International Day of Friendship is coming up on the 31st and I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about the role of friends in our lives.
Friends are SO important in our lives. Supportive friendships can go so far in getting us through difficult times. As you know if you read my blog, I recently separated from my husband last December and it has been a tough time – getting used to the situation, getting used to living on my own, getting the children used to the new set up…. And I don’t know what I would have done if it wasn’t for my friends.
But something I have learnt recently (or rather re-learnt) is that friendship goes both ways. I recently had a falling out with a friend who had been there for me on so many levels. Actually, rather than a falling out it was more like a learning curve – I felt one way about our friendship and she felt another way and I needed to be made aware of the situation in her eyes and change my behaviour. I am ashamed to say I had not been a good friend. I had not been there for her because unknown to me, she had felt she had to distance herself from me, because she was going through a very tough time as well and she didn’t feel I supported her in turn. I’ve had this friend pre-read this post before publishing it to make sure she was happy with the content and she has reminded me to say that she also did not communicate with me. She should have told me how she felt. We were both at fault. We are better now because we have talked it all through and both of us need to make more effort in our friendship. But it taught me a lesson that I needed to be more aware of my friends’ situations and feelings. I needed to listen more. A problem halved is a problem shared and if you can’t be there for the people most important to you, or they don’t feel that they can talk to you about their problems, what is the point in the friendship. I am so glad that this friendship did not get consigned to the bin. It was very close – touch and go for a while – but we talked through it and I’m so glad we did. This friend is one worth cherishing.
Meaningful friendships are so important in life – and they come in many forms. There are the people who you see every day – possibly due to being neighbours. The ones you text and they pop over. You know who you are! There are the ones that you don’t see very often but when you do you pick up right where you left off. There are the ones that need a little bit of work to maintain – and this isn’t a bad thing. Not all friendships can be naturally easy. There are the people who have known you forever and understand all your faults and quirks. The ones that will come out with you at the drop of a hat. There are also the online friends who will send encouragement and support through the internet and these, I think, are just as important as the others. I have found so much support in the last 7 months through Facebook and my blog – sometimes the comments I’ve received have kept me going when I really just wanted to jack it all in!
In summary, what I wanted to say is friendships come in all shapes and sizes. Cherish them all. Give your time to those who are important to you. Don’t worry about people who don’t get you or don’t like you. Those people aren’t important because you have so many people who DO understand you, who DO know that you are a good person, who WILL be there to pick you up when you fall. Friendships are so important. Look after them!
This post is in collaboration with TheCircle.