“May we find friends worth having
With every year passing may they mean more than gold”
If there is one lesson 2020 taught us, it is the importance of having reliable friends in your corner. In the past year, I have come to appreciate the vital role that great friendships and social connections play in our lives. Though this year brought with it the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, and the many instances of disappointments that came with it, it also presented real opportunity for growth in many areas especially in intra-personal and interpersonal relationships.
“The year 2020 made us realize what the truly important things in life are: family and friendships.”
The presence or the lack of meaningful friendships and social connections was revealed this year, as people were forced to stay home due to the pandemic. The lockdown also provided a great opportunity for families to bond on a deeper level this year. Little wonder social media was replete with family Christmas portraits. The year 2020 made us realize what the truly important things in life are: family and friendships. You might have also realized in the course of the year that some of your friendships lack substance. This might have caused you to revisit the essence of your friendships. We were built for association hence, it would be presumptuous to think you do not need friends because “we all need somebody to lean on” when the going gets tough and 2020 was tough in many ways. Cultivating meaningful friendships takes intentionality and I will be outlining three tips on building “meaningful” friendships.
“Sharing common values is primordial to the existence of meaningful friendships. When friends have conflicting values, discussions tend to be shallow and of no real importance to their progress.”
Define what “meaningful” means to you
What you consider as meaningful is the basis of what should form your friendships and relationships. What values do you cherish and hold dear? What constitutes value for you in a relationship or a person? Being able to determine all these is key to knowing exactly the kind of persons to associate with. Sharing common values is primordial to the existence of meaningful friendships. When friends have conflicting values, discussions tend to be shallow and of no real importance to their progress. Conflicting values leads to superficial relationships and fleeting connections. Choosing your friends based on common values implies the need for self-awareness and also knowledge of the persons you are relating with.
Be intentional in cultivating friendship
Building meaningful friendships takes intentionality. When you identify persons with whom you share common beliefs and values, it is also necessary to be intentional about cultivating the relationship. Meaningful friendship, is grown by nurture: reach out to your friends, check on them, have fun with them and provide moral and emotional support when they need it.
Be Open and Honest in Communication
I believe there can be no real relationship where honesty and vulnerability is lacking. Genuine friendship requires honest communication. You need friends who can always tell you the truth, albeit lovingly, whether you want to hear it or not. Friends need to trust each other if the relationship is going to last, and trust is built through open, honest communication. Being always truthful in a friendship builds a deep bond between friends. When you open up to your friends or share secrets with them, you feel closer to each other.
As 2021 approaches, I pray that you may find friends worth having who mean more than gold as the years go by.