All about friendships

Over the last few months, I have been writing about various topics that help bring about wellness. I’d like to write about friendships, which is something that I’ve had to deal with over the years, as I am sure we all have too.

Whilst we don’t always find ourselves in good places and we try to muddle through, we tend to forget about others, so we don’t reach out. Society, our environments and family put pressure on us to behave a certain way, which sometimes means we don’t fit into other friendships.

We in turn find the need to want and fit into our lives with others, form friendships around those we’ve grown up with and new people we’re in contact with. Then we begin to mirror their behaviour that in turn doesn’t fall into line with the way we’ve been brought up.

Friendship should be based on mutual respect, accountability and trust. Friendships mature over time and where acceptance is given, regardless of each other’s faults. When my mum was ill that didn’t happen for me. Friendship is about sharing memories, participating in each other’s personal growth as well as being there for each other in hard times.

Friends care for one another, are concerned for one another, look out for one another, without looking for something back in return.  Friendships require patience and understanding. Friendship also requires acceptance without being critical or judgmental on either side.

Balance is important in all friendships. Good friends accept that the world isn’t altogether perfect and that with a not so perfect world there may be misunderstandings that crop up along the way. Being able to forgive a friend for those misunderstandings is just part of it and that’s fine, but it’s also important that both sides accept responsibility where they are responsible.

We must be willing to accept where we could have done things better. To feel calm, content and at peace with someone is a sign of friendship that has stood the test of time and not having to try too hard to keep it.


3 Dec, 2010

10 thoughts on “All about friendships

  1. In a lifetime one is fortune if they have enough true friend to count on both hands. True and complete friend that you speak of are few and far between and should be respected as such.

    This is where the forgiveness comes in because we are all human and prone to ruffle each others feathers occasionally, especially if there is a true friendship based on love and concern. We don’t always want to hear the truth but a true friend will ground us with that truth.

    I have such a friend in my life now and it’s truly a source of growth and care. Something that has taught me of a different type of love, a love of humankind, a love rarely seen but much needed in the world today. Thanks for the wonderful topic today my special friend. Your friend always.. Brian.

  2. Forgiveness is something that is hard to come by sometimes. A true friend will forgive you for something without asking for their forgiveness. That is something that is hard to achieve at times.

    I lost a friend that couldn’t understand my point of view in a certain situation and that was hard for me. I have moved on. Sometimes we need to do that but it can be difficult. Life isn’t always easy, it would be nice if it were!

    1. Maria, you are absolutely right. I have had to move on myself too. It can be difficult of course, but I believe that if we’ve done as much as we can to save the friendship and we’re left with no other choices, we’ll be moving on with a clear conscience and that helps.

  3. I’ve had one friend for a long time that is a true friend. We both agreed with the same things you said in your post a while ago about each other.

    Now I’m glad to call a few others true friends. I think forgiveness should be accepted in all friendships but sometimes it unfortunately isn’t and if someone can’t accept our failures, they’re not meant to be a true friend.

  4. I couldn’t agree with you more. The support and trust of friends is very important for one’s well being as well. I feel it makes those harder times a bit easier too.

  5. Wow! This is a fine article you’ve written, Ilana. I have to say that you’ve verbalized most of the things I value in a friendship. I know that with my condition, it’s been hard for me to determine if folks are being my friend out of sincerity or pity.

    There was this instance in college that has stayed with me, even after all these years. I happened to be in the common area on campus, sitting on one of many loungers provided. This truly attractive young lady sat next to me in one of the other loungers, and we struck up a nice conversation that I hoped was going to lead up to a phone number and possibly a date. We all know how that works…

    At any rate, we spent a good 20 minutes or so chatting, and then I had to excuse myself to take care of some personal business. This young lady gave me no impression that we were done conversing. My crutches were tucked underneath the couch, and I suppose that she didn’t see them. I went to take care of my business and when I came back, she was gone. I would see her around the campus from time to time, but she always seemed to avoid me after that day.

    This still haunts me and I’m very cautious these days on deciding if potential relationships are born out of sincerity or pity. This in itself is interesting since even the “pity” relationships, the gal at least trying to make something of the relationship. It truly is a sad situation, but I try to deal with it, even after all these years.

    That’s not to say that I haven’t had some beautiful relationships in my 46 years! It’s just that I have to admit that there is still some baggage, or rather some emotional scars that needs some special attention from time to time.

    Well, enough of my sometimes sad lot… I’ve enjoyed true friendship just as Ilana described above. Ilana, keep up the good work, lady! You’ve got something special going and I look forward to nurturing our friendship to it’s fullest potential. Thomas.

    1. Thomas, I totally agree with your sentiments. When we have something that others don’t know how to deal with, they don’t know whether to feel pity, be themselves and just treat the friendship as they would any other friendship.

      There is definitely still a stigma behind disability however mild or severe that turns out to be, but there is someone out there who will accept you for you and not because of what you deal with.

      Anyone who doesn’t, isn’t worth having you as a friend. I am here for you. Thanks for posting!

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