Good Friendships

Posted By on August 13, 2013

Based on my experience over the years of having to occasionally mend difficult and challenging situations in some of my closer friendships, I am clear the following qualities are needed, or at least helpful.

  • Listen with an open heart and mind to what the other is really saying. This must be free of mentally preparing your defense or excuses. It can be an emotionally charged moment that can feel very uncomfortable. It will pass.
  • Admit how you have contributed to the current problem. Be specific and honest.
  • Apologize with sincerity for any hurt you caused the other–regardless of how right you felt you were in your position. The other person did not see it your way.
  • Tell the other how important it is for you to keep this relationship/friendship. He/she needs to know this again and again. There will be other situations but this will lay the groundwork for dealing with them with greater ease and trust.
  • Tell the other what you appreciate about him/her.
  • Check inside to see if there is anything else that you need to say or do to truly be at peace with yourself and the other.

We all want to be heard, accepted and respected for who and what we are. We have to acknowledge that the other wants that FROM US, if it’s a true friendship. Working with the difficulties that are inherent in any close friendship builds greater strength for all. There is no blueprint for this. We have to forge the trail ourselves and figure out how to get along.

I am appreciating more and more how having a short term victory is not as desirable or fulfilling as a long term gain.  Each of us has to assess what it is we truly want in the friendship.


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