Friendship, what does it mean to you?
As a child becoming friends with someone was as simple as, you like ice-cream, I like ice-cream let’s be friends. As we become older, friendships somehow seem a lot less simple, or are they?
Tom Rath a researcher of Gallup has identified 8 roles that he believes friends fulfil, it is entirely possible that a friend may satisfy more than one of these roles.
- Builders – motivate us to succeed
- Champions – stand up for us and have our back
- Collaborators – share interests and beliefs
- Companions – would sacrifice for the friendship
- Connectors – make introductions and extend invitations
- Energisers – fun, positive people who can uplift and calm
- Mind Openers – expose us to new ideas, questions and opinions
- Navigators – help us make decisions and work towards goals
I find this an intriguing list. And whilst I can identify with each of the eight roles, as a giver and a receiver; I feel the list is missing a few key ingredients.
For me the 5 key ingredients for friendship are:
- Trust – the absolute knowledge that if they say they will do something or be somewhere it will happen, you know that you can trust them with your deepest darkest secrets
- Respect – that even though you may have different views and opinions you don’t try and control or change the person to fit your mould
- Love – unconditional, you love every aspect of them the dark and the light
- Honesty – don’t hide a truth for fear of rejection, pain or repercussions
- Loyalty – this one is so important, and yet for me almost indescribable in words. I almost feel it encompasses all of the above and then some
All relationships need nurturing, the belief that we don’t have to participate or contribute in any way is redundant.
Here are six very simple tips that you can do to ensure that you are participating in your friendships:
- Keep your promises
- Apologise if you make a mistake, we are human – own it!
- Pick up the phone and call, write a letter, keep in touch. Connection does not have to be daily weekly or monthly, however it cannot be one sided. If the person matters to you, make the time
- Let them know you care, a heart-felt hug is always a great place to start, say I love you
- Have fun, laugh and play – this is not reserved for children
- Say what you mean and mean what you say
Friendship isn’t a big thing — it’s a million little things. ~Author Unknown
I am truly blessed in my life to have friends that love me no matter what, and that starts with me.