I have been through a lot of friendships and from those friendships I’ve learned a lot. Over the years, I noticed females do not know how to truly be someone’s friend. We were never really taught….So in this blog post, I’m going to share with you the tools I learned to establish a strong sisterhood.
At one point I was a social butterfly; I had the “squad,” and nine times out of ten even if you didn’t like us, you wanted to know what we were all about. Friends wasn’t an issue for me growing up; they came by the dozens. But as I grew, things began to change. I needed stability, unconditional love, and communication. Not the turn-up friend, or the friend I could gossip with, and so on. I started to mature, and the shallow friends we had in high school wasn’t working anymore.
The people I thought would be in my life forever ended up leaving at times they were needed the most. I grew to resent them, until my “Eat.Pray.Love” (http://alexandrajoli.org/eat-pray-love/ ) year when I finally began to give myself what I wanted from other people. See friendships are like your relationships with a significant other in a sense. They need the same amount of energy you put in with them. But we weren’t taught that. Our dysfunctional elders taught us that no matter what, your friend should be there. But what about when they can’t take any more of your s**t… Are they still supposed to stay around? What about them not having the same patience you had with them? When it gets complicated, that’s when you realize who your real friends are.
Below are things I learned about being a TRUE FRIEND. Please bare with me it’s worth the time.
- Always be there. (even in silence)
A true friend will always support the person even if they don’t feel compelled to support the situation. No matter what, allow them to learn their lessons without you getting in your feelings. What they are going through isn’t about you. We are all here learning lessons on our individual journeys, and your extraness of how you feel she should be moving is not needed. Just be there. Pray for her, love on her, give her an example of how she should be treated; instead of being the annoying fly buzzing around her already confused head. Even if you feel like you know what is best for her, try and detach from the situation so that she can learn her lesson. (Pro tip: Call to check on your friend randomly. Call and say hello; sometimes we are unaware of what our friend is going through and a simple question can change that)
- Be kind and LISTEN.
Its okay to tell your friend your feelings but watch your tone and mind your manners. Just as much as you don’t want to take her s**t, she doesn’t want to deal with yours. Learn how to communicate effectively…..Actually, listen to your girlfriend and I mean mindfully listen (do not listen with the intent to respond) sometimes we just need to vent. It is awesome that you want to find a solution but validating and listening to someone’s feelings can go a long way. Listen without judgment or distractions to absorb what is being said.
- Stop being so judgemental!
This is the classic case of “putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.” We have to stop judging our girlfriends because one day you will need the same courtesy. Remain friends despite a persons’ choice in life and don’t bail on them when they aren’t who you want them to be.
- Be open and honest.
Don’t be scared to tell your friend the truth no matter how difficult it may be. Even if she’s not receptive, she heard you, and in the end, you’ll be alright; be patient. Guiding each other in our times of need is crucial but try not to be brutal.
- Be your true self.
If you’re not vulnerable, how can they be? Don’t dim your light for anyone. If someone can’t accept you for who you are, they don’t need to be your friend. And stop the fake stuff…..if you don’t like her exit stage left. Don’t stay to play face or because they are convenient to your life. Remember karma ain’t the bi**h to play with.
- Be genuinely happy for your friend.
I mean genuinely excited not the fake “I’m happy for you,” but in your mind, you secretly want what she has. If that’s you, you need to check that demon and fix it. So many of us are jealous of our friends’ light, happiness, or success instead of realizing your time will come. Don’t compare yourself to your girlfriend either….that could quickly start a secret competition within yourself and cause chaos in a friendship that doesn’t need to be there. You two are friends for a reason; God makes no mistakes.
- Don’t hold grudges.
Let’s face it we’re girls, and we are petty at times. That doesn’t mean take a mental note of every disagreement. Let it go… let’s take a page out of the book of men. They can fist fight and come back like nothing happened because they know how to let go (well some). If something is bothering you, talk about it (don’t harbor it) and release it. Learn how to FORGIVE. Also, No one is a mind reader, just because you feel as though she should know doesn’t mean she does; COMMUNICATE.
- Be there for her the same way you would want her there for you.
(Self-explanatory) If you can’t be there for yourself that is something you have to work on. This is where self-love and self-reflection come into play. SHOW UP! Pretending to show up and actually showing is noticeable. Actions speak way louder than words. Lastly, keep your word and acknowledge when you don’t.
- Love her unconditionally.
So many people love conditionally…. Example: I love you because….. Instead of “I love you for you”period. When love has conditions, it isn’t genuine, and that’s facts. Those conditions will change, and the love will go with it. Make her feel special sometimes we all need a boost here and there.
- Experience life together.
Grow and learn together. Sometimes distance is a factor, and that’s okay. Your friendship shouldn’t be determined on how many times you hear or see one another. Life happens and you may not hear from her as often as you want but that doesn’t mean she loves you any less. Live your life and chill out. Oh, and the biggest thing that happens…… if she gets a man let her be great! You are still her friend but she’s living…. just like when you get your man, you don’t feel like being bothered in the honeymoon phase. Set appointments and honor them if she’s preoccupied. Your friendship shouldn’t falter because she has someone new getting her attention. Girls we have to stop the nonsense.
Jolie’s I will leave you with this, despite distance, hardships, CHANGES, and circumstances if we make an effort the friendship will be beautiful. Remember to make the time, love on each other, and we can have those types of fulfilling conversations that make us feel seen, understood, appreciated, and supported. Practice self-love, so that other people’s actions don’t shake your foundation. Feeling alone in this world is unnecessary, but it is up to us to create and allow opportunities to enjoy and be there for each other.
Comment below if you have anything to add to the list.