The Half-Way Mark
What defines a genuine friendship? What must we do to find and keep dear friends that strengthen who we are and encourage us when needed? How do we find someone that you can share your feelings with? With all the demands in our lives with our jobs, our families, and other responsibilities, how do we maintain these friendships? We can maintain them with The Half-Way Mark.
We think as we grow older, friendships would become easier, but at times it can seem even more complex. Although we get a lot of information about their day to day lives from social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, we need to remember to close these apps, pick up the phone, and call each other. We need to reach out when we need advice when we are feeling down, when we need a good laugh, or just to say I was thinking of you.
With all the demands our lives put on us, calling for constant attention from us, we must remember that it is our friends that will provide us with mental and spiritual support and renewal. They not only supply us with the hope we need when facing life challenges but help us destress and provide positive affirmation on our journey. When you find someone, who shares in a conscientious relationship, meaningfulness will follow.
What I value about my genuine friends:
They push us to be more accepting of ourselves: There are times in our lives where we feel inadequate with ourselves. We may feel less about our behavior or where our lives are heading. Our true friends are the ones who help us rise when our self-opinion gets low. They naturally boost our spirit and self-esteem so we can soar again.
They call us out when we’re in the wrong: When you have friends that are true friends, they express gentle honesty and are able to point out the negative actions you have demonstrated. We all have flaws. A friend who is genuine is able to be open and straightforward with you. They support the good, the bad and the ugly side of you.
They really listen: In essence, they are selfless. I find, not only in myself but also in my dearest friends, the ones who are the happiest, are the ones who ground themselves by thinking of others without being consumed by themselves. How many times, when trying to hold a conversation with someone, they continue to turn the topic back to themselves? Having empathy in a friendship, allows you to just listen. Often times, when sharing a struggle with a friend, they can often make it about themselves by adding their own experiences. A True Friend, will actively put themselves in your shoes emotionally, and be the support you need, without turning the tables.
They practice forgiveness: Life is not always as perfect as we wish it to be. From time to time, all relationships have bad moments, or shall we call them errors in judgment. A genuine friendship will weather the storm. True friends, will have the courage to have a discussion with you, rather than gossiping and allowing these feelings to grow. True friendships are capable of forgiveness.
They have our backs: A genuine friend will always take a stand, even if the situation is uncomfortable. Perhaps, while out for an evening, you see your friends partner out with someone else. Yes, this is an uncomfortable discussion to have, honesty is not always an easy thing, but supportiveness and honesty in a friendship is crucial to your bond. Finding a friend who is trustworthy, we are allowed to share a deeper relationship, reminding us that we are never alone. It empowers us to be a better person when we know we are not alone and can confide in each other.
They keep our stress in check: One sign of a true friend is knowing what makes the other person tick. They can sense your stress, seeing a difference in your routine or demeanor, and assist you in making decisions. Sometimes, when advice isn’t needed, just their support and presence alone can calm us.
They make the friendship a priority: As days pass, they start to become action-packed with work, marriage, kids, errands…we become less available. True friends don’t let life interrupt the relationship. True friends will always find a small corner of their life for a catch-up call or a planned visit. Even when that means meeting each other at The Half-Way Mark.
Surrounding yourself with friends who embody these traits will allow you to step away from the mobile social notifications of life and find solace in each other to create meaning in the precious time you have together.
Staying in touch with true friends should never be a burden that needs to be scheduled on your to-do list. Make sure you are always making the effort to communicate as part of your routine. Whether you take the time to call while driving home from work, setting aside an evening once a month to get together, or reconnecting with each other at least once a year on a mini weekend vacation. You can always meet them in Vandalia, Illinois, the half-way mark.
Please take a moment to meet :