Ladies, we seem to have a hard time understanding and practicing the basic principles of friendship. I say that because I've recently had conversations with some girlfriends of mine, and I've observed that many fail to recognize that their expectations of their friends, are typically just not in line with the basic principles of friendship.
I know, you're thinking "What the hell is she talking about?" But, I've witnessed women ask their friends to perform tasks out of "loyalty", that basically meet their personal needs for validation of inappropriate behavior.
In other words, don't ask your friend to do things just to make you feel better, especially if you're asking them to do things, that compromise who they are as an individual, or that are just WRONG.
I know for me, it's already bad enough that as a friend, who empathizes with hurt and genuinely doesn't want to see my friend endure pain, that despite my compassion about the circumstance, I'm not allowed to be honest and respectfully educate my friend on his/her need to release certain expectations of my behavior.
However, I've noticed that when we experience break-ups (loss of intimate relationships), or endure hardships, we seem to either lose sight of, or refuse to accept certain realities about our friendships. We often require too much from our friends to help us manage these times.
So, here are 4 basic principles of friendship, to remind you to allow your friend to just be a friend, without unjust expectations for them to compromise themselves.
4 Basic Principles of Friendship
I. BE HONEST
Being honest is one of the hardest for most people to be in a friendship, but it definitely is the most important.
Regardless to what we're going through, friends should be able to be supportive and honest, without repercussion.
When we go through hardships or break-ups it's easy for us to go into a world of black or white/right or wrong. And in turn, we seek to feel validated versus hear about mistakes and/or the not so great choices we've made. We then force our friends to take on the role of validation, when we need to work on actively accepting the realities of our new circumstance.
We need to remember that our friends are there to help make sure we get out of your own way. Friends shouldn't be Yes Men!
If you require your friends to just agree with everything you do and say, then you are hindering yourself from some much needed growth.
II. BE RESPECTFUL & ACCEPTING
Respect encompasses so many things. And it's especially important because there are just some women who have no respect for their so call friends.
You don't get to hurt and support your friend at the same time. What sense does that make.
When you respect your friend, there are no secrets. You are women enough to have the hard conversations no matter the results. You also have to give your friend space and time to respond to your faults, but if she values the friendship enough, you all will eventually be able to co-exist.
Another component of respect is just making sure to be humble in your relationship, and constantly reminding yourself to respect your friend's opinion, personality and accept his/her flaws. Even if that means constantly reminding yourself of why you became friends.
III. BE REALISTIC & FAIR
Sometimes it's easy to get a in a mindset of "your world, is my world" in friendships. What that means is it's easy to get away from reality, and expect people to be what you want them to be, when you need them to be it!
We have to remember that just life as happening to us, it's happening to our friends as well.
We need to be realistic, understanding and fair in our expectations from our friends. It's also crucial to clearly articulate your needs to your friends. Then, give your friend the choice to say, they can or can not support you. And based on that reason, you have to accept if that person's life experiences trump your own, and understand that doesn't mean they don't love you or cherish your friendship, but that they just may not have the tools or know how to deal with their own issues, as well as yours...
Don't dangle your friendship as a carrot to try and control someone else's behavior. I've said it before, and I will say it again, you can not control anyone other than yourself. No matter the cost, people will always do what they want, when they want. The sooner you understand that, the easier it will be for you to be fair and realistic in your friendships.
The objective is, don't be selfish!
IV. BE APPRECIATIVE
If you don't appreciate your friends, why call them friends?
That's so basic, I know, but unfortunately there are too people assuming that their friends want to waste their time and energy supporting and encouraging someone that doesn't appreciate them.
No one wants to waste their time and energy, so the least you can do is be appreciative of the time, energy and support you receive from your friends.
I don't think I've missed anything, but I hope that this post can help salvage some friendships. Let me know your thoughts below...