Have you ever noticed how many different types of friendships there are in today’s world? We have the good, life-giving, full of health friendships. There are those acquaintance friendships where you’re there if needed, can do small talk well, but really only interact when in similar situations. Then we have those friendships that we are in because we are the stronger one, the encouraging one, the supporter.
In relationships, we tend to look for the ways that we can be there for others, but at the same time we are looking at what the other person has to give us in return. This is our natural tendency. I believe this is healthy as well. At least to an extent.
What happens when we start to look at the friendships we have in terms of only what they can give us, and not what we can give to the other as well. Well, then we start to take advantage of all the benefits we get from having a close relationship with them. The relationship becomes unbalanced with selfish motives and we will eventually end up doing or saying something that could break the friendship we have become dependent on.
What if we start to try too hard to make/keep friends? I believe we could very easily become obsessed and we’ll end up smothering the person that we’re really trying to connect with. What if we stop trying to keep a continuous connection? As with most things, the connection then fades and eventually becomes non-existent.
What can we do to maintain healthy relationships and ensure that we have more of the good types of friendships than we have of the other two types?
- We pray for God to send us the people He wants in our lives. Those that we can encourage, challenge and build up, but be confident that they will be doing the same for us.
- We look for ways to connect on deep, real levels.
- We sacrifice some of our minor needs if it means bettering the friendship. (**Disclaimer, I did say minor. I wouldn’t say it would be wise to sacrifice the big, deal-changing attributes)
- We forgive everything no matter how big or small. And when it’s forgiven, we never bring it up again.
- We love the other person no matter what.
These are the things I have found to work best when looking for life-giving, faith-building, healthy friendships. How about you?