You can define the word so so many different ways; a relationship with a person whom one has a bond of mutual affection, a state with people who make you laugh till you pee your pants. My personal favourite is ‘friendship feels like hot chocolate touching my heart’.
In 22 years I’ve had my fair share of friendships, much like everybody else. We’ve all had ‘best’ friends, ‘true’ friends, ‘close’ friends, ‘old’ friends, ‘good’ friends, ‘bad’ friends, ‘fake’ friends, ‘work’ friends- the list could go on for days, but what does it all mean? What are we left with when school, college, uni and all the bits in between are over? We’re all still learning- but this is what i’ve got so far.
Treat people how you would like to be treated.
I think this is the only way you can become close to being the ‘perfect’ friend in a world where perfection isn’t real and shouldn’t be sought after. Respect, kindness and honesty are all things that you can strive for and achieve in a friendship. If you bitch about someone behind their back, you can expect it in return but if you become a personal cheerleader for your gals achievements you will find it will head right back your way as well.
Take a little moment to remember a time where you’ve felt awful at the hands of someone else for something petty or undeserved. You got it? Now never, ever makesomeone feel that way.
You don’t need a ‘girl gang’ to feel like a part of something.
You don’t have to have one group of friends. Its good and healthy to have friendships in different parts of your life and appreciate all your friends for their own individual reasons and not because you seem to have your own version of Taylor Swifts ‘power squad’ on instagram. The days of ‘girls nights’ are over in my eyes, if I’m planning a meal, BBQ or a night out with a couple of drinks then I want all my friends to be there and feel welcome, and I like to think that if they didn’t know each other then they might go away feeling like they’d met some lovely new people.
When you get into your 20’s its a bit harder to make new friends. You don’t walk aimlessly around town on weekends any longer, or sit in the local park for hours on end like you used to do after school and you don’t sit with different people in all your classes at college. Its hard meeting new people, which is why you should make space in your life for all the little friendships that make you feel loved.
Time and distance no longer matter.
We can all become a little lazy at times with keeping in contact with our pals, but I love finding those people that you can just click straight back into it with. My favourite friendships are the ones where you can pick up right where you left off a month ago. They’re usually the people that you could just talk endlessly to about the most random crap, but also the ones that you could sit in the garden with in complete silence and go away feeling like you’d had the best conversation ever.
In school you very much believe that your ‘close’ friends are the ones that you spend all your time with, have all the giggles with and know everything about. But in reality, your real friends are the ones that you don’t have to worry about losing closeness with if you don’t speak or see each other in a while because you feel so secure that you don’t have to force anything, or feel like you have to battle for your place in their life and compete with any of their new friends for a spot.
Friendship should be natural and easy.
You should never feel like you have to act a certain way, dress in a certain style or try your hardest to fit in with a friend. Friendship should be easy, it should flow naturally and your friends will accept you for the way you are- good and bad. Effort is a two way street and both sides should be taking part in the drive. Friends are the people who add positivity and sunshine to your life, not people who you lose sleep over.
You shouldn’t have to justify your choices to your friends- they might not agree sometimes but they should respect it none the less. Your priorities and life are YOURS and its important that you control them and live the way you want to live. A friendship that you constantly have to explain yourself in or feels like a struggle is toxic and isn’t going to benefit you. Friendship should feel effortless and if you’re both doing your part then it will feel that way. You don’t have to have known someone your whole life for them to become one of your nearest and dearest.
Recognise your family as friends.
Im lucky to have a close knit family unit that i’m super grateful for. As i’ve got older I’ve started to see my family as people I actively choose to be friends with, share things with and make memories with. Don’t take them for granted and let them know how much wonderfulness they bring into your life everyday.
You’ll have people in your life that you can’t begin to describe what they mean to you. It could be anybody. The only way I can come close to the description is the feeling of home. No matter where you are or under what circumstances, they feel like home.
Be your own friend.
I think this is one we forget sometimes. Its easy to neglect yourself and not appreciate yourself sometimes, but its important to try. Be friends with your body, be friends with your mind, be friends with all your imperfections and quirky bits and take care of them the same way you would with somebody else. Treat yourself with the same respect that you’d treat your friends with.
Its amazing to have people in your life that you can call friends, the people who you truly love and cherish. But its also important to give yourself advice, throw yourself a compliment and ultimately learn to LOVE your own company as well.
Now, I’m by no means a friendship expert (is there even such a thing?!) but its time to start filling our life with bright, sparkly people. So I hope you reach out to ‘old’ friends, I hope you make ‘new’ friends, and I hope you keep cherishing all your ‘true’ ‘close’ and ‘best’ friends, because they are all bloooooomin’ marvellous.