need.
  • You have their best interests at heart, as they do yours.
5.   What is the ‘test’ of a good friend?
  • You always feel better for having seen them, or spoken to them.
  • You would always help them, day or night.
  • If they’re sad, you’re sad with them. If they’re happy, so are you.
  • You share secrets.
  • You’re loyal.

Without my friends I would be bereft.
I’d lack so much.
I’d feel something is missing.
My ‘best’ friend (and oldest in terms of how long we’ve been friends) is out of the country at the moment and won’t return till the middle of March. I miss her. We email, talk on the phone, but it’s not the same as having her here.
My life is missing something and I won’t be functioning wholly until she’s back. Sounds silly?
Some of you will understand.

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