What makes a healthy friendship? Is it endless FaceTime conversations, a Snapchat streak with triple digits, constantly hanging out with each other, or thousands of embarrassing screenshots? Throughout all my friendships, I always felt like I was trying more than the other person. I was always the one that was reaching out, making plans, being their number one supporter, etc. So whenever that same energy wasn’t returned, I assumed that they didn’t care. (Dramatic, I know)
When I first got to college, I had a hard time coping with the fact that I wouldn’t see my close friends from home very often. I don’t have a car, so I couldn’t go home to visit, and your girl is broke so I couldn’t just be buying tickets left and right to go see them. So, I thought, “Well we are the generation of technology,so communication will be easy!” Wrong. At first, we all tried to keep up with each other, making weekly calls, or at least updating each other on the new things that were happening in our lives.
This went on for the first few weeks until we got busy. But no matter how busy I got, I never stopped reaching out, but I noticed that my friends started reaching less and less. So, of course, as the Samalie I was, I thought my friendships were going down the drain and that my closest friends,who promised to always be friends, didn’t care about me. This caused me to be a little closed off to making new friends. I was all about making new connections for networking and making those class “friends” who send you the attendance code when you can’t make it to class but nothing deeper. I am not gonna lie, I was very broken about this. Me and my closest woes were growing apart no matter how hard I tried. At the time, my thinking was, “I have made all the friends I want, I don’t want to make new ones”-which was wrong.
People grow apart all the time, yes even childhood friends, but I was just not having it. Another fault in this mindset was that I was finding my self worth in these friendships. A huge no-no. We thank God for growth because I no longer think like that. Although I have some days where I still feel like I care a little more than the other friend does, I’m not as quick to think that they don’t care about me and to dismiss them completely. A wise woman shared with me that just because someone isn’t reaching out constantly, especially a close friend, doesn’t mean they don’t think about you, pray for you, etc. Some people are just better at reaching out than others.
So, for my darlings out there like me, who feel like they care a little more than the other person in a friendship, there are some tips.
- Just because they aren’t reaching out doesn’t mean they don’t care, so don’t drop them immediately.
- Don’t stop loving the way you do just because someone else loves you differently.
- If you want to be loved a certain way in a friendship, talk about it to that friend. Communication is key to any relationship.
- Do not find your worth in friendships and how people treat you.
- If you find yourself in a toxic friendship, LET IT GO, in a respectful manner.
- Don’t forget to be a friend to yourself, pour some love into yourself.
Below is an interview with Sharence Moore, a great friend I made at Texas Tech who graduated a few semesters ago.
Do you feel like you made great life long friends in college?
“In college, I had the privilege of gaining some of the most rewarding friendships.”
How have you maintained those friendships?
“My friends and I are all relatively and equally close to each other. Not to sound cliché but we’re a group of girls who have learned to be there for one another over the years.”
How do you like to be loved in a friendship?
“In my friendships, I can be very forward-thinking which at times is valuable for the longevity of a friendship but time is not the only thing that is important when building friendships. In my relationships with my closest friends, I enjoy being able to have friends who affirm that our friendship is lasting. A lot of times, that need to be reaffirmed can be misconstrued into believing that insecurity exists. However, it goes both ways. I know my friends love me most when the years past by and we’re still friends, yes, but it’s important for myself to have space to gain understanding and through that comes affirmation. You learn how you’re being a good friend but also how your friends decide they want to be loved as well.”
What type of friend are you?
“Man, I’ve learned in the last few months the type of friend I am. I’m the friend that is always thinking of their friends. Sometimes it’s hard to know which thoughts I should act on because I have their best interest at heart. I also like to lounge around with my friends and bring up all the deep, gooey talks that allow us to connect when the outside world is moving too fast. Like -put it this way-I love knowing my friends and I try to be an example of the way I wish to connect with them. I try to know who they are so that we all know that when we’re together understanding, love, and connection exist.”
What qualities make a “true” friend?
“A “true friend” recognizes who you are, what you stand for, how you see yourself. When a friend is low, it’s not your job to “fix” them, but it’s your job to remind them of who they are when they can’t seem to find “it”.”
What is the greatest act of kindness a friend has ever shown you?
“As much as I strive to believe that I am always a good friend I have to be honest with myself and know that I have shortcomings too. The greatest act of kindness any friend has shown me was when I wasn’t my best self to them over a period of time they showed me love and corrected me and trusted that I would do right by them. When you treat me as they do not deserve, consciously or unconsciously you have to answer to the results of your behavior. Sometimes you’ll lose a friend but in my case, I did not want to lose any friends and I’m grateful that I didn’t.”
ffHow are you a friend to yourself?
“I am a friend to myself. I try not to reflect so much that it pushes me into the future and cause anxiety to shoot through the roof. I check in with myself daily to be mindful of how I’m feeling in every area of my life.”
Until next time my darlings!