When we make friends as children, we often wonder if they’ll be our friends for the rest of our lives. It leaves you wondering, what is a friend? We visualize our friendships evolving with us into our teenage and adult years. You are close to somebody, and you want to retain that level of closeness. That is natural. However, it’s also one of those things where you don’t know where your lives will take you. You want that friendship to last forever, but life is unpredictable. You may get into a fight, you may lose touch with one another, or one of you might move away. You can’t foretell what will happen.
What is a friend for life?
A friend for life is someone who is willing to grow with you. As human beings, we evolve, change, and grow throughout our lives. When we become an adult, we are not the same as we were as kids. A friend for life is somebody that loves you for the core of who you are. In turn, you love them for the center of their being as well. They are loyal, and they want to be there for you through the inevitable tough times that you’ll go through. A friend for life won’t back down when you’re going through a difficult time. They’re not going to abandon you if you two disagree. They are in it for the long-haul and are dedicated to maintaining a healthy friendship.
Falling outs vs. learning from disagreements
Sometimes, it’s not possible to work a disagreement out because you and your friend see things differently. Maybe you have different morals. It’s not the end of the world if you have a falling out with a friend. Perhaps you weren’t meant to be friends for your entire lives, and that’s okay. However, there will be people that you connect with who will understand and be patient with you as you grow and change. It’s also important to recognize that not everybody is going to understand you all of the time. Misunderstandings happen, and one of the ways that we maintain friendships is attempting to see things from the other person’s point of view.
Empathy and friendships
A tip for keeping friendships intact long-term is to emphasize with their feelings. Your feelings are valid, and so are your friends. You might not agree with how your friend feels about a particular topic, and you might not always understand their emotions or reactions. However, you can comprehend this is how they feel and that their feelings are real to them. You want them to respect your feelings and show that they care that you’re angry, hurt, upset, or whatever emotion you’re feeling. It goes both ways, so to keep a friendship for a long time, it’s essential to empathize with how your friend feels.
Maintaining friendships: How do we do it? (and when to let friendships go)
It’s hard to let go of a friendship. It can be challenging to remember the history that you have with a person and think about letting all of it go. However, there may be times that you need to let friendships go. One of the times that you’ll realize a friendship isn’t working is if there’s no give and take. If someone is consistently giving and the other is always taking, that is not a fair relationship. So, it’s important to understand that a healthy and sustainable friendship is one that has balance. Friendship for life is one where both people are giving, and both people are taking.
Discussing friendships in online counseling
Online counseling is an excellent place to discuss issues related to maintaining friends and problems that arise during friendships. Your online counselor cars about you having a supportive social network. Friendships come, and friendships go, but the ones that are important will stay; maybe, for life.
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