Wanted: a friend. Person desires someone to share time and activities.
Any size, any age, any race acceptable.
For more information phone 2-374-363-7447 (a-fri-end-ship)
This isn’t exactly the kind of advertisement you’d see written in a newspaper, magazine, or hanging on a local grocery bulletin board. But perhaps if you could see people’s hearts you’d find it written there. In today’s society, people are lonely; people are hurting; people are crying out for someone to love them. People are looking for a friend.
What is a friend? The dictionary defines “friend” as
- A person whom one knows well and cherishes
- A person who is attached by affection
- One joined to another in intimacy and mutual benevolence independent of sexual or family love.
In discussing the topic of friendship, the first issue that needs addressing is how you think and feel about yourself. In order to be a friend to someone, you must first be a friend to yourself.
The world is full of people who don’t like themselves; who have low self-worth. The reasons are many and varied but basically the root causes are:
- Childhood experience(s) that have given a distorted view of yourself.
- Having a comparison complex which sabotages your own uniqueness.
- Setting up a self-defeating programme by having too high standards.
Your own identity is something you must bring to your relationships and while you will deepen your understanding of yourself through interaction with other people, broken heartedness is courted if relationships are entered in order to find out who you are. You may want to read Custom Counselling’s Life Experience blogs for more information about this.
There are different types of friendships.
The poem “Reason, Season, Lifetime” (author unknown) gives examples of the time frame for some friendships. I think it is wise to have a variety of friends as each has their own personality and likes. Don’t expect one person to be everything to you. For example, one friend might be the one you go to when you have a problem. This person always has excellent advice. Another person might be the one you phone because you know you always have a good time with this upbeat, fun-loving person. Another might be the person you connect with for a shared activity such as shopping or visiting a museum. Each friend can contribute to your life in different ways.
Where can friends be found?
You don’t have to take out a personal ad to find a friend. They can be found anywhere and everywhere.
- Where do you go? Examples~ gym, library, community centres, church.
- What are you already doing? Examples~ children’s activities, walking your dog, classes.
- What interests do you have? Examples~ volunteering, cooking, book club, sports team
- Who do you already know? Examples ~ neighbours, other friends, family
How to begin a conversation.
- First of all, look friendly and approachable. Smile.
- Be casual in your posture.
- Complement someone about something. Make sure the compliment is genuine but not too personal. Eg) that colour looks good; you make that look so easy.
- Ask a question about something related to what is happening.
- Ask questions that require more than a yes or no answer.
- Don’t monopolize the talk. Conversation is a two-way street.
- Eye contact is important but it’s important to break eye contact at times. You don’t want to look like you are interrogating them.
- Be discreet about sharing things that are too personal.
- Friendships don’t usually happen overnight. It takes time and some effort at making a good connection.
- If it’s not a “fit” that’s okay. There are more people out there. Keep making connections.
Here are some principles for how friends should treat each other:
Friends are not selfish: Be considerate and attentive to the needs of others. We are closest to fulfilling our own needs when we are attending to the needs of others.
Friends encourage one another: Kind words of praise, sympathy, encouragement cost us nothing, yet we often refrain from speaking them. Make a mental note to encourage one another more frequently.
Friends are honest with each other: Put an end to manipulation and game playing. Be discreetly honest about your thoughts and feelings.
Friends honour each other: Show respect for the other person’s opinions and feelings even if you don’t agree. Don’t think of yourself as always right or better. Don’t make promises with which you can’t follow through.
Friends are humble, gentle, and patient: Don’t be critical, boastful, pushy, or rude. Seek to build the other person up. Don’t boast of your own achievements. Don’t put the other person down for not thinking/doing the same as you. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults
Friends don’t criticize each other: Choose to speak well of someone or refrain from speaking at all. Discussing a situation with a trusted friend and making honest statements isn’t the issue. Lovingly bring up any unpleasant attitudes or behaviours to that person’s attention. Look at your own attitudes and behaviour as well.
Friends celebrate with each other: Choose to kick jealousy and possessiveness out of your life. Even if a friend’s good news inadvertently causes you ill, you should still be happy with them (example: a promotion, a move, etc)
Friends share each other’s sorrows: Be supportive, not just during the good times but also when the going is difficult. Don’t fade out of the picture when the other person is suffering emotionally, is physically ill or has other problems. In fact it is during g the difficult times that a true friend offers comfort and support.
Friends don’t compromise each other: There may be areas that the person needs to avoid. Do not provide the opportunity for the person to be put at risk.
Friends have pure thoughts about each other: Planning ways to make them suffer make them jealous, scheming and devising plans to get even, listening to gossip are not examples of pure thoughts. We should focus on the positive qualities.
Friends are at peace with each other: Friends can have disagreements and even confrontations but they don’t engage in selfish quarreling or bickering. They are willing to discuss a situation which is annoying or hurtful. They choose to confront the problem at the time it is recognized or wait for an appropriate time to discuss it.
Friends don’t stay angry at each other: Instead of brooding over a situation that makes you angry, seek to understand what caused it. Make the time to discuss the situation and seek to restore the friendship.
Friends forgive and ask for forgiveness: No matter how right we are, or think we are, we need to forgive. That doesn’t mean that we condone the actions of our friends; it means we choose to not hold that offense against them, that we start anew, and when we are wrong, we ask the other person to forgive us. Many times both parties need to share in the blame and ask forgiveness of each other.
Friends treat each other as they want to be treated: In every situation, friends act out of love for each other. If you act out of love, you will uphold the above principles automatically.
Friends are valuable assets. Having them in your life benefits you mentally, emotionally, socially, physiologically, and spiritually.
Judith S. Carscadden