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The 6 Elements of A Friendship On Fire?
A friendship on fire is like the arm of the heart within a relationship. It's more than loving someone unconditionally; it's actually liking that person too, also unconditionally. "The Arm" is my acronym for trust, hope, empathy, admiration, respect and mutuality.
A friendship on fire doesn't need language because it manages on a glimpse, a smile, holding hands--actions. The basis is an unspoken understanding. An acceptance. It can redefine "relationship" from the beginning.
Maybe you went on a date with someone and he lifted up your hair while you were pulling your coat on. Maybe you went to her house for dinner at midnight. Maybe he let you drive his new car around the block.
Liking someone is part of the backbone of love. After all, how can you love a person if you first don't like that person?
1. The Flame of Trust
Without trust in a relationship, there is nothing. Isn't it great to know you can call that one person anytime with a problem, and you know that person will actually listen? It could be three in the morning and that person is ready to walk out the door, if necessary, just to help you. A person who is trustworthy is not on every corner, so value this trait when you find it.
2. The Flame of Hope
What a kind act it is to lift up the hopes of your friend; to raise up encouragement for your friend's goals. Your friend might have a car problem, a major final exam coming up, a loss in the family, and it's great when you stop your life's traffic to stop and listen, especially if you get a phone call and he or she is on the other end just hoping you answer and you have time to listen.
Think of the things you hope for in your relationships. Your friends or the people you work with, when they travel, you might hope for their safe travels. You care about the well being of others, so you always hope everything's just fine for them.
Don't overly hope for too much or you might be setting yourself up for a disappointment. Sometimes, it's better to have low expectations so you might actually be welcoming a surprise.
3. The Flame of Empathy
It's one thing to lose a loved one, and another when you witness a friend losing a loved one. And, when you both share that experience together, through empathy comes support and comfort. If your friend loses a job, be there. If your friend has to move, be there. Having compassion is not natural for everyone because we are all made differently. Just know that being there for your friend is simply the right thing to do and when your friend cries, reach out your hand or offer your shoulder.
4. The Flame of Admiration
When you admire your friend, you look up to that person for all kinds of things--most importantly, advice. You might ask for a lift to the office when your car is in the shop. You might ask for help in solving a problem, and a problem you know you can confide in your friend because of that element of trust.
You watch your friend achieve goals and successes and admire all the efforts put into the reaching, the determination of stretching to make things happen. That's a positive influence that works in both directions.
5. The Flame of Respect
Respect space. Respect individuality and desires. Don't be critical. Respect your elders. Respect your family members. Respect your friends. Respect your relationships.
Mutual respect is more than liking the same brand of wine. It's like a 5-star hotel with room to make allowances. Be kind and gentle always with your choice of language when you're talking to that special person in your life, the who you say is your best friend. Civility is an element of respect.
6. The Flame of Mutuality
A long lasting relationship will not succeed without all of the above and importantly, mutuality, and you actually need to like each other. If you think about all your personal friendships, then you can see you placed value on the longlasting ones because you had a lot of interests, goals, and traits in common. And, if the relationship ends, do you ask yourself what was missing from him, from her, or yourself?
You might like the same cars, but that isn't enough to build upon. You might like the same kind of shopping venues, but it's not enough. It's all the words that go unspoken and all the actions that don't need words. It's an unconditional storybook filled with your chapters of experiences built on a foundation that nobody can taint.
Do you have a friendship on fire?