Monday, August 20, 2012

Friendship Report Card: Who’s Making The Grade?

Let me ask you a question.

How would you rate the current state of your friendships?  By this I mean, if you looked at each of them individually and assessed how they make you feel would you give them a passing grade?

I commend the reader who can emphatically reply, “I have the most solid and fulfilling friendships in the world!”.   I also tip my hat to the person who says, “Hmm, I’m not sure.” because that kind of honesty isn’t always easy to face (let alone admit!).

Texting, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest (and the like) has done a lot to expand social networks in a short amount of time, so I find it ironic that so many friendships appear to be disengaging now more than ever before.   Is it due to a co-dependence on the written word as opposed to verbal ones?  Could it be a result of busy schedules and a lack of time being made for routine friendship maintenance? Perhaps our previously thriving alliances have run their course and it’s time to express gratitude  and move on.

Regardless of the reason, it seems like few of us are willing to talk about the proverbial “big pink elephant in the room” and because of this avoidance some friendships have suffered.  We don’t want to ruffle feathers, drudge up drama or risk disturbing what has worked for years.  I have to ask, if that is the case, what is your partnership really bringing to the table?

 If you can no longer relate, what’s the fate for your relationship?

A true friend doesn’t leave you feeling obligated to take their call.
When you’re in the presence of a true confidante, you won’t need to edit your story.
A true girlfriend (or “bro”, respectively) has an agenda to build you up and not break you down.

How do you define friendship and do the friends that you currently have reflect this definition?

Consider rating your friends with 1 being the lowest quality and 10 being the highest. Take a look at what’s needed to bring the 6’s, 7’s and 8’s to a 10.  Ask yourself (and maybe even the friend in question) if you’re willing to put in some effort to get it there.

As for the 1’s, 2’s, 3’s and 4’s?  Serious attention is required.  If your friendship has evolved into an acquaintance status, it might be a good idea to leave it there but keep in mind that there are some friends that are worth saving and getting back on track if it serves to benefit the well-being of the two people involved.  The choice is yours.

There are 24 hours in a day.
If you’re lucky, a minimum of 8 – 10 are spent sleeping.
Often times, another 8 – 10 are spent working.
How do you want to spend the precious few that remain?
Who do you really want to be spending them with?

I have some very dear friends that I don’t get to see as much as I would like to, but when we get together, we’re enjoying quality time that I’m happy to invest; my mind and soul are consistently, graciously and lovingly fed.  I can only hope that they feel the same and if they don’t I hope that I’m the kind of friend that they can talk to about it.

This isn’t a call to go on an “unfriend” rampage or to drastically modify your current dynamics if it doesn’t feel right.  It’s simply a reminder that the one thing that’s guaranteed in life is change and friendships aren’t excluded from this surety. 

Just a bit of food for thought.

Until next time….

1 comment:

  1. Testify! Preach! ...or I could just say... I agree with the importance of taking inventory on the quality of our friends or "friends". This posts speaks to one of the main reasons why I got off of Facebook. I looked at the 350+ "Friends" that I had and was struggling to understand how I could feel so alone at times. The true friends I have can be counted on one hand and they bring more joy and love than any amount of faux friends could ever provide. Great post!!!!