Friendships: What do we value in them?

This past week in a team booster exercise, a colleague asked of what I value in my friendships. This was an intriguing question. One, because I’ve not been keen to study my friendships but also because I don’t have as many friends. This opened up new room for thinking for me to establish some of the attributes I value in my friendships and the kind of friendships I have. As per the standard catchphrase, every individual believes that friends should be people you can count on. They need to be loyal, reliable and supportive people in your life. I am in alignment with this but beyond these common attributes I felt that I needed more and this is what my introspection led me to.

I believe friendships are transformational relationships. Transformational friendships enable us to grow and be better versions of ourselves. This stems from a realization that we are all destined for greatness and in that journey we need allies and compatriots willing and ready to walk the journey with us. These should be people capable of giving positive criticism along the journey, guiding our steps where we need to. How can they do this? They are able to do this if and when they are genuinely concerned about your growth which leads to my next realization. They themselves have to be committed to a journey of self development and growth. They need to focus on being better people, realizing their potential and willing to do the work it takes. By so doing they are self-aware and comfortable in their skin at whichever phase of life they are in hence can guide and be guided in the journey. Such level of self awareness negates feelings of envy, insecurity and self-doubt which would contribute to insincere relationships. My realization is that for fulfilling, meaningful friendships I value individuals doing the best with what they have to be at their best and genuine human connection & honesty.

Yesterday in a conversation with some of my compatriots, we delved into the subject further with a focus on human relationships for which we reflected on it sequentially;

  • Human relations are driven by our needs and aspirations. It therefore stems from a fact that in a personal capacity we are working towards something which then brings us closer to others who share in that journey. Being cognizant of our journey and what we are working towards enables us to have clarity on the people who would be allies in the journey.
  • Self awareness helps us have clarity and the ability to not be influenced out of our paths to the realization of our aspirations. Whether social, professional or financial, being aware of the journey helps one to master their path and recruit allies into the journey with whom they share a common trajectory. Law of reciprocity.

I am certain that these are not the only valuable attributes in friendships even in my own but they are some of the critical ones in my case. I am still in the journey of getting to know more about what is valuable to me and would appreciate learning from you.

What do you value in your friendships?

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