To have successful friendships, I’ve learned one must have certain qualities within themselves and those we seek as friends. Sometimes we don’t find all those qualities in a single person but within a small group. One might tell us to “Grow-a-pair” when we’re feeling sorry for ourselves. Another may offer, “You need a drink. I’m coming over,” when a shoulder to cry on is the only cure. Listed below are a few strong qualities friendships need to thrive, take a look.
Lock Down Your Ego
Healthy friendships work because there’s an equal give and take exchange. You must be genuinely happy for your friends’ accomplishment, not harbor resentment. My “Keeper-Friends” will celebrate my triumphs, encourage those risks, cry with me through failures and believe I can do anything when I have doubts. Cheerleaders can’t be encouraging if they have wounded egos in need of repair.
True friendships last because we accept people for who they are; a rule we must apply to ourselves. If we act like a different person when we’re with friends, then you’re not really YOU, are you? Fake facades and false realities fail. If you want to go from playground Jungle Jim’s to Porch Rocking Chairs, sipping sweet tea when you’re eighty, you must be yourself, NO EXCEPTIONS. That history together only makes that long journey… sweeter.
This can be tricky sometimes because everyone is raised differently; developing our own distinct moral codes. If you believe people think the same as you do― they don’t. And if we judge others, doesn’t that make it our problem, not theirs? I’ve learned just because I don’t approve of something, doesn’t make it wrong. Who am I to judge someone for making different life choices than I do. Once I let my major hang-ups go, my relationships improved dramatically.
No one can force someone into becoming the perfect friend. Having expectations is another “Me-Problem”. That’s why I have a variety of friends. Some are tough, telling me to put on my big girl panties when I’m whining. Others will cheer me up instantly by sharing their crazy life stories. A few who are great listeners, allowing me to vent when I’ve had a terrible day. They key here is to be flexible and let everyone be themselves. When we do that, it creates a great circle of support, like King Arthur and the Knights of Round Table with the strength of Excalibur by our side. Okay, that might be a little dramatic, but you get my point.
Real friendships can have a positive impact on our lives, and if we can incorporate these essential qualities, our friendships should flourish. Nothing is better than recalling those lifetime memories of grooving on the dance floor in our early twenties, to sitting shoulder to shoulder through our golden years― and of course, reminiscing about the good ole days.