CULTIVATING AUTHENTIC FRIENDSHIPS
Friendship is one of the single most important things in my life. Good friends are life’s greatest treasure, and my goodness I have some valuable people in my life.
When moving countries four years ago, one of the hardest things about the move was leaving my closest friends.
I have grown heaps over the past few years, in a season that has stretched me in more ways than a few, that’s for sure! One of the stretch marks of growth I have experienced has been what friendships to cultivate/continue and what ones to let go of, even when it hurts. I have learnt heaps about the kind of people I want in my world, and the ones I don’t.
Find people in your life that challenge you in the best of ways, that back you in all of your seasons and that aren’t afraid to go the distance in your friendship. I’m no expert on relationships but I have learnt a few key things about what authentic friendships need to flourish…
Honest and care-FULL communication: In all of my best friendships there is clear and honest communication. We aren’t afraid to actually talk to each other about it all. It is so refreshing to have people in your world that value you enough to tell you the truth with care and awareness, honoring the space you are in at that point in time and knowing how to say the things you really need to hear.
All relationships require constant communication and development. We all go through different seasons and talking things through at each step of the way is so valuable. Care enough to follow up with that friend who is going through something. Talk face to face about something if there has been a miscommunication. Be vulnerable with each other and talk honestly about the things you are going through. This develops a deep sense of connection - something we all need in our lives.
But this deep sense of connection doesn’t happen without trust - which moves me to my next point….
Be a safe person: Hold your friends “heart words” with great care. The things that they share with you are sacred and should be treated that way. Know when something is for your ears only and always keep that information safe. Be someone who doesn’t take words lightly - when someone opens up to you they are putting themselves in a vulnerable position because they believe they can trust you. This is a huge deal and is also a great privilege. What an honor it is to be that kind of friend for someone. Vulnerability and connection is forged in a friendship where trust is high and judgement doesn’t exist.
Celebrate each others wins: I am so grateful for some of my closest friends, who check in and whom I check in on, with all of the details. We celebrate each others wins and are a soft landing pad for each others disappointments. Be there for the big and the small - the everyday moments in between.
Honour always: There is nothing better than knowing we can be ourselves with people. In our words and actions may we be the kind of people who lift our friends up, who cherish their individuality and cheer them on in everything they do.
I hope I will always be a friend that others love to be around, because they feel like the best version of themselves in my company.
We all need these types of people in our lives! We all make mistakes but quite simply, work at being this type of person for others (because all good things take effort), and make way for the kinds of friends that will do the same for you.