25 years of one of my favourite TV shows: Friends! Feels like a good enough reason to reappear on my blog place. Many of my close friends know that I am obsessed with this show and closely resemble the sarcastic Chandler but I am not here to talk about the show or show off my skills in being able to recite famous lines from the show, rather I thought I would talk a little bit about what it means to be a friend…from my personal perspective. Recently I had a client in one of my sessions describing a fall out with a friend; he let me know that he was really upset but was able to suddenly reflect on all the things that his friend was doing that were perhaps not what a supportive friend should be doing. Well as his therapist, I grabbed a pen, some paper and asked him to write down for me what he feels a healthy friendship looks like; as he did this, it also gave me an opportunity to develop a bit of a checklist for myself. Mine looks as follows:
– Listen and validate when I need to be heard, even if they don’t agree.
– Make time, whether it’s once a week, once a month or whenever I need them.
– Openly communicate if there is an issue.
– Can be there for me without me asking.
– Tell me when I’m wrong. It’s hard not to get defensive but real talk is a win, an opportunity for growth.
Words I associate with my friend(s):
I feel people will often ask what you are looking for in a partner but no one ever really seems to ask what you are looking for in a friend. Relationships are not limited to just with your partner, they also include friends, your parents, your siblings, etc. A word you will often see me using is reciprocal when I talk about healthy relationships. A relationship is about balance. Sometimes we spend too much time giving and forget to take and maybe other times vice versa. It should not take a fall out for you to recognize what you would like to see in a friend. It is important to reflect on any relationship and take a moment to build your checklist not only to see if others in your life are checking the boxes but that you are too. Checklists are not black and white and we are human and might not “check the boxes” 100% of the time but give yourself permission to have baseline expectations from your relationships and hold yourself accountable to the same. Until next time readers, remember friendship is a love based on giving and receiving.
Cover photo from: https://images.app.goo.gl/K4YWF6w8JFkbdkNk9