Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Resetting Friendships

Things are finally returning to "normal" for me. I went through a month long period of chaos and doubt and then forced myself to make some changes. I had to look at my relationships with my closest friends and try to find out what I needed and what I was willing to change.

Friend #1

We had been drifting apart and this bothered me. Just when it seemed we were getting closer again we had some arguments and we drifted further apart. Luckily neither of us went too far.

I had to do some hard thinking. I wanted my friend to understand why I was taking this so hard. I had to accept my feelings as valid but not be trapped by them. I had to understand what I needed in the friendship so I could deal with what my friend needed.

Basically I needed to know two things: Was he my friend and was I his. To answer the first I had to let go of much of the past and ask myself tough questions. To answer the second I had to prepare myself for any answer and to be as fair and honest as I could.

Through a series of chats and emails we found out we are still friends. We both recognized that we had to loosen things up a bit and not be so connected. Some personal "distance" and reorganization of our boundaries helped us stay friends.

Friend #2

I don't talk to this friend as much as I used to. We phone and visit regularly but it isn't a daily thing. We can rely on each other however. I asked him for support and advice when I was having problems with my other friend.

The hardest thing was to make him understand that the other friendship was real and that it was important to me. Once that was accomplished we could work on solutions.

When you ask for help you open yourself to criticism or advice that is expected (to some degree) to be followed. I listened to my friend and implemented what I could. I also left some things until I knew whether I was still friends with the other guy.

What did I learn from this?

I found out that I have some great friends and I am willing to work hard to keep them. Adapting to changes in friends is important as long as it doesn't cause you more pain. We have to look after ourselves too.

Communication is very important. You have to express your ideas clearly and be willing to really listen.

After I settled things with Friend #1 I was looking through my blog archives and found the following quote:

Treat your friends with honesty and respect (including their boundaries), listen, talk, and learn to laugh.

Friendship is a gift so use it wisely.*

Sometimes we forget this and have to be reminded. It is worth remembering.


1 comment:

Joel said...

Amen :)