F r i e n d s h i p: The meaning and How to P r e s e r v e One

I have a post called Covenant Friendships and it is very spiritual in nature, because that is what friendships are to me. I don’t just throw that word around like many people seem to do – friends, to me, are like family, and I don’t half step on friendship. I am not perfect, so, of course my friendships may have conflict from time to time, but once you have me as a friend, you’ve got one for life. For those who aren’t spiritual, I wanted to re-visit this topic.

Today I want to discuss the difference between a friend and an acquaintance, and how to preserve and maintain friendships.

An acquaintance is someone who you may or may not see everyday. You may even hang out with your acquaintance(s). But the quality of the conversation and the physical time spent together is superficial/shallow – not that it doesn’t have any meaning at all – you probably like your acquaintances. But friendship is something completely different.

A friend is someone who you may or may not see often. If you don’t see them often, you probably talk with them quite frequently. The quality of the conversation has depth, unlike the conversation you may have with an acquaintance. You don’t forget about them when you’re in a new relationship – this is for both male and female friends! Remember, that same friend is going to console you when/if you break up! You discuss problems you may be going through, how much you love traveling and do that together, you support one another and you are there for them when they have emotional trials- this is the time when you will cancel a date with the cute guy you met last week because your friend just broke up with someone, or because they lost a family member. You should be willing to sacrifice if you need to for your friend – you are willing to sacrifice something important or valuable for the sake of your friendship/to preserve the friendship. You trust them enough to share intimate things with them, you can be vulnerable with them, and your friendship is based on mutual respect, love, and care. You feel emotionally bonded to them and that feeling is reciprocated.

Friendships always need to be renewed, and this is how you can continually do that:

1. Be loyal to your friend at all times, especially in the face of adversity!

2. Be willing to forgive. Every friend you’ll ever have will eventually disappoint you at some point. That doesn’t mean that every offense will require forgiveness; some things can be overlooked and forgotten. And, sometimes, things happen between friends that will require you to be WILLING to forgive and move forward; notice I didn’t say “able to forgive” I said “willing”! Just being willing to forgive will take you where you need to go…eventually – trust me, I have been there.

3. Be honest. Be authentic – if you can’t be yourself with your friend – if you can’t tell them the truth – why are they your friend? You should never have to worry about a friend judging you. A true friend lets you in when the entire world shuts you out. Really. And honesty=respect.

4. Be dedicated to the friendship. This is so important. Friends have the ability to influence plans, thoughts, action(s)/non-action(s), behavior(s), and emotions, so be dedicated to promoting and encouraging their personal growth, whether you are in agreement with them in regards to the aforementioned or not.

And that is my take on friendship – it is nowhere near what an acquaintance is, and it shouldn’t be! How many friends do you REALLY have? Even if you just have one friend whom you can be your real, true self with, depending on the quality of the relationship, just one can be enough. 🙂

This isn’t supposed to be spiritual, but I have to leave you with this because I think it applies whether you are even atheist or agnostic:
“A man that hath friends must show himself friendly : and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24. KJV.


2 Responses to “F r i e n d s h i p: The meaning and How to P r e s e r v e One”

  1. Excellent blog post. So very true and so lost in today’s ridiculous world of narcissism.

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