I love a good moment of inspiration. I did a video last night that I hope to publish soon on this topic, and it was honestly just a teaser for a much deeper need for investigation. I have built my life upon many core values, and among the top three of them would be how much I honor and value true friendship. Over my many years of making friends and being blessed to keep the ones I've established, I find that many people struggle with their friendships, or they ask what the secret is to maintaining good and healthy ones.
That answer is not one easily answered, however what I know for sure is it begins with YOU. How well a person can make, nourish, reciprocate, and maintain a friendship truly lies in the fact of what a person's relationship with themselves looks like. How often do you self-reflect? How in tune are you with how you present yourself to others in the world? How do you express love? How do you receive love? How receptive are you to critical feedback, truth, and honesty? Are you easily offended? Do you believe in accountability at all times, or only when things are good? Do you only have surface-level interests? Do you know how to communicate when things don't feel right or upset you? The list can go on and on....
Everyone gets to decide what types of friendships we hold dear (if any) , and the beauty of it all is that if you maintain a good relationship with YOU you've gotten a head-start :). I plan to talk more about this in detail, but just feel inspired to open up this topic as it's one that is dear to my heart. I thank God for the amazing community of friends around me. I would not have become the woman I am without them, and it is now that I can even learn to love my family better through the lessons I've learned in my friendships.
In my video, I touched on a few key elements that make a great friendship in my opinion. I've chosen to highlight 3 (there are more which we will get into later on):
1) Consistency is being there, being dependable, remaining the same in season and out. This does not mean that a person won't go through transitions, tough times, or changes...it simply means that even through these things, you know what to expect from that friend and can rely on them to remain. Even if there needs to be a shift or change in the friendship, a consistent friend has no issue communicating with you about what their needs are. If these needs can't be articulated, that's okay too. Friends just remain no matter if you can explain.
2) Proactive Communication is when you can initiate checking in on a friend, or not always needing someone to "tug you" or "prompt you" into regular communication. Are you able to get outside of your box and say "hey friend...is everything good?" Do you always need someone to confront YOU when things are awkward? Friendship is and should be reciprocal, and hopefully you are initiating just as much as those who befriend you.
3) Authenticity needs no explanation. Are you keeping it real? Are you being the REAL YOU? Are you masking parts of yourself to be accepted? We are all uniquely designed creatures, and there is no better feeling than to have the freedom to be, think, speak, and express yourself AS YOU ARE. That is a key critical element to true, lasting friendship. It really can set you and others free.