Four Mistakes in Friendship that Often goes Unnoticed
“Friendship is a relationship, not a competition.”-apG
Friendships often end up shallow and weak when we are not careful with how we see one another. Friends are always subject to comparison, it can either be from one another but mostly it comes from other people. Either way, comparison can easily trigger a competitive spirit, because of it one tend to evaluate everything too much. It can be your grades, careers, family, possessions, and even physical appearance.
This is most especially when you and your friend are too much alike. For example, both of you are considered a noticeable beauty, you both do well in class, etc. That’s why a competitive spirit is usually stirred up with a really close friend. It can be your best friend or your best friends.
Consequently, this kind of competition can go unnoticed because it is a gradual inclination. (Unless your purpose from the very start is to compete with your friend then it can really go unnoticed.) Suddenly those times when your friend got ahead of you or got more praises/favor than you will slowly become a constant visitor in your thoughts. And before you know it, you are starting to grow so uneasy and insecure every time it happens. Though there is also a possibility that when you start noticing it, you tend to deny it. Either way, it will only keep on growing unless it’s confronted and addressed properly.
Therefore, friends should constantly remind themselves that they are friends and not opponents. Understand and accept that in every relationship there will always be comparisons and other challenges and threats, but it should not be treated with such importance. Also, be at peace and embrace your similarities and differences. Don’t build a ranking system, instead develop a support system.
Having someone as your friend doesn’t give you the exclusive rights over that person. You both have each other’s lives, you both have other friends, and that some are not your friends; you both have the privilege of time and different sets of priorities; these are some of the things you ought to consider both for your friend/s and yourself.
So don’t expect your friend/s to always be by your side 24/7 or whenever you call him/her. Your friend/s will probably do the best they can to be with you and help you (and so should you) but you shouldn’t give your friend/s such a hard time if he/she fails from time to time. And don’t feel betrayed when your friend/s is being a friend to his/her other friends. Even if you are best friends, you should understand that you are not his/her only friend.
The fact that you’re greedy for your friend’s time and attention is a clear sign that you’re not really treating him/her as a friend but more of a personal attendant. Genuine friendship should be planted in a fertile soil called trust, love and selflessness; it will wither and die if it’s caged.
Everyone has the right to express his/her emotions, but no one should use it as an excuse to be bitter and inconsiderate. Holding on too tightly to our right to feel can ignite all sorts of problems.
To be entitled with a right is great power, and as they say, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Therefore, you ought to be responsible with your emotions, don’t let it overpower you. Also remember that if you can feel then others can, too. Give equal importance to other people’s feelings specially your friend’s.
When you get hurt, cry and let it out, then afterwards forgive and heal. When you’re the one who caused the hurt, let them cry and let it out, and accept what you will hear with all humility. Then ask forgiveness and heal. When you’re offended, speak up, then listen, forgive and heal (vice versa). Learn to control your emotions and learn to respect others. Yes, you have the right to express your hurt but don’t express it by hurting other people such as your friend.
Friendship isn’t always sunny, that’s why you have to be ready to put up an umbrella when it rains, to be prepared to get your new shoes muddied when it pours, and to be able to hold up the foundations that it’s strong enough to go through a storm. Emotions come and go, keep your eyes and heart on what really matters.
Indifference in Familiarity
One can see so much passion and fire during beginnings, it’s when time passes and things get all too familiar that only little embers are pressing on for survival. A reality but not a certainty, while it’s often the case it shouldn’t be the verdict. Such indifference in familiarity fades the color of vibrant friendship.
Old friends and new friends are both friends. You don’t put expiration dates on people whom you care for. They are not old stuff that are put on shelves to gather dust, they are people whom you shared wonderful memories with, people who aided or challenged your growth; they are your friends.
Also, distance is never really an antagonist in friendships nor is proximity always a protagonist. Its genuine care and commitment that will keep your friendship growing and always new. So don’t ever get bored of listening to your friend’s stories, don’t ever get tired of putting your arms around him/her when he/she is broken, and don’t exchange the thrill of your adventures together for anything. Most importantly, don’t ever get tired being a true friend.
There’s no such thing as a perfect friend, only a true friend.
Soli Deo Gloria!
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