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How to make true and lasting friends: The Essay

Updated: Jul 18, 2019

“My husband is my best friend and that’s enough.”, I’ve heard some women often say. Of course! And he should be. However, others would surely agree that there are times when your husband is just not enough. When life at home becomes severely abstruse; your instinct is to call on your girlfriend, or you simply long for a community of supportive women; committed to see you succeed.

So, are you one of those who seems to have it all, even a spouse, but you’re still constantly praying for a loyal friend? You’ve been striving to make good friends for as long as you can remember, but something always seems not to work out.

In some cases, the relationships barely last despite your efforts. For the sake of holding on to a friend, you have either accommodated or compromised a lot, and scarily often, at your own expense. The only thing you seemed to have inherited from that encounter is an emotional burn out. Without a doubt, keeping a one-way friendship can cause psychological exhaustion.

In other cases, you simply do not connect. Everything is so synthetic. You talk about the family back home, the weather, Trump, gas prices, children, and other women- specifically of their failures, but you never tackle anything of real substance.

The best is when you all talk of God’s faithfulness, but everyone is reluctant to share how in fact God has been faithful. You are afraid of being judged. You don’t want people to think that –

You too go through hardships.

You too were abandoned for another woman.

You too have been cheated on numerous occasions, but you stayed.

You too have been beaten up a few times.

You too have been raped.

You too have committed abortion.

You too have slept with a married man.

You too were fired.

You too were denied a promotion.

You too were struggling to find a job.

You too cannot have a child.

You too cannot understand why a man doesn’t commit.

In more doleful cases, you were betrayed. So, you swore to never be vulnerable or initiate friendship again. Today, everyone who comes around you must head to the court of your life, answer for the wrongness of your past relationships, and then pledge allegiance to you before you can engage back.

Whatever your case maybe, friendship remains one of the most powerful gifts life can offer.

As you read further, ask yourself the following questions: “Why do I want or need a friend?”, “Why don’t I have a friend?”, or “What is that I’m doing that is causing or contributing to my friendless life?

Be a friend to yourself first

It is difficult, almost impossible, to be a true friend to someone else, let alone have sincere relationships when we cannot stand the sight of our own face through a rear-view mirror. People desire lasting friendships, but they hate themselves. If you hate yourself, then why torture someone else with your presence? It is as if you are drinking poison and you want others to do it with you. That’s the definition of wickedness.

Undoubtedly, we all have things about ourselves that we dislike, still it should not arise to the point where we undermine our own value and think that it is other people’s responsibilities to fill up our happiness tank.

We use phrases like “you like me because you don’t know me”, as if we were unworthy to be loved. The first time someone I cared about told me that I was beautiful, I did not believe him simply because I did not believe it of myself. Sure, they were other deeper issues there, but the point is my insecurities blinded me from my true self.

Hence, take the time to know you,

Find how to free yourself from the turmoil within,

Learn to accept yourself in spite of…,

And seek to improve you before you bring in someone else in your life.

Remember, we are all a work in progress.

Be a positive person

Judgmental or negative people! Their pessimism is so repellent that even rats literally refuse to enter their homes. They point out negativity everywhere, even on a newborn. They love to lecture on morals and values. They are quick to give advice, yet they cannot bear any constructive criticisms. They always volunteer to pray for others, but never seem to make it to the altar for themselves. They are full of praise reports but never have a substantive prayer request. They make sure to tell you who they’ve helped and how they have helped them. Clearly, this attitude stems from sort of complex; and it is not very attractive. Really, if you desire true friendships, look at yourself in the mirror. Ask yourself if you are unto others what you want people to be unto you.

Life has a simple formula. You create what you sow. If you spit out negativity and judgment, you will eat of negativity and judgment. Plain simple. Therefore, to attract good people in your life, try your best to approach life with humility and kindness. Nobody knows it all. No one has it all. Choose to think good. Choose to see good. Choose to speak good; and life will pay you back in goods.

Be honest

Honesty is a key to preserve a good relationship. In my childhood, I used to tell fictitious stories about me all the time so to be popular and have friends. I lied so much I couldn’t even keep track. Sure enough, I lost some good people in the process, but thankfully my best friend of thirty years stuck with me in spite of…

Isn’t it a blessing to have someone accept you for who you are even when you don’t accept yourself!? Now, if I had kept on that road of lies and deceptions as an adult, I probably would have lost her by now. Anyways, it was a lesson learned. So, let’s be mature adults and be honest to ourselves and to others. There is no shame to be who we are. There is no shame about where we come from.

Be a true friend

Do not use others as spare tires just because you want to fill in a void or you’re trying to avoid loneliness. Be a true person. Allow a new relationship to follow its natural course; you may be pleasantly surprised by its outcome. Personally, I dread the start of a new relationship; although I make friends easily. I just hate the feeling of talking about my life with a stranger over again. It is scary to let people in, especially when you’ve been hurt in the past. Then again, every medicine has side effects. The first step in having true friends is to allow them in first. Using other people is morally and ethically wrong. If you cannot give someone true consideration and attention, then spare them the headache.

Like everything in life, having true friends takes commitment. You need to invest time and energy for others to discover you and for you, to know them. It is ok be vulnerable. It is ok to be hurt. True friendship can sustain any valleys, any storms. True friendship outlives distance. True friends forgive and forget. That’s how you build trust and loyalty.

Once you come to like yourself and learn to enjoy your own company, others will be naturally attracted to you. More importantly, you will neither be afraid of rejection nor resistant to end a toxic relationship. So, do not despair. Many people are peeking into the friendship pool every day; searching for a true relationship. They will see you and they will pick you. They would want to be your friend. Just be you for now.

Know that true and lasting friendship is a divine gift. Your friends may become the only family you’ll ever have. So, pray for it. Pray you’ll be able to recognize it. Pray you’ll know how to keep it.

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