I’ve got incredible friends and I’m grateful for each one (love you guys currently reading). I’ve also learnt from experiences where I haven’t been the greatest of friends and similarly, been on the receiving end of poor ‘friendships’.
As we grow older we realise that the thing that initiated certain friendships carry no substance to maintain it. The character in which we started certain friendships are not always sufficient to sustain these friendships. Some friendships are great for a season but have no place in your future.
Assumption: the killer of relationships
In a generation where face to face communication is almost second place to social media, Whatsapp, iMessage etc. I must stress the next sentence. Mature friendships are void of assumptions and full of intentional communication. It’s very easy to assume that your friend is doing okay because of what they post on social media, or because of a casual ‘I’m fine’ response to your ‘how are you’? message. It is also very easy to assume that your friend is disinterested in your life because they haven’t messaged you in a while. Can I highlight the common thing in both situations — they are both assumptions, and the worst thing that you can do is react based on assumptions instead of communicated facts.
‘Assumed telepathy is the silent killer of friendship! No one really knows what another person is thinking’. Ask don’t assume. Let any person with the ability to talk — ASK. Let anyone with the ability to talk — TELL! Don’t assume that your friends know what you are going through if you haven’t told them. Don’t assume that you know what your friend is going through if you haven’t asked.
Are you a friend or an examination board?
Another experience that I’m sure many of you can unfortunately relate to, is this idea of ‘testing’ your friend to see who will message first. This friend will leave it for months to see who will message first. This is egocentric, what if that friend was going through something and you’re there testing them to satisfy your ego and prove a point? I’ve had to deliver this home truth directly to some who think it’s perfectly fine to assume the role of an exam board in their friendships. Let me be clear; a mature friendship does not include ‘testing’ to see who will message first.
A mature friendship is understanding of the exhaustive demands that life puts on relationships. And that is not to condone friendships where your efforts are constantly not being reciprocated; instead it is to push for friendships where love and understanding govern the way we deal with one another.
A mature friend will love at all times and that love is not based on who sends a message first, or who asks certain questions first. That love for a friend is simply for who the person is with no extra additions.
I have friends that I do not speak to every week, let alone every month because of LIFE! However, when we do see each other and when we do speak, we are so understanding of each other’s lives and are always cheering each other in our respective endeavours.
- Get more love and understanding to sustain your friendships
- Never assume, always ask
- Don’t be a that friend who doubles up as an exam board
- Surrender your ego before burning a bridge
- Communicate your expectations
- A person who has friends must first be friendly — Proverbs 18:24.