Words of Wisdom: Building Healthy Friendships

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You met Donna at work. She’s outgoing and funny and even though you’ve only known each other for 5 months, it feels like its been 5 years! She’s great to party with, gives wonderful advice, and almost feels like a sister. But she is draining you dry. Donna doesn’t budget her money well, and whenever she’s short she expects you to bail her out. She asks for advice about her no-good boyfriend but becomes upset with you for being honest. As much as you love her, she often leaves you feeling overwhelmed.

Choosing a Friend

Friendship is a beautiful thing. Unlike our family, we get to choose these relationships! This means along with connecting with different incredible souls, we also have the ability to set the tone for the relationship. Most friendships happen organically, totally unplanned and unintentional. But once the relationship begins to develop, you learn of each other and start to discover their great attributes, as well as their flaws. And with that newfound knowledge comes the need for understanding and moving forward with the intention to build healthy friendships.

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So, how do you make it and keep it healthy?

First, know who you are.

There is no perfect friendship, but it is impossible to build healthy friendships without knowing how to relate to yourself first. A friendship should be beneficial for both parties but can become burdensome when one is confused about their identity.

Second, set boundaries.

We teach people how to treat us, even friends. It’s imperative to establish a friendship that is conducive to mutual respect and decency. What you permit in the beginning could be the reality of the long haul.

Lastly, have realistic expectations.

As much as you value and love your friend, they can’t be superman! They are only human, which means expect mistakes and not perfection. Don’t allow their flaws to blindside you from what makes them an incredible friend!

‘Words’ Series by Jada Ledbetter

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