Let’s Talk: Friendships

Friends: Rosa Guy. One of my favorite childhood books. #memories

Questions for the day:

  1.             What is your definition of a friend?
  2.             Who are your friends?
  3.             Why are they your friends?
  4.             Are you guys growing emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually?

Before we can even begin talking about someone being a friend to us, it is vital that we ask ourselves this question “Am I a friend? Sometimes, it is so easy for us to want others to be good friends to us but the truth of the matter is that sometimes we are not good friends to them. It is important that we evaluate ourselves and those we surround ourselves with. We are reminded in 1 Corinthians 15:33 that, Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” You can’t expect to grow when you are constantly hanging around people who aren’t nurturing or willing to see you grow. You might have been friends with certain people for a long period of time but as time passed, you realized that your relationship with that person started to drift apart. As much as you have talked to that person about the distant changes, you still see no changes in your relationship. To be honest, at this point you need to understand that the season that person was in your life is over. Yes, there are instances that people who drift apart can reconnect later on down the line but it is very important to let that person go.  It is very important for you to be aware of the people you are hanging around with because they can aid or hinder in your growth as an individual. Many times, we start to develop some of the bad habits and characteristic traits our friends have without knowing it. Until someone stops us in our tracks, we will continue to cultivate these habits. Understand that it is okay to re-evaluate your circle. As you continue to grow, you’ll grow apart from certain people naturally. This does not mean that they weren’t good friends but you’ll come to understand that everyone serves a purpose in your life. Some people are in your life for a season and others for a lifetime. The people you surround yourself with can be a reflection of who you are to a certain degree.

Characteristics To Look For In A Friend:

  1. Respectful
  2. Genuine
  3. Compassionate
  4. Supportive
  5. Forgiving
  6. Iron Sharpens Iron
  7. Encouraging
  8. Loyal
  9. Good Listener
  10. Trustworthy
  11. Understanding
  12. Non- Judgemental
  13. Honest
  14. Humorous
  15. Empathetic
  16. Goal Oriented
  17. Hard working
  18. Gentle
  19. Outgoing
  20. Down To Earth

Types of Friendships:

  1. Godly Friendships: Christ Based; Self-less (Purpose driven)
  2. Worldly Friendships: Focused On Self (If you do this for me, then I will do the same for you. It’s more of a competition than willingness to see each other grow.

Categories/Classifications In Friendships

According to author S. L. Young, there are individuals within our social circles, who aren’t necessary our friends but are as follows:

  1. Acquaintance or Associate: there is familiarity with someone, but there isn’t a personal relationship.
  2. Appendage: friendly because there’s a possibility that an individual’s success will help them.
  3. Conditional: a requirement placed on a relationship that’s dependent on a certain need being met.
  4. Counterfeit: gives the impression of being a friend, but isn’t someone who can be trusted.
  5. Evaluative:  determines the significance of a relationship based on the last thing(s) provided or done.
  6. Fair-Weather: disappears during a time of need, but will return once a bad time or situation passes;
  7. Leech: drains an individual of their energy, essence, or desire to move forward;
  8. Occasional: friendly during certain times, but suddenly stops being friendly without any reason or notice. At a later time, the person will be friendly (again) on their terms.
  9. Negative: considers themselves to be a friend, but is always pessimistic about things related to the friendship or the things that their friend does.
  10. Noncommittal: goes back-and-forth on their belief(s), support, assistance, etc.
  11. Situational: an individual suddenly becomes friendly once a certain event occurs that there might be a personal benefit.
  12. Spiteful: jealous of someone’s efforts to achieve or actual success;
  13. Toxic: gives an impression of providing support, but actively works to undermine their efforts.

After reading this, do you identify yourself with some of these characteristic traits? If so, what are some ways you are willing to change?

Are you the type of friend you are looking for in a friend?

What are some ways you can grow physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually?

What category would you place your friendships? (Godly or Worldly)

Are you afraid to talk to your friends about God? If so, why not?

Do your friendships glorify God?

Are your friendships comprised of gossiping, negativity and etc?

Before reading this post, did you know the difference between worldly/Godly friendships?

Lessons Learned In My Personal Walk (Friendships)

  1. Your friends from high school aren’t necessary going to be your buddies forever.
  2. You will drift apart from certain friends. It hurts but later on, you’ll understand that the dynamic of your friendships have changed. This doesn’t mean that they are bad people but understanding that their season in your life is over.
  3. Learn to prioritize. If people don’t prioritize you, you don’t have to do the same. So pretty much if you are always the one reaching out and trying to maintain a friendship and the other person isn’t making effort, learn to take a seat. Reach out to them but don’t continue to stretch yourself out to the point where you get worn out. Do your friends only call you when they need something? Express how you feel about your friendship. If you see the same patterns, it is a sign that it’s time to let go.
  4. Learn to pray/reach out to your friends. Just because you text someone and they say that “they are fine” doesn’t always mean they are. Do your best to check up on them even though they may not do it as often as you do. If you can, call them or meet up if you can.
  5. Not everyone has the same heart as you. What you are willing to do for others may not necessary mean they are willing to do the same for you.
  6. Learn to communicate how you feel to your friends and those you love. Express your thoughts in regards to a situation. If you feel that what your friend say or did to you was hurtful, let them know. Don’t walk around like it’s cool because you want to squash the situation.
  7. Confrontation is good. It isn’t as bad as many people think of it. It’s all about how you say things and approach it. It’s also important to know the person you are dealing with. I will definitely say from experience that when you are going to meet a person that you have a problem with or haven’t seen in a while, pray about it. “Lord I come before you as I am. I lift Moriah into your hands. I thank you for this meeting we will have. I pray that your presence will be at our meet-up. Help me to speak in love. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen
  8. Your friends (friends) aren’t necessarily your friends.
  9. Understand that some people are seasonal types of friends. They played a purpose in your life and that’s what matters. Perspective is key. The longer you prolong someone’s season in your life, the more you miss the purpose the were in your life. Some friends drift apart naturally. Other times, you have be the person to separate from them.
  10. Know your friends. Understand that just because you are willing to call someone or check up on your friends every week doesn’t mean they are willing to do the same. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t your friends. You just have to understand that life happens. We all have responsibilities and as much as it will be great for your friends to check up on your as least once or twice or month, let’s be honest that we have friends who reach out once every 3 months.
  11. Listen to what people are saying but also listen to what they are not saying. One of the greatest advice that someone gave me. People will talk but their action will speak louder than their words.
  12. Be careful who you share your information with. Do you find yourself always sharing your information with your friends but they never share anything with you? Like the only information you know about them is their name, favorite color and their nationality?
  13. Learn to spend time with yourself. It’s okay to spend time in your own company. It’s not every day be around people. Even though this was not a problem for me, I find that quite a lot of people struggle with spending time alone.
  14. Understand that you can’t have friends exclusively for you. It’s interesting because someone I know mentioned that sometimes it hard for her because she doesn’t have friends that are exclusively her friends. Either the person she wants to be friends with is already friends with her friends. If that’s the case, go on and get to know people. Join organizations. Pray and allow God to bring people your way.
  15. As life goes, friendships will require more work. Those who are meant to be your friends will be, no matter how challenging life gets. Just like any relationship, it takes work. Your friendships should be natural. You don’t force it. From experience, I always try to maintain friendships. I’ve always had this type of mentality that no matter what season we are in, summer or winter, we are in it forever. So if that means I’m going to forgive you to maintain this friendship, then fine. Overtime, I’ve learned that you can’t continue to maintain friendships with people who aren’t willing to do the same. Friendship is a two way street, not a one way path. 🙂
  16. There are levels to friendship. Man, I just learned this concept this year. My friend will say this in our conversations but I just didn’t get it. For me, if your my friend, (your my friend). I don’t place you in no category. I didn’t understand it until my male friend mentioned the same thing as my female friend. My sister will say not everyone has keys to her hotel. Some people belong in the lobby, the parking lot and etc. This concept will really help you to understand that not everyone has the key to your heart. So my male friend described it as follows. (Level 1 Friendships: People you meet and have a conversation with (nothing deep). Level 2 Friendships: These people know things about you. They have met your family. If you didn’t have a place to live and needed a place to stay for like 3 months, you’ll be fine with it. Level 3 Friendship: These type of friendships are brotherly/sisterly love. You have a good relationship with these people. They are there for you. If you didn’t have a place to live and wanted to stay with them for a year, it is completely fine with them.
  17. Not everyone you encounter is meant to be a part of your life. Some encounters must stop at hello.
  18. Never stop being who you are because how people have treated you in the past.
  19. Make room in  your heart for the people God will bring in your life. Not everyone that comes in your life is there to hurt you but everyone serves a purpose in your life.
  20. Celebrate. Encourage. Reach Out. Pray for your friend’s at all times. Live, love, laugh and cherish every moment 🙂

Thank you for stopping by my blog. I do hope that you can take away one or two things from this post. Have a lovely day 🙂

PC: Book: Friends (Rosa Guy)

 

 

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Advice To Your Younger Self #1

via @ bonnietsang on Instagram:

For the past two months, I’ve been going around asking people who are much older than me this question “What advice will you give to your younger self?” It’s been pretty interesting the responses that I have received. I started this project primarily because I believe that it is very important to learn and takeaway something from other generations.

  1. Diane: If I can give my younger self an advice, it would to travel more. Other than that, I don’t regret anything. I was a Nurse then wanted to become a Mid-wife and I pursued it. (February 11,2017)
  2. Raquel: If I can give my younger self an advice, I would have to say *Don’t get distracted. Don’t allow heartbreak to take control of your emotions. Friends come and go but those who meant to be apart of it, will be. Embrace where you are at in life. Those are the things you will look back at. The things that you see at your darkest will prepare you for the light. Be wise with men, friends, and money. (February 16, 2017): Heart to Soul (Hillsong)
  3. Professor Diamond: If I can give my younger self an advice, it would have to be “go to college right after high school. I took a while before I went to college. At the time, I was working. (February 18, 2017)
  4. Bill L: If I can give my younger self an advice, it would have to be getting a real job after college. I was too busy painting houses. Later on I lived in Japan for some years teaching English. (March 8th,2017)
  5. Professor Amutah: If I can give my younger self an advice, I would have to say, *Stay focused on your goal. Don’t get distracted. Understand that not everyone in your circle is destined for greatness. Some people like to remain in the same level. Surround yourself with supportive people. Be unapologetic about yourself. If you are African, own up to it. Be proud about it. Don’t be embarrassed about your roots. Demand respect from every area of your life. From your friendships, family, your relationship and etc. Don’t downplay your gifts. (One of the favorite professors ever. Team Public Health). (March 21st,2017)
  6. Daddy: If I can give my younger self an advice, I would have to say, stay out of trouble, work hard (be studious), and don’t let anyone discourage you. Strive for success. Respect your elders. Listen to people’s opinions. It’s good to have opposers, that’s how you learn and grow. Be nice to people but also be careful because people take advantage. Be careful the choice of friends you make. Choose your friends wisely. Sometimes, you have to keep to yourself. Don’t open your heart too easily. Be careful what you share with people because you never know what may happen. If you have a fallout, they can share your information. If you have a secret, keep it to yourself. March 31st, 2017 🙂
I hope that as you take the time to read this post, that you can take away something. There’s always something to learn in this life. It’s a journey. We can’t do it alone. God has placed people in our lives for a purpose. Always, remember to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. Until next time, stay blessed. Live. Learn & Love. 🙂
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