We may not know it, but sometimes our closest buds are the ones we hurt the most.
We all know by heart the catchy tune from that one famous nineties series, which described perfectly what it meant to be a true friend: “I'll be there for you, when the rain starts to pour. I'll be there for you, like I've been there before. I'll be there for you, 'cause you're there for me too.” While writing this song, The Rembrandts sure knew what they were talking about, the charm of having a person to laugh with and at the same time, a shoulder to cry on. But, at the end of the day, we all know friendships are not perfect, and in some way, that's what makes them so special. Sure, it's cool to have so many songs, books, and movies that somehow pay tribute to something so beautiful. Yet reality is much more than that.
A real deal friendship can get shitty at times. Arguments will show up every now and then. New people will come along and that may cause alienation. True pals will get mad, and you will both harm to each other unintentionally. Because we are human beings, we weren't born perfect and so, we need to practice our perfectibility daily.
We know we are in presence of a genuine friendship when, in spite of the issues, we continue to support each other. When we know how to settle arguments and don't let our own demons or mood swings affect them. We learn to accept our mistakes, apologize, and truly mean it. I know you'll agree with me when I say that friendships are far more relevant and special than romantic bonds. The greatest love affairs you'll ever get to experience, will have a friendship within. Having a true friend means dealing with all kind of issues, yours and theirs, good and bad. But you'll always stand together.
They way you approach these situations is very important, because they can either enhance or damage your relationship. Since having a close pal means connecting with another human being, we may reach out to them in a way that can be hurtful or offensive without even noticing it. That's why we have to pay attention to our behavior towards them, keeping in mind that these attitudes that can kill your friendships without even noticing:
You're jealous about their achievements
Every now and then, close friends will be more successful than us. They'll achieve their goals and expect you to be happy for them. When we feel like our own dreams are far away, we can get frustrated about that. This disappointment can deflect on them. While we want them to be where they want to be, the fact that they're actually doing better than us can make us resentful. It's understandable, but it's unfair for them. We should be genuinely happy for them and work on our own achievements.
Assuming the worst
Suspicion is often accompanied by mistrust. Because we've been hurt in the past by others, we might think that history will repeat itself. And that's why we have to learn to trust our closest friends. They're here for us, for our benefit. They're our support and we should never doubt that fact. Always assume the best of them, no matter what.
Giving personal opinions about them when they didn't ask for it
Sometimes, we feel so comfortable with someone, we tend to say more than we should. And yes, in some cases, our friends need a second opinion about something, or maybe an awful truth that may help them in specific situations. But there is a fine line between giving advice when they ask for it and speaking our minds when this may end up offending someone.
Gossiping with them, or about them
There is something within our human nature that makes us love gossip. Nevertheless, it is as toxic as cyanide is to our body. And sure enough, it seems pretty harmless. How would you feel if one of your friends comes up with tid-bit they've heard about you? Next time you have some “hot gossip,” keep in mind that this behavior dominates our perceptual centers, and so it inspires us to focus a disproportionate amount of negative attention on someone.
Labeling them for some specific behaviour
It may be fun for some people to come up with pet names for each other. Sometimes, friendships are built on these jokes. Unfortunately, this inoffensive game can end up in labeling people. So, instead of recurring to lame or offensive nicknames, just call them by their name.
Friendships are essential in our lives. They're not always perfect but that doesn't matter at all. What really matters is how you approach these imperfections and in which way they make you and your pals, better human beings.
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Photo Credit: Jesse Herzog