Photo by Helena Lopes
Friendships can be potent and meaningful relationships when done lovingly and genuinely. These relationships can also be of high importance for the emotional wellbeing of people because these trusted, and cherished individuals are the ones you confide in, cry to, laugh with and much more. It is a special relationship between people who have no blood relation at all.
True Friendship In Its Essence
What is friendship in a technical definition? According to the Oxford Dictionary, a friendship is when either feelings or mutual demeanour is shared amongst people. It could be seen as the nature of being friends with someone.
There's a chance you would have met multiple types of friends in your life. Maybe such bonds were met in college or school? When we share our deepest version of ourselves with people, they can be considered a genuinely close friend. They're the person you can always count on in a friendship. A true friend makes our life a bit easier and more fulfilling. You can always be yourself entirely in front of them without the fear of being judged. This type of freedom is what most people are striving to have in their lives.
Certainly, most of us may experience people leaving us behind while in our lives. However, when you have a strong bond, you get to have a long-lasting, reliable relationship. These kinds of friendships are what I want in my life because there may be fewer worries about whether they will flake on you when you're being yourself with them.
Let's break down the importance of having friends and why they're nice to have around:
▪ Feel less lonely
A best friend will always be there for us, no matter what happens. They will keep us company and reflect about life with you. They can relate to the things you have in common. Lastly, being alone does not feel as lonely because we have people to be alone with.
▪ Relieve stress
Talking to your friends can calm you down and reduce the stress you are feeling. A true friend will always try their best to help you eliminate your stress. They will try to find different ways to cheer you up and help you rationalise your thoughts and emotions.
▪ Boost your self-confidence.
You might have times when you lack confidence in your ability and decisions. But, friends will never doubt you. They will be cheering you on so that you achieve your dreams and goals. Most importantly, they will believe in you and act as the driving force that you need to go ahead in your life.
▪ You will have someone supportive in bad times
Sometimes you will go through challenging times in your life. At that time, you need a shoulder that you could lean on. A true friend is there when you need them. They can be the voice of reason you need and help guide your way out of tough times. They will show you compassion when you are in trouble and also have a very positive impact on our lives.
How Do We Maintain Friendships?
Getting to know friends is easy, but what about maintaining them?
▪ Be trustworthy
The best thing about having a friend is that you have someone who you can talk about almost everything with. They won't judge or persecute you for sharing with them. The most important thing is to not talk about your friend behind their back or let them down when they are depending on you.
▪ Always set and respect boundaries
But first, what does respecting boundaries mean? Boundaries can be thought of like a line in the sand. They're there, so neither you nor your friend partakes in things that you're not cool or comfortable with. For example, making self-care a priority is a notable boundary. You should always put yourself first. When we do this, our needs are taken care of and motivations to set boundaries will become stronger.
▪ Be yourself in front of them
When you're with real friends, the only thing you have to do is be yourself! There's no need to do anything extra, put on a facade or pretend to be someone you're not. A true friendship is when people accept and respect what's on the inside rather than on the outside.
▪ Respect differences
You sometimes may have values or beliefs that are totally opposite with your friends. But that doesn't mean you disregard or always argue with each other. You should respect the differences between you and your friend because that's what makes you 'you'. No one has to think alike or believe in the same way.
Real friendships can be hard to find. If we wish to have friends who can be genuine to us, then we must be the same to them, too. With all this in mind, we should know how to choose our friends and appreciate them!
By Debbie Chooi