Cause thoughts posts are fun, thought provoking (for me to write anyhow ;) ), and just random. :D And this blog is about randomness after all.
So for thoughts today, I thought I would do a post on friendships. You may want to grab a snack before sitting down to this lengthy discussion :) I've been learning a heck of a lot this year about friendships.
We'll go down the list shall we?
Number one would be that people change. They can change for better or for worse (one of the reasons that's in the marriage vows...) They can change for the benefit of your friendship or for the decline. You have to expect change. Nothing on earth is constant. Only God is constant, and that is why our hope is in Him. That's why we look forward to the day when we will stand in His courts, before His face and we'll sing to Him. Because He alone is constant and sure. You don't have to worry about God changing for the worse. That's why our faith is such an anchor in changing times, because it's something that stays constant.
Number two would be to give people time. Now by time I don't mean to give them of your time. I actually mean quite the opposite. I'm very good at giving people my time. I'm too good at it. I want them to tell me what they're doing, I want them to share what I've been doing, I want to open up to them, I want them to open up to me. And that's where the tension usually comes. Not everybody will want to open up to you right away. Some people take a while before they feel close enough to you to talk about things that affect them. This is especially true of quiet or shy people. They take longer to share their feelings. They don't want to tell you what's bothering them. They just tell you they're stressed and then when you ask say "nothing" or "I don't know" or "it's complicated" or "I don't think you'd understand". Well, maybe I wouldn't, but then again, maybe I would. I'd at least care! So really, whether they tell me or not doesn't make a difference for them. I'll say the same thing either way "It's alright. Don't stress. I'll pray about it for you. You've been praying about it right?" lol That sort of thing. So don't forget to give people time to open up to you. It makes a world of difference and means so much more when they do voluntarily.
Number three is encouragement. It's an important part of friendship. Encouragement can come through a lot of different forms. Sometimes we may not even realize that's what we're doing. By the way, the same can be said for discouragement, it comes in a lot of different forms and sometimes we don't realize that's what we're doing, so be careful. I'm not sure which of these I do more often. I think encouragement (wouldn't we all like to think that! lol) But really, I think I generally encourage people. That's my aim anyway. I have some friends that encourage me without even trying, so that's what my aim. Is to be like them!
Number four would be... Pull back. Sometimes people need you to pull back and give them space. They need time to live their own lives, if you know what I mean. People don't always want you around (except for me. I pretty much always want my friends around!)
Number five would be... Tell them how much they mean to you. I haven't in the past and when "friendships" dissolved, I sort of wondered if I had told them some things if they would have understood me better and wanted to keep being my friend. So I have taken to telling my friends how much they mean to me. It makes a difference. I like it a lot when people tell me that I mean a lot to them. It makes me happy :)
Alrighty. That was lengthy. It was important. It was hopefully thought provoking. Let's sum it all up in a paragraph if we can :)
People change and we need to expect that. Try to work with the way they change and encourage them to change in a positive way. Give people time to open up to you and to come to you. Don't always be the person that makes contact. Sometimes it makes a huge difference if you let the other person come to you. It also can make you feel special. Encourage your friends through difficulties and change. It shows what you're made of. If you give them good encouragement, then they'll see that and be like "oh yeah, she's really an encouragement." Pull back some and let your friends live their own lives. They're busy. They may not have as much time on their hands as you. Be considerate of their time frames. Tell them how much they mean to you. It means so much to you when your friends tell you how much you mean. So do the same for your friends. It will really help your relationship.
So, I hope that helped you if you've been having trouble balancing or understanding your friendships etc. It's been hard for me to learn so I'm just putting it out there for you to read! Hopefully you learn by advice :)
On a side note, I now have an "About Me" page if you don't know me and want to see some random things about me. I had fun making it, I hope you enjoy reading it :)
Love and prayers,