Authentic Friendships

Independence in Friendships

Jul 05, 2022

Independence

 

Having independence in friendship can feel tricky.  Does it mean being withdrawn or lonely, standoffish and disconnected?  Nope, not at all.  Independence in friendship is the ability to make your own decisions, join in or stay home, agree or disagree, have fun and enjoy the connections.  It’s the freedom that comes when you are confident and feel a healthy balance in the friendship.

 

We’ve all experienced the super needy friend or perhaps you’ve been the super needy friend.  This can be a result of past experiences of having friendships that didn’t work out, where trust may have been broken in some way or maybe there’s a lot going on and the need for connection is really intensified.  You or your friend may be looking for stability, predictability and safety.  These are elements of true authentic friendships.  



Listen

Are you a good listener? Do you listen to your own intuition, look at body language and other cues?  Are you listening to the things that are being said and not said?  There are so many subtle clues about listening.  It’s a powerful tool in friendship that allows friends to feel seen, heard and valued.  I invite you to notice how you listen to yourself and others.  

Sometimes I literally put my hand or finger over my mouth so that I don’t interrupt and I can stay present with what is being said.  It’s easy to fall into the habit of thinking about what we want to say next rather than being in the moment and totally present in the conversations.   

 

Space

We all require space in our lives and sometimes in our friendships, too.  Being able to ask for space or even recognizing that you need it may not be so simple.  We need space to think, feel and process.  Our friends need this, too.  Keep your eyes open, listen and communicate openly.  When you have a friendship that is safe, respectful and kind, giving the grace of space is a gift.  Space is necessary for growth, too.  


Safety

Having a friendship that feels safe is important to most people.  Safety in friendship might mean being able to share your dreams, your biggest fears, your challenges and your accomplishments.  It might mean that you are able to talk about things that you aren’t able to talk about with your partner or family.    

Some people may not want the responsibility of keeping your secrets so be sure to ask permission to share before opening up.  I never thought about this until a woman in one of our workshops opened up about how family secrets had impacted her as a child.  She was really clear that telling her secrets was not okay.  So take a minute and ask, this can also deepen the level of trust you create in your friendship.  

 

Trustworthy

Definition:  able to be relied on as honest or truthful.  Without trust in a friendship you don’t really have much and building trust takes time.  Studies show that it takes 20-40 hours to build a good foundation for a casual friendship and you can definitely have a trustworthy friendship in that timeframe.  It starts with the simple things like being on time, showing up prepared, returning calls or texts and being kind to one another.  

 

In Friendship, 

Debbie

 

If you are tired of being lonely and struggling with friendship or would like to learn more ways to have better friendships join us at our free events and workshops.  Together we are always better!!  https://authenticfriendships.com/

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