Updated: Mar 1
There is this word that is used very often but people do not know exactly what it means and how to walk in those shoes. That word is friendship. This is quite interesting but a sad truth that most of us fail to realize and even when we do, we are scared of letting go of the relationship. In this series, I will talk about who a friend is, what is expected of them, what is expected of you, and many more things that related to friendship both in my opinion and those of others in different episodes.
When we say friendship, many people have the idea of someone they like, who is there for them all the time, who covers for them, someone who is nice to them, and even someone who provides financial support whenever they need it. I must say that these ideas are in no way wrong as they are sometimes expected of friends. However, they are a limitation to what a friend really is. Friendship, for starters, is not and has never been a one-way street of what the other person can do for you but is also what you can do for the other person. So, friends are people who share a mutual bond and are willing to work on each other to bring out the best. Friendship is built on four very fundamental principles that enable it to survive and these are Trust, Common Interest, Mutual support, and Understanding. What I call the TCMU of friendship. Once we begin to understand these concepts, we will be able to form better relationships with others be it as just friends or romantic partners. Friendship goes a long way in an individual’s life as I will explain in the coming episode of this series. For now, let’s understand what the four fundamentals of friendship mean.
This is one foundation that is very hard to form and yet very easy to break. Trust is the level of dependence you have in someone that they will always remain loyal to you, love you, and want the best for you. Without this foundation, every “friendship” will be shaky. “Friendship” here is in quotes because without trust it is not really friendship but an association. Most of us confuse these two words of friendship and association and there are consequences once they are used interchangeably. Someone can be nice to you, support you financially, and like exactly what you like but may not want the best for you which is why they can easily leave you or don’t care if their actions harm you. Because it is the most important for any relationship to work, be careful who you offer your trust.
This is one of the easy starters of relationships. They can change over time and usually do not cause the breakup of friendships. When we say common interests, most people have the view that if I like Gucci bags, my friends should too and if I like traveling, my friend should too. This view can actually be a great starter but what happens if your friend loses interest in the Gucci bags and traveling? What if a family issue occurs and they aren't able to fund their expensive lifestyle? What will be the common interest factor to keep the relationship going? The fundamental Common Interest is a representation of the similarity in the goals that exist between people. Superficial goals are barely able to keep friendships lasting for years as they change with time. However, more defined goals such as future career goals, academic goals, and others like these are able to hold friendships and sometimes make these goals very easy to achieve as your friend would serve as a source of motivation/ encouragement.
For a friendship to last long, the parties involved must acknowledge the relationship they are in and be willing to support each other. You sometimes hear people complain about what their friends did not do for them while they fail to acknowledge that what they offer back is an important factor in what they get. As I mentioned before, friendship is a two-way street. It does not have to be emotional support for emotional support but can be emotional support for physical support. Friends who support each other have their best foot forward and they are able to push each other to the best of their abilities.
There is a common saying which goes like those closest to you are the ones most likely to offend you and this saying is very accurate. Most of us find it difficult to forgive a friend who has offended us yet we expect to be granted mercy when we offend others. The ability to understand others and forgive is a sign of strength and dedication to the relationship. Not every offense should lead to the break of trust like how most people do it. When you understand each other in a friendship, even at hard times, the trust will not be easily broken.
These four fundamentals are the building blocks of having a stable and lasting friendship. There is more to learn as we go through this series of friendships. Stay tuned for the following episodes.
Always remember, it’s just you and us.
If you have questions, feel free to ask them.