Happiness · Lifestyle

What makes a lasting friendship?

For an entire year of blogging about happiness last year, not once did I mention something incredibly important – friendship! Perhaps it’s this year’s wisdom focus that has spurred me on to blog about one of the most important subjects to our wellbeing – having good friends.

I have been thinking about friendships a fair bit recently and how they come in different forms and tones and how very unique each friendship is. Whilst friends may have predominant traits that you find a connection with, it really is the whole package that makes a great friend. For example, you might like humour and therefore make easy friends with comical people yet not all of these will become your bosom buddies. What makes the best of friendships endure?

An investment of time and energy

Friendships are an investment of our time and energy. Whilst some may natirally involve more time and energy than others, let’s not forget those friendships where you don’t see or speak to the other person for years but still can be the best of friends and share a deep connection during the times that you do meet. I have a lifelong friend who I have not seen for twenty years, but we write handwritten letters a couple of times a year and it still is a cherished friendship.

Non judgment and respect

The best types of friends don’t judge. They may tell you their points of view, but they respect your decisions and right to live life the way you want to live it. This includes allowing you to make and learn from your own mistakes and being there for you no matter what. They never utter a word of, ‘I told you so’, as they understand your right as a fellow human to make choices for yourself.

Silent understanding

Friends are people you can share chatter and laughs with and spend endless amounts of time together without getting bored. However, the best of friends can sit with you in hours of silence and still a strong bond will exist, without the need for talk.

An unwavering belief

Sometimes certain traumas or even a bad day can knock our self confidence. The best of friends will be the first ones you want to pick up the phone to and who are ready to remind you of the wonderful person that you are. No matter how trivial a problem may sound, your best friend(s) will patiently listen and give you love and support.

The ability to connect with your deepest self

Many friendships can be great for a season, but as people begin to change and develop, sometimes friendships can fizzle out. However, lifelong friendships are due to certain individuals being able to see the very heart of you. No matter how much you or another person evolves, the bond still holds fast.

Whatever shape or size, form or tone of your friendships, cherish each and every one of them. Whilst some may not last a lifetime, each are there to serve a specific purpose: to make you laugh when you’re sad, to support you when you need it, to tell you difficult things that you may have needed to hear, teach you likes and dislikes and so on. Friendships and our interaction with all beings hold lessons that help shape us. As with everything in this universe, we only need to listen to what message they bring. As for our deeper friendships, spend more time with those who nurture and support you and return the compassion that you receive. It’s not about the number of friends you have, but the quality and depth of the friendship that matter.

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