It's a subject that gets more complicated rather than less as we get older. Go figure.
And with the current climate's social distancing moving many friendships online, it's good to remember the basics of good friendship still apply. See our postscript on this at article's end for more.
Here's FIVE THINGS our Gran told us that turned out to be true (again) and we kinda wished we'd fully listened/ understood/ remembered them at the time.
Good luck with that BTW! 😘...
1. Friends are friendly. Period.
One of the best pieces of advice ever given. And reminder not to over complicate things.
Life’s meant to be better with friends – or at least that’s how the saying goes.
So whether it's guilt/duty/fear of being friendless/ or misconceptions around 'cool' that's binding you; it's good to occasionally REALity check yourself about your circle.
Are they cheering you on. Are you cheering THEM?!
Knowing your worth means knowing when a particular person’s probably not the best person for you. And walking away. KINDly of course.
It's a hard truth for us to start on, but essential to your personal joy levels.
As the pic says: "Don't waste your time with someone who doesn't treat you like the 8th wonder in the world"!
Thank you. Next ;)
2. Social Media trained us to think ‘Friends’ is a number. It's not.
No-one’s going to get to the end of their lives and win a prize for the most friends!
Be open to having lots of friends, but know the joy of quality over quantity.
Cherish each and every one of your mates for the good times and laughs shared. That’s where the gold lies. That’s the secret. It’s not how many friends you have that’s important, but in how much happiness they bring.
3. Real friends aren’t perfect
Not every friend can be everything to you. Nor you to them.
It’s why we have lots of people (and furry friends) in our lives, all of whom offer us something different.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Instead celebrate everything that makes your friendship with each of your friends special.
That’s where the joy of togetherness lives.
4. Not every friend’s forever
Friends come and go. Let them! Sometimes they’re just not meant to be forever friends. It doesn’t make them less than, it just makes them gold for the times you shared.
5. Friends really do make life sweeter
The best of times really do happen with friends. You know this!
Humans are pack-oriented at heart. We crave togetherness, to find our tribe and love them hard. Our friendships feed our soul and teach us about ourselves.
They give us opportunity to think beyond ourselves and together we really are stronger.
The best memories are always made this way. It's an investment. Not always easy and never to be taken for granted. But so SO worthwhile.
What Gran said (summary):
1. Choose your friends wisely and check in on them regularly
2. Always let your friends know you love them and that you have their back
3. Invest in them individually don’t count them collectively
4. Let them go kindly, if they choose to go (or when you need them to). Some things fade. It doesn't make them less beautiful for what was.
5. Friends are one of life's great gifts.
Invest. Friendship's the gift that keeps on giving!!
Friendships gift us with the best and sometimes the worst of times. For any support you’d like on navigating friendships and social circles in general, send us a DM and we'll get our EQ Sat Nav Laura Chappell on the case in upcoming posts.
An important postscript on the above:
Firstly, cyber bullying is reported to affect 1 in 5 kids in Australia. This is not an acceptable stat and one of our key reasons for supporting The Alannah and Madeline Foundation via all our product sales.
It's also a stat worth being aware of during the holidays or potential COVID-19 self isolation. Online bullying doesn't stop for corona.
Many of our readers are part of closed social circles online. This does not make them safe from one another should a bully be present there.
So as a friend: the old adage about checking in on each other holds true - individually check in on your friends. Let them know you love them. And if you see persistent unkindness then call it out - maybe talk to an adult about how that can be done most effectively
As a cyber bullying victim: see Gran's Point 1 above : if your social circle proves toxic, step away. And definitely talk to an adult and let them know. Segue way to..
As an online bully: Laws vary from country to country but in Australia cyber bullying is a crime. You are not exempt from this. So if you're at all unsure whether your behaviour is deemed bullying, and kidding yourself perhaps that the ethics see you exempt, don't forget there are laws on this. Life mantra: be your best self on and off line always. Think before you speak.
For more on bullying specifically, we have an article in our JOY issue of the zine as well as helpful Tween resources here.
Image credit the talent that is Ceclie Dormeau