When you read that word what comes to mind? Most people automatically think about their significant other, love interest, etc., but what about your friends? Romantic relationships will come and go. The majority of people will date more than one person before they find “the one,” and your love life could be a series of guys/ladies entering into your life for a season then exiting out until you meet someone worth marrying. But your friends are the people that will (or should) remain constant. They will encourage you to go after the person you have had a crush on for years but have always been too shy to approach, and they will support you when you realize you deserve better than the person you are dating. They will wipe your tears when the person you fell in love with turns their back on you, and they will hold back judgement when you decide to go back to the same person who doesn’t treat you with respect. Our closest friends are our rock. They keep us grounded. So, why is it that most people spend so much time focusing on their romantic relationships (or lack there of) and not as much time focusing on building stronger friendships?
I have been guilty of it too in the past. There was a time when friendships were always secondary to whatever guy I was interested in at the time. If I were talking on the phone with my friend, I would hang up with them in a second if the guy I liked called on the other line. I would move the mountains, stars, and the moon to make sure I supported what he was passionate about (be it football, music, or anything else), but I wouldn’t put nearly as much thought into what my friends were passionate about. I’m not proud of it, but it wasn’t until the guy I thought I fell in love with left me and my friends were the ones who stepped up to the plate to help put the pieces of me back together. Yep, I had to fall to learn. That’s when I remembered some things….like the time when I told him a dear friend passed away and he fell asleep while I was mourning. Or the time he told me I wasn’t girlfriend material. Or how about the time I really needed someone to talk to because my depression had worsened and he was just too busy to be troubled. Hm….
That’s when I realized…they were there all along.
To say the least, I am a lot better at balancing all the different types of relationships in my life. Now, I would never blow off a friend just because I’m getting attention from my crush (not that I have one at the moment). Since my revelation, I have noticed it is actually a big problem for many people to understand their friends need their love and attention too. So, this week I challenge you to spend more time with your friends and going out your way to make them smile. Make a sacrifice in order to brighten their day. Encourage them if they have been stressed out lately. Talk to them about what is important to them. Support them in whatever it is they are most passionate about.
“I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.” -Jon Katz