When someone calls you their friend and will tell anyone who will listen that you’re the best thing since sliced bread, then you must be doing something right. Oftentimes we get so caught up in our own lives, we forget to be the people we promised we would be for those who call us friends. Friendship is an important part of us that we can never truly escape. We spend our lives cultivating friendships and praying for them to go the distance because at the end of the day, friends are the people we rely on in the darkest of times. Though friendship is beautiful and important, it too, like all beautiful and important things in life comes at a price. If we are going to be real and true friends, then we must be willing to pay the price.
Here is how to play your role in friendship…
You give up your place as number one
Friendship is a type of relationship. As in other relationships, you put the other person first. Self-sacrifice is an everyday thing in friendships. You have to continually put your friend’s needs ahead of your own. However, the problem with putting someone else first is that sometimes, they take it for granted and you end up melting into the background. Your job is not to count the number of times you were wronged or side-lined. Your job is to put your friend first. Consider this, if you put your friend first and your friend puts you first, are you not in first place in someone else’s life? It certainly beats being selfish. So instead of being self-serving, give up your place as number one, put your friend first and watch them do the same for you.
You communicate openly
Communication is not talking about the good things only. It’s about talking about everything, including the things we would rather not talk about. It’s easy to talk to our friends about the good things because they make them happy, but the bad things may cause friction. In all honesty, sometimes the truth hurts, but wouldn’t you rather hear it from someone who will tell it to you in love instead of someone who will tell it to you out of malice? Communication is a vital element in all relationships, especially in friendships. Haven’t you ever wondered why your friends know more of your secrets than your own family? It’s because communication with them is open and honest. No topic is off limits and it goes back to the unwritten rule of friendship…you don’t judge, you just listen.
You play more than one role
Friends need you to be more than one person to them. Sister, cousin, play-mate, companion, secret-keeper, voice of reason and everything else in between. One role is exhausting enough, so imagine being more to another person! There are also those moments when you wish your friends would just disappear or you could just disappear so that you wouldn’t have to deal with their drama anymore. You’re not alone and the best thing about those moments is that they don’t last. They come and go. The satisfaction you get from knowing that someone else appreciates your being there is enough to keep you going. It’s okay to get exhausted along the way, as long as you get up and continue.
You become a cheerleader
Get your pom-poms out because in friendship, cheerleading is a real job. Your friends need you to cheer them through the good and the bad times. You don’t choose which “events” you attend. You attend them ALL. If it looks like they are about to lose, that’s when you need to deliver those movie moment speeches that always somehow manage to propel players to victory. People have a genuine need to be recognised and encouraged. Encouragement is one of those things in life that human beings rely on. Our senses have ways of discouraging us and convincing us that we won’t make it even though we know we will. As a friend, you are there to whip out the pom-poms and encourage your friends to keep going no matter what happens. As a true friend, it’s important to be available to bring on the cheers for your friends because those cheers have the power to bring out the best in your friends.
If one person stops participating and delivering in their role in the friendship, the friendship becomes a case of “why am I even friends with this person?” and that defeats the whole purpose of friendship. When someone considers you their friend, it’s not an association type of thing, it’s a relationship and a full time occupation that requires participation from everyone involved. Play your role.
Authored By: Ntombikamama Moyo