One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood. -Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Growing up, I’m sure we can all vividly remember our best friends during the best and worst of times. Those people you could rely on when you needed someone the most. Those same individuals that you would share your secrets with, celebrate your triumphs, and reveal your pain to. Friendship is one of the most fluid like relationships we encounter in our lives. The ebb and flow of maintaining a friendship isn’t easy and factors weigh heavy on where you are compared to those friends. As you get older these friends play a key role in who you continue to become, how you treat others, and so much more. It also becomes harder and harder to decipher the good from the bad (and the unnecessary) when it comes to those friends that you need in your life.
Since my father passed away, I’ve seen friends come and go within my life. It has been for the best because it provided with me a great outlook on understanding the reach of my best people. You come to learn quite a bit as you get older about the value of a quality friendship. Which is how I’ve learned these three components that set my best people apart from all the acquaintances that I have in my life.
They set themselves apart by understanding that you each have your own life.
Friendships commonly blossom out of shared interests, but as you get to know the crafts and talents that you each have they grow even more. Your best people should allow you to explore all of your hobbies free of judgment and full of support. They don’t need to understand why you like doing something that pleases you, but they can set aside any and all differences to be a friend. This even applies to long distance friends. Long distance best friends always fall right back into place when you are reunited about years of not seeing each other. Regardless of the amount of time that has passed between you all, at the end of the day you know that all will be well when your paths cross again. These are your people and no matter what life throws your way, you will be just fine when you’re all back together
Friendship doesn’t require you to do each and everything together. By respecting each other’s boundaries and realizing that you aren’t exact replicas is what makes each friendship unique. I don’t expect my friends to be at the gym with me 4-5 times a week, just like they don’t expect me to be at each and every event they may attend. It’s all about giving, taking, and understanding that you have each other’s back.
Friends are able to discuss their differences without judgment.
We’re adults and should be able to talk things out with each other. From personal experience, I had someone who I considered one of my close friends completely ignore me and I ended up parting ways with her. Why? At the time whatever was bothering her was going on, she never stopped to think about the childish actions she was displaying. As adults, we should value the friends we have in our life enough to realize their importance and talk to each other. As a friend, you should be able to set aside anything to discuss issues and differences for the sake of the relationship.
You push each other to be better versions of yourselves.
This is probably the most important component to understanding your best people and valuing your friendships. If you have a friend who isn’t offering anything to your life, ask yourself – are they really a friend? It shouldn’t be a constant one-sided relationship of you doting on your friend or vice versa. You all should be able to grow and thrive making each other better in the process. You should both be able to celebrate, support, and push each other to be better people in every aspect of your lives. Congratulate your friends on milestones. Encourage them to take those leaps of faith they worry themselves about. Branch out with them when they want to try something new. Be your best selves together!