This post concludes the three-part series on friendship. If you missed last week’s post, you can read it here.
Once upon a time there was a pair of Gulf sturgeons who lived in the Mississippi River. As fish friendships go, these two were the best of buds — think Nemo and Dory — and they swam everywhere together. One day these two friends found themselves at the mouth of the great river and swam excitedly into the Gulf of Mexico. One sturgeon wanted to swim into the Atlantic Ocean, while the other preferred the Caribbean Sea. Understanding the importance of being true to themselves, they said their brave goodbyes and went their respective ways.
The organic ending of friendship does not mean failure; it just means that the time of mutually focused time and energy has come to an end. The meaningful exchange is no longer stronger than the need to move on. It is not uncommon for friendships to end, especially after marriage, the birth of children, or relocation. After all, life priorities change and friendships are a reflection of that transformation.
When you know what you most appreciate in others, that will help you establish meaningful new friendships.
On the other hand, friendships can be like the Energizer Bunny; they just keep going and going and going. Friendships like that have a unique chemistry. They feel natural. They offer us just what we want and need in a meaningful relationship. The question is, are you providing what your BFF wants and needs to keep your friendship going strong?
Think about the friends you most value. What is it about the relationship that you most appreciate? Maybe it’s the ease with which you communicate. Perhaps is the positivity and encouragement you receive. Or maybe it’s just knowing that your friend has your back no matter what.
How lucky you are to have such an amazing friend! When was the last time you mentioned how much he or she means to you? Sure, you both may know it, but when did you last articulate your appreciation with words?
Newsflash: friends need loving affirmations too!
Bottom line, take nothing for granted!
If your friends are not getting what they need from the friendship it could, over time, wither up and blow away. The sad truth is that you may not even realize it’s happened until it’s too late.
Here’s what to do to avoid losing a valuable friendship. Pay attention — even to the little things. What makes your friend express the greatest happiness and joy?
Being a friend — a true friend — requires an investment of time and energy. In fact, any meaningful relationship, whether a friend, a significant other, or colleague requires you to step outside of yourself; meaning, you have to think about the relationship from both sides.
- If you’re in a friendship like the two fish at the beginning of the story, will you part and go your separate ways when you reach the Gulf or will your shared vision carry you in the same direction?
- How does that awakening make you feel?
Sheila Callaham is a best-selling author and motivational coach. She is in the process of becoming Texan. Connect with her on your favorite social media platform.