Frequently, we get reminded of the characteristics needed in a romantic relationship for the love to thrive, but what about the characteristics needed in a friendship for the love to thrive? I cannot speak for all the friends in the world, but the 3 things below are basic.
1. Believe the best for them!
There is no space for jealousy or envy in friendships. When you say you want your friends to win – believe that with every part of your being. You may not be able to purchase every product from their business, but you can share a social media post, or send an encouraging text to remind them they have what it takes to overcome hard things.
The truth is many people cannot do this because many of us operate with an attitude of lack and scarcity. We do not believe there is “enough” for everyone. We think someone else receiving blessings takes away from the blessings available to us. Fact check: blessings aren’t set up like this. There will always be more than enough for everyone. God is the source and God’s supply is infinite. When you believe that everything that is yours by Divine right is coming to you, you can get excited when you see other people win. In fact, you will understand that their win is also your win because the power has always been in the collective shine!
There is no room and no need for competition within friendships because everything meant for you is on the way!
2. Show up for the important things.
This does not mean being available for each of their kid’s little league games and bake sales. This means showing up in spirit. For example, if you know their kid is in an upcoming championship game, perhaps you could FaceTime and wish them good luck. Or, it could mean sending an e-card to your friend recognizing their promotion at work. Sometimes, showing up in small ways for the big things show you care.
Time must be made to talk and continue to get to know each other. Who wants to be 35 years old talking to a friend where the only memories you all still have in common are those from college? We should intentionally put ourselves in a position to create new memories - and this all starts with communicating.
I have seen a lot of posts about how friends need to understand when texts and phone calls don’t get returned for 7-10 business days, etc. etc. Well, I’m calling BS! Let’s be real and call a thing a thing. If someone texts, and you text them back a week later – they are not a priority for you AND THAT IS OKAY. But let’s stop lying to ourselves and each other, making someone believe you do everyone like that…because you don’t.
Now I get we all go through stages where we do not want to be bothered, and there are times we need space for mental clarity…but I am not talking about those times. So perhaps your standard may be to respond to an acquaintance after weeks, but not a close or intimate friend with whom you are connected and concerned for their emotional well-being.
So, surely there are levels to friendships. Look at the diagram below and think about some of your friends. Where do they fit on the pyramid…and be sure to consider reciprocity? Once you figure it out, act accordingly and level set expectations.