Qualities of a Great Friendship
The older I am, the more I've learned to recognize the value of people in my life and my view of friendships. It wasn't until I heard a former mentor of mine compare relationships to trees. The people around you are composed of roots, branches and leaves in different areas of your life and this began to give me perspective.
As I've aged, there are certain things I learned I will not tolerate. I have 3 best friends, all of whom I've known for at least 10+ years. These are the shadiest, most well-read and on point women I know (besides my mother and sisters). Our weekly conversations range from spirituality to everyday relationships. When you're surrounded by genuinely good people it puts things in perspective of those you want to stay in your circle.
Throughout these different "friendship transitions" in my life I used to think I was the problem. These would usually occur when major events happen (new job, relationship, life event, etc...) and sometimes they haven't always been the best endings. I've been a fake friend and as a result I acquired toxic friends. I've even been let go due to being outgrown, the back-burner and in one instance too happy. What kind of person doesn't want you to be happy?
Now, this isn't me bashing or going on a rant about the people I was friends with in the past. I truly believe in the saying some people are in your life for a season, some for a reason - but want to use my experience and perspective to guide someone else. These are the qualities every friendship needs:
Why build on a friendship if there is no trust? I was once friends with someone who told me everyone's business even her close friends personal information. That was the red flag for me to bounce.
If you're friends with someone who has no problem sharing a friends information with a stranger, essentially, what makes you think you can trust them. Unfortunately I found out the hard way when something was shared about me that I confided in this person in. A foundation to any relationship is trust, it's a non-negotiable for me.
This doesn't mean you can't trust anyone - because there will always be a few bad seeds, but you also have to learn to be trusting of others and let people in.
I’ve grown to pursue my interest and this caused friction in certain friendships. Anyone who complains about the goals you’re reaching or success you’re having isn’t meant to stay around you.
Why would you want people who complain that you’re “brand new” or different because you’re pursuing something you love around anyway? Now, a friend will tell you straight if you’re doing something irrational, but will be there to pick you up when you fall. That sounds so cliché, but its so true. I have stories about things I’ve tried and failed miserably, but they’ve still supported me nonetheless.
“Anyone who complains about the goals you’re reaching or success you’re having isn’t meant to stay around you.”
I honestly believe there are two types of people: people pleasers or personality adapters; I've known a few. They never stood on their own or held themselves accountable. Instead of being accountable for their own actions, they'd drop a relationship and move on.
People aren’t always going to get along, but that’s where conversation comes in. I'll admit my cut off process is a bit gradual. I'll have a conversation and if there's no growth or repetitiveness, I'll simply disappear. I don't believe you should have to repeat yourself. If someone hurts you, you talk about it and move on. Whether it be mending the friendship or letting it go is entirely up to you.