What is a Good Friendship?

relational health
What is a good friendship?

Listen, I want to be honest with you from the start.  Every relationship that's called a "Friendship" is NOT necessarily a GOOD FRIENDSHIP.  

Let's talk about it!!!

What does a good Friendship have?

A good Friendship contains honesty, trust, respect, communication, patience, forgiveness, love and mutual deposits into the relationship.

This doesn’t mean that both people in the Friendship have to be perfect; but it does mean that each person should try to improve in these key areas so that the relationship can reach its maximum potential. 

Some people connect seamlessly right away but typically a good Friendship doesn’t just happen overnight; it must be developed over a period of time.

There are many things that aid in the development of a good Friendship; but I would like to focus on TRUST, COMMUNICATION and MUTUAL DEPOSITS.

1. Trust - As you probably already know, trust is a critical and a significant part of all relationships. Trust is important within a Friendship because you are spending time with them and looking to him or her as a confidant.

A confidant is someone who you can share your pain, mistakes, and secrets with; while trusting them not to repeat it to others.

If the Friendship lacks trust then everything will remain on the surface which hinders the growth of the relationship.

With that being said, all of us have a trust meter and sometimes it’s very low because of previous experiences and relationships.

I encourage you to give each person a fair chance to gain your trust so that you don’t miss out on a quality Friendship.

One way that you can give a person a fair chance at gaining more of your trust, is by looking at their patterns of behavior within the friendship and not just one particular instance.

2. Communication - Obviously, communication is important in any relationship but HOW you communicate is extremely important as well.

I have been in meetings with people who needed my help with a particular problem but all they did was talk the entire time and never listen to potential solutions.

The communication was there, but the meeting wasn’t fruitful because the conversation was one-sided.

Even if you are an amazing orator with the ability to eloquently express yourself; it means nothing if you are not a good listener.

There is a scripture that says "Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry”
James 1:19 – (NLT)

Improving your communication skills is a must if you really want to have a good friendship.

This concept is a little foreign or simply rejected by many in society today: partly because of social media.

To be clear, I don’t have a problem with social media because it has assisted me in my business endeavors and helped me stay in touch with distant relatives.  

The challenge is that, even though it has many benefits; sometimes people use it to avoid certain necessary communication situations.

FOR EXAMPLE:  Instead of calling or meeting for dinner with their friend to discuss a disagreement that they had; the person may make a random post about the situation on social media hoping that their friend reads it.

This is an immature style of communication and normally doesn’t produce fruitful results.

When you don’t have good communication within a Friendship, it makes it very difficult to articulate clear expectations for the relationship.

This leads to disappointment because each person starts to operate off of assumption instead of clear direction and common goals.

Lack of communication also creates misunderstandings and can cause each person to be upset, sad or even angry; which ultimately puts the Friendship in danger.

3. Mutual Deposits – Making mutual deposits into a Friendship helps keep the relationship from being imbalanced and it also prevents burnout.

If you get a new checking account and you make more withdrawals than you make deposits; then your account is going to be overdrawn.

Friendships become overdrawn all the time when one person is doing most of the withdrawing and not really making deposits into the relationship.

If there is an imbalance within any of your Friendships and you are becoming burnt out; I encourage you to sit down and share your heart with your friend.

During the conversation, your friend might be completely surprised that you felt that way or clueless to the fact that the relationship is imbalanced.

Your friend may even get a little offended; especially if he or she feels like they have been a great friend to you.

In that case, kindly inform them that you value the relationship and you are not there to insult them or attack their efforts as a friend.

Let them know that you are feeling drained and in your own words explain to your friend that you just want the friendship to be successful.

In most cases even if it takes time, a true friend will understand and do whatever they can on their end to improve the friendship.

On the other hand, you might discover that your so called "Friend" is extremely content with doing nothing to add value to the friendship.

In this case, you may be dealing with a parasitic type of person disguised as a friend.

This is a hard situation to handle because the person feels like you owe them, even though they haven’t done anything for you.

You may have to peacefully dismiss yourself from that relationship because remaining would hurt the both of you.

Basically, if a friendship is going to be healthy and successful, it must contain mutual deposits.

Side Note:  If you are in a friendship that always makes you sad, angry or uncomfortable: that's NOT a Good Friendship

JUST TO BE CLEAR

To be clear; there is NO perfect friendship BUT if you have Trust, Communication & Mutual Deposits your friendship can flourish.

---  I HOPE THIS HELPS YOU IN SOME WAY!  

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