Why are good friendships important for a fulfilling life?
Having close friends is an important part of everyone’s life. In Asian medicine, people are considered healthy when all areas of life are running smoothly. This also includes a fulfilling social life.
- Are you a good friend?
- What is important to you when it comes to friendships?
- How do you keep in touch over a distance or even in times with limited contact options like we have had in recent years?
When I moved to the countryside last year I left most of my friends in Berlin and we now have to reconfigure our friendships in new ways.
This means that we now see each other more often for a weekend than for an evening. We write to each other regularly or video chat. In fact, my not-so-close friends are often very happy to receive my newsletter too.
Because I also lived and worked abroad and took part in a lot of international seminars, Facebook is also an important place for me to keep in touch with people I wouldn’t be able to keep in regular contact with personally.
This week, I want to look specifically at the role that friendships play in our lives. If you have any questions or suggestions, please write to me!
What does it mean to be a good friend?
As it is with change in any area of our lives, striving for good friendships begins with ourselves.
When I start my work with someone, I always ask if they have people in their lives with whom they can have fun, who they feel understand them fully. People with whom they share interests and with whom you feel connected. DO YOU?
If you do, congratulations! You are welcome to leave a comment telling what you do to make your friendships come alive and give them the depth that makes you feel understood and seen.
Most people, I talk to, do not find it easy to open up and reveal enough about themselves to feel understood in return, though.
It can be very difficult to make yourself vulnerable enough to feel that kind of connection, indeed. In a world, where we’ve been asked to harden ourselves for success, where we feel like we need to present an image rather than discover ourselves, forming strong and honest connections can be tough.
What makes you a great friend?
To be a great friend and to nurture your friendships, the first step is to be honest with yourself and consider what you’re looking for, what you value in others, and what you might be missing currently.
If you notice that you are missing something, maybe your friends feel the same way? Behavioural patterns and routines often establish themselves at a time when they work well, but as we grow older our needs can change, yet we feel bound to keep up with old behaviours in order not to alienate our friends. Yet, chances are that they feel quite similarly and that you can find ways to change together if communicate openly.
Our circle of friends can also often be a reason why we don’t dare to implement the changes we need, even if they are actually important to us.
To be a great friend, nothing is more important than honesty.
Don’t be afraid of change.
For years, almost all of my social activities involved alcohol. People met in bars in the evenings, went to concerts or other events, but everyone always had an alcoholic drink in their hands.
The negative effects of this lifestyle got worse with getting older, but to be honest, I mostly got bored with this routine at a certain point.
Just as exciting as hedonism seemed at a certain point in time, it also became just as lacking in climax at some point.
At the point when I decided to make a change for myself, I had to rethink my friendships and see how we might redefine them as well.
Can we go to the museum during the day? Try out the new café around the corner? We did collage nights and went for walks instead of pub nights, etc. It was a bit clumsy at first, but it was such a relief to find out that people would still want to hang out with me even when I requested to change the way we did. And the genuinely seemed happy about that change too.
After a while, it wasn’t a problem for me to go to the pub again from time to time because I liked my new life far too much for a beer or wine to persuade me to return to old behavioural patterns.
The real friends stayed, others disappeared, and more and more new ones are coming.
Change is always a part of our lives, and over time we can learn to let things go that no longer serve us and turn to new adventures and experiences that enrich our lives and help us stay true to ourselves.
Having friends that you can have fun with, trust, be honest with, a place were you can truly be yourself and let your guard down is an important part of that.
If you do not have that right now, that is absolutely OK. If it is something that you feel could be meaningful to you and enrich your life, start thinking about how you can be the friend you wish for, for others. See if you can start living in a way as if you already had the things you wish for.
If you have the feeling that you are encountering blockages and you are not really getting anywhere on your own book an appointment with me.
If you would like to consciously tackle this and other topics every week together with like-minded people, then join the I AM CREATOR School. (Maybe you will even find one or more new friends there!)
I’m very much looking forward to hearing from you! There’s never a better day, to start changing things for the better, than today. You’ve got this!