By Dan Butcher
What is life without the people you spend it with? Whether it’s family, significant others or friends, all of those relationships are built on the values of friendship. And I know one thing is for sure: I wouldn’t be where I am today without my friendships.
Another incredible impact of friendship is the meaning your friends give you. Friends teach you about yourself without even realizing it; they build your confidence with every moment you spend together.
The significance of your friendships is something that really can’t ever be explained, especially when it comes to the best of friends. The cliché saying, “They know me better than I know myself” really is the best way to explain the meaning of many friendships that we hold so close to our hearts. Friends in general see us and love us for even our quirkiest of traits. They give you reasons to keep going when everything else seems to going against you.
Friendship should never be taken for granted, but it should also should never been taken advantage of. We all have definitely had our fair share of unhealthy friendships in our lives. We know them well, and we know them to be toxic. Whether it was someone that used you for your skills, or wasn’t healthy for your well-being, these are some of the people that really are only meant to be in our lives for a short period of time.
I know some wonder why we have to deal with these types of friendship struggles at all, but I think they’re important even though they bring strife. These people are in our lives to make us stronger, and to remind us how lucky we are to have the great friends in our lives that we do. However, the way it happens a lot of the time is it takes us a ridiculous amount of time to figure out that certain friendships are unhealthy and need the boot. As soon as it’s clear that they’re doing more harm than good in your life, that’s the point where you need to reevaluate and make the healthy choice for you.
The way I see it, friends are one of the greatest blessings in our lives. They’re the people who are there for our weakest and darkest moments. They’re the ones who make your problems their problems. They stay by your side always. These are the people that empower us to live at our absolute best at every moment of every day.
Many things change strangers into friends, whether it was bonding over a difficult homework assignment in first grade, or a bad breakup that brought you close because of a simple struggle in common. I know one thing is for sure: no matter where your friendship began, each one is just as valuable.
The strength that one person can give another is something that shouldn’t ever be taken for granted. My closest friends give me the courage to do things I’m passionate about every day, and they inspire me to do my best to live fearlessly. I’m able to do these things through them. I know that if and when I fail sometimes, they’re there as my fall back. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Reliability is one of the very best things, in my opinion, about friendship.
I believe that the quality of your life is closely tied to the quality of your closest friendships. Do you feel like that is true?
Most of us probably know a fair amount of people on a variety of levels. Some are casual acquaintances that we know just because our paths cross on a regular basis. While we can’t choose all of the people we encounter during the course of a normal day, there are certain people we choose to have in our lives. We call these people our friends.
Friendships also happens on a different levels
Let me ask you something:
1) How many real friendships do you have?
2) How many of those are really close friends?
3) Do you have a best friend?
There is an obvious point to those three questions. Do you see it?
The point is that friendships come in degrees. They’re all important, but some are more important. A precious few are extremely important. I know it sounds obvious but many people fail to think this through logically. If there are only a precious few relationships that are “extremely” important in our life, what does that mean?
We need to prioritize those special friendships
Our actions and words need to send an unmistakable message to those people that they really do matter to us. One of the most common problems I see in relationships is that people just assume that their friend, mate, partner, or children somehow “know” how valued they are. They don’t just know!
Meaningful friendships do not happen by accident, they need to be built and maintained. A close relationship also deserves our time and energy. If we take a relationship for granted, sooner or later it will fall apart. Where do you think the saying “I didn’t know what I had until I lost it” came from?
Take a look at your closest friendships
Make sure that the way you treat those special people accurately expresses your true feelings. Make sure that your expressions are in harmony with your heart and that you are not sending mixed signals.
The most meaningful person in my life is my wife. We have been together through thick and thin for the last 27 years. She never has to wonder how I feel. She never needs to question my commitment to our marriage. She knows because I make certain that she knows. It’s one of my highest priorities in life.
In your friendships choose quality over quantity
Sometimes it seems easier to put a man on the moon than to put a man and a woman under the same roof for any length of time. Why do you think that is? I’m sure the reasons vary, but no one ever made it to the moon without a giant commitment.
If you want to enjoy the benefits of a truly close and meaningful relationship, you must be willing to make a total commitment. I know that’s a scary thought for many, but you simply can’t have one without the other. In reality, a commitment is liberating. It says, I’m here no matter what. There is no exit strategy!
Why did I write this?
Two reasons really. One, as I mentioned at the beginning, is because the quality of our lives is closely tied to the quality of our relationships. There are plenty of struggling relationships out there and lack of commitment is usually a contributing factor. So, it needed to be said.
The second reason is more personal. I’ve been working pretty hard lately and I wanted my wife to be reassured that my priorities are still in place. Actually, I wanted to take it a step further. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops for all to hear because this relationship is one of my very highest priorities in life and I feel extremely good about that.
What do you think it takes for a great relationship? How do you feel about the prospect of a total commitment?
Feel free to comment below!