Pal, sister, buddy, mate, bro, confidante – the list goes on. While the specific label can differ from place to place, the universal meaning of a “friend” is actually more involved than you may initially think. Generally, a friend is someone you get along well with and enjoy spending time around. But, like more serious relationships, there are varying degrees of friendship, as well as varying degrees of commitment and devotion to the friendship.
A true friendship involves most of or all of the following – if not more:
- Trust – Can you trust this individual with anything you share with them?
- Honesty – Will this person tell you the truth, good or bad, and do so in a compassionate and tactful way? (more…)
As with all relationships, it is inevitable that friendships will hit rough patches from time to time. But, real friendships are worth saving and in the midst of hard times, we may have to put in some work to nurse them back where they need to be.
1. Reminisce. Depending on the situation, you may have a hard time thinking of anything positive about the friendship. But, there had to have been some good times, some happy memories, some bonds that you share. Think about those positive attributes of the friendship and use them as catalysts to reconciliation.
2. Admit fault. If you have done wrong against a friend, honestly admit it and ask for forgiveness. Taking ownership for your actions is one way we can show love to our friends.
3. Consider another perspective. Most disagreements in life can be avoided if we could just think about things from another vantage point. Try to understand where you friend is coming from and you just may be able to reach common ground.
4. Carpe diem. Seize the day. If you have had a disagreement, don’t let too much time pass before you talk to your friend. While a brief cooling off period may be beneficial, too much time can make issues fester, becoming worse than they initially were.
5. Talk it out. Avoid the urge to send an email or text message to convey your feelings. Instead, pick up the phone and talk to your friend, being sure to listen as well as speak. Communication should flow in both directions.
6. Avoid personal attacks. When trying to relay your feelings to your friend, try to remember to attack the problem itself, and not the person. Focusing on the core issue at hand will be more effective in quickly identifying and resolving the situation.
7. Follow the Golden Rule. We’ve all heard the adage “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Be the type of friend you want to have.
There is a saying that we have friends for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Regardless of which type of friendship it is, our friends should be treasured. If some conflict occurs, we should show love to our friends by actively seeking to right the wrong and move on. Life is too short to be without friendship.