Friendship is a state of mutual trust and support between allied entities. Now that’s a technical take on it. Your very 4am escape and personal advisor who’s always got your back is what a friend is. Friends are people we love to spend time with. They give us company when we are lonely, support us unconditionally and accept us despite our shortcomings. They make celebrations fun, and they help us be ourselves.
‚ÄúWhen we can no longer change a situation, we must change ourselves.‚Äù ~Victor Frankl
It is an inevitable fact that life takes people in new directions; growing apart from old friends becomes a part of our lives. As we walk out from the premises of school, we leave a part of our innocent self back there. As we start leading the busy college life, we drift, irrspective of its pros and cons.
I don‚Äôt know if it‚Äôs something about being in the beginning of my nineteen-something years, or if it‚Äôs just something that accompanies all major life changes as college starts, but lately I‚Äôve been noticing a trend in a few of my friendships. Nobody‚Äôs hurt anyone, no one has had loud dramatic fights. But things just feel like they‚Äôre fading.
Not only am I evolving into this weird, scary thing that I‚Äôve been told is called ‚Äúadulthood‚Äù, I‚Äôm also on the brink of graduating from college. I know that graduating high school was a huge deal for all of us, but mostly we knew what we were doing afterward (embarking on a wonderful adventure of avoiding frat parties and staking out the best study carrels in the library of course). And honestly, my views have radically changed overtime.
And here i am, realizing three basic understandings that lead to acceptance and happiness for all relationships and fading friendships;
1. Take what people have to offer, and forgive the rest.
Sometimes we expect individuals to be all things to us at once or know exactly how we feel. Each of us faces challenges, all of which are not apparent, even to the best of friends.
I learned to see each friendship for the unique quality it offered me. Some friends were great for deep conversations, some were great for a night on the town, and others offered a funny banter.
My situation taught me to value what people had to give, even when it wasn‚Äôt all encompassing, and seek out anything else I needed in other places. We have to forgive one another and seek fullness from within.
2. Give all you can.
If a friendship starts to feel like an obligation, or if you feel guilt, you may be trying to give too much. We all need to be realistic about the ways we can engage with others, and remember that friendships are best when they‚Äôre mutually beneficial.
You have amazing things to give, and your best friends should want what you are able to share, and not expect more.
3. Keep the memories close.
The good times you shared with a friend don‚Äôt have to fade if your connection does. Think of your friend often, laugh about old times, and share great stories.
Moving on doesn‚Äôt mean forgetting all of the meaningful ways you and your friend connected in the past. You can continue to love your friend and experience your friendship long beyond the times of late night phone calls and regular get-togethers.
This new perspective offered me a whole new way of looking at all my relationships. I discovered that I could find a deeper fullness and quality in others by putting things into this view.
People come into our lives for particular reasons, and things are likely to change.
If we can give to those around us, and take from them only what we‚Äôre able, then we have a much better chance of looking back fondly, and with gratitude.