At my not-so-young-age now, I have been to many kinds of friendships. I too have been used and abused, been in and out of friendships but I give more time, caring and lavish deeds of love and kindness to friends that give me ROI (return of investment) over time.
Don’t get me wrong, I do not pursue friendships for the sake of money or mere material rewards but I cherish friends who know how to return the favor. Again, let me be clear that I do not “demand” the same good things and deeds from them but I’m hoping they would do it out of their own accord because they value our friendship.
If you’re in a different season and are evaluating if you should drop a friendship, read here.
For a friendship to work, it must be a two-way street, having a give-and-take interaction. Whenever I realize I’m the only one exerting efforts to befriend or grow friendship with someone, I back away. And although I’m an includer, I don’t like the feeling of being out-of-place so I don’t waste time trying to penetrate a clique.
People have different personalities and goals so let’s respect preferences. Some friendships really don’t work because they just don’t match. But when you ask God for genuine friends and He orchestrates a friendship, it’s always awesome!
Just when I was thinking to write on how to treasure friendships, I got this interesting post in my email subscription from Michael Hyatt: “How To Become Your Spouse’s Best Friend.”
He wrote: “If you were going to advertise on Craig’s List for a best friend, what would the ad look like? Perhaps it might look like this:
Wanted: Best Friend
Prospective candidates will:
- Make me feel good about being me.
- Affirm my best qualities (especially when I am feeling insecure)
- Call out the best in me, and hold me accountable to the best version of myself.
- Listen without judging or trying to fix me.
- Give me the benefit of the doubt.
- Extend grace to me when I am grumpy or having a bad day.
- Remember my birthday, favorite foods, music, and art.
- Know my story and love me regardless.
- Spend time with me, just because they enjoy my company.
- Speak well of me when I am not present.
- Serve me with a joyful spirit and without complaining.
- Speak the truth to me when no one else will.
- Never shame me, diminish me, or make me feel small.
- Become excited about what I am excited about.
- Celebrate my wins!”
I believe most points above also apply to what great friends do for each other.
Through the years, I learned that the level of closeness in friendships do change because people change. I learned how to hold things loosely even as people come and go in my life. And that the only way to truly love a friend is to know that you will eventually have to part from them someday.
Armed with this truth, I treasure each moment spent with great friends and stick with those who sticks with me for better or for worse…even until I find a lifetime partner who will be my best friend.