tisdag 20 oktober 2009

What's important in a friendship?

Today we did an exercise about stating and ranking our values within a certain area of life. I chose friendship as subject, and this is what I came up with as important criteria for a good friendship (thanks Selinda for walking me through this):

  1. Trust- both ways. I must be able to trust, and feel trusted, to experience a good and secure friendship. This also requires an open dialogue, and the courage to lead such a dialogue even when it's not only sunshine and a walk in a park.
  2. Honesty- not like in telling your friend (or being told) that "Those trousers are really aweful" or "Your hairdresser must hate you", but as in keeping stuff concerning the friendship open and spotless from lies. You must not always tell EVERYTHING, but being honest about stuff that matters and concerns the friendship is crucial.
  3. Freedom of speach- like in the liberty to speak one's mind about stuff that's not always convenient, without fearing the friendship's going to end because you disagree or feel the need to criticise.
  4. Loyalty- knowing that the person who calls her/himself my friend will stand by my side even through stormy times and in conflicts. Cowardly hiding or crouching away as soon as the clouds start showing up isn't a deed of a good friend.
  5. Openmindedness- acceptance for differences in opinions, values, behaviour, orientation and other stuff. A non-judgemental mind, open to other people's right to remain themselves.
If this feels hard or impossible, maybe you shouldn't be friends in the first place? A friendship isn't a flower you pick, dry and keep for display. It's a living plant you need to care for. If you forget to care for it, you may need to make an extra effort to keep it alive. But isn't a good friendship always worth some work and effort? I have just a few real friends, that I could literally walk through fire and ice for, but the ones I love and care for are worth every second of strive and effort I make to keep them happy and feeling special to me.

2 kommentarer:

Lisa sa...

Very useful exercise! I've done something similar for friendships as well as for what I want from a life partnership. In order to focus on getting what I want, I have to know what I want, and be clear about it, right? For me, it usually boils down to some basic things that I also value greatly in my own life: honesty - integrity - openness - trust. (And I wonder why good friends are so hard to come by ;))

Callisto sa...

Yes, that's indeed a good question. Why are good friends so rare? I try to be one, of course not always excelling in my strivings, but I do try to keep an open mind and prestigelessness in relations to my friends.

Lately I've come to realize that a friend stands by you when you feel down, or he/she may not be the friend you thought she/he'd be. A friend needs no hierarchy between you to make him/her feel better about oneself. And they are big enough to say 'Forgive me, I did wrong.'. Even if the harm is not always intended, there has to be a will to admit things went wrong.

Strangely enough I've found my real support in places I didn't expect to find it lately. That makes me happy. Some of my friends from old have also been nothing but great. Some... I'll have to think about that...