5 qualities we need in our friendships
Did anyone make lists on the internet before Buzzfeed or did they invent that?
These are things I find invaluable in my collective friendships.
You probably already have the people you choose to talk about X and the different person you speak to about Y, and that’s based on the responses you’ve come to expect from them individually less than their specific knowledge base. Though of course having a friend you go to about baking questions or for their knowledge on first aid is awesome too.
If you decide you would like one of these traits within your friendships and do not currently have it, share this with them and start a conversation about how you could try and build these skill sets with each other. Talk about why you want it, how you can start trying, and set a condition for how you can chat about the way it’s going so you can tweak it to work best for both of you. Consent is something you’re both excited about.
I by no means expect any one friend to have all of these things all the time, but I think it pays to make sure we have these skill sets in the stable so to speak.
The importance of a broad net of friendships is to handle the predictable ups and downs of life.
Sometimes one friend ain’t gonna have the energy to listen to me squawk. Sometimes a couple of friends are going to be going through their own shit. Others will be energized and in their highs, willing to help. With more of a community it is less likely that when you hit a dead end you’ll be stuck there. And of course, you can develop your own skills for helping you out as well. I’ll post something at the end that I’ve noticed about myself in that regard.
Types of friends I need:
1. The friend that just listens.
I think this is more biased toward women than men in general. But having someone listen to you work through things to release them without taking anything personally or even seriously is huge.
2. The friend that you can count on to ask the real questions.
I went to text Colin, who is just me in a fitter, younger male body, something that was bothering me the other day, and after rewriting the damn thing 5x based on how I imagined he would question me, I had much more clarity before I even sent the thing.
3. The friend that knows you’re fine and is fine letting you be fine.
A big part of friendship and relationship difficulties is when one person is venting or in need and person they are venting to requires emotional support in response to the venting.
Like, if I say I’m feeling down, and the other person has weaponized empathy and becomes down as a result of me feeling down, we both go down together or I have to rein in my own caretaking desires in order to stay present and finish what I was saying.
There’s lots of good reasons why this develops in people but progress needs a stable force in emotional situations. Also referred to as healthy masculine energy.
This trait allows you to see a person as whole no matter what they’re going through without ignoring or bypassing what’s presently happening through them.
This friendship sees you as healthy no matter what’s happening and that energy is magnetic.
4. The friend that offers good advice.
I truly think most situations are best handled by a listen or by someone asking genuinely curious questions, because you and I already know most to all of what we need and just need help uncovering it sometimes. But sometimes you do want advice and benefit from it.
I don’t personally prefer when this is the first thing offered up, but I also know which friendships tend to go this way. I can approach them when I’m ready for that kind of insight, which I can then take or leave. Of course this only matters if you think they give good advice. 😂
5. The friend that can say no.
Oh boy. Please dear Lord tell me if you don’t have space.
Your no makes your yes mean something.
It’s so healthy when someone says no to me. It builds trust.
I think a lot of my friends know that if they don’t have space to respond to a text they just shouldn’t, judging by the amount of times I’m left on read. 😆 But that’s great, because I don’t want to respond to anyone when I don’t have energy to and I don’t want them doing that for me either.
Text messages and all forms of non-in-person communication are strange and unrealistic, often carrying strange conditions along with them if you accept them. For some, you’re just expected to let them interrupt your day with zero context and be ready to interact with their energy. No thanks. God bless when it does align, and what is in my power is to ask for help or attention, and I can even ask again if it’s that important, but beyond that it is my profound belief that people should not respond to texts they don’t want to/until they feel good doing so.
On that note:
Meditation makes me more available.
Anecdote: I looked at the group chat and saw that A was getting ready to take off on a trip. Part of me wanted to give or extend enthusiasm about it but I didn’t have any energy to spare, so I didn’t.
After paying attention to myself while meditating for 30 min I noticed I suddenly had more to give and that I now wanted to share their joy. Paying attention to me fills my cup and then I have more to extend even a simple text that represents a giving of energy from my side.
Updates! I’m in Maryland at my dad’s, spent most of the day meditating, sleeping, and decompressing which help so much with grief. Grief from the breakup, grief from leaving my life. I’m eating good food and a lot of protein.
I’m going to spend time tomorrow getting my oil changed, getting Chinese food bc I can’t stay in the house the whole time w dad 💓, and writing down scenarios that I really want to make sure I am open to in this change.
I have zero plan about where I’m living when I land in San Diego and feel zero apprehension about that.
COURSE SALE: I did work a little bit on the website for this today. Coming soon is 50% OFF ALL COURSES - breathing, wrist mobility, body connection, and more! - for the rest of March. This will help fund the trip out west, and did I mention the 24th is my birthday? 😉 because I love to help passively with prerecorded energy.
My next newsletter will also be my first paid-only one, on the studying I’ve been doing and my new understandings of dissociation. Consider joining as a paid subscriber now. It’s $5/month or $55/year.
I forgot to mention the skill of reflection - when a friend can say back to you what they’re hearing and give you a fresh perspective on yourself through hearing your own words.