Chapter Two – What Does A Healthy Friendship Look Like?
I’ve posted about it before. Identifying and pin-pointing a healthy dynamic can be tricky and can actually vary from person to person. We have objectives, expectations and paradigms that influence our ways of being in and out of relationship. Therefore, my recent post about how the relationships around us affect our nervous systems is particularly important.
I identify the elements of a healthy friendship via Chapter two of ‘What We Never Learned In School’. I look at the ways in which we bond when it comes to friendship including creating community, bonding through bitching and having similar interests in our lives. The time we spend together is what we get out of our friendships and how much we invest depends on the impact it has. The older we get, the more important this is.
After years of having healthy friendships, transactional ones and those that as it turned out, were not healthy at the time however felt like they were, I’ve learned a lot and still, continue to. We are ever-evolving humans and so, this means that we are going to evolve in our relationships too. Some will stay around, some will morph into something different and others, will end. This is a reality that is worth noting and certainly, part of cancel culture that has emerged over the last number of years.
When it comes to assessing our relationships, what are the factors we want to consider and how do we go about it?
- First of all, I share about this all the time. The body does not lie. How we feel in and after an interaction with somebody will tell us a lot. This, repeated over time makes a difference. So, whether that is a sensation in your body or an up in your energy, these are factors to consider. How would you like to feel versus how you feel. Keep in mind that as humans, we are naturally going to feel triggered and it won’t always have something to do with the other person.
- Knowing ourselves is vital to knowing our relationships. For example, if you’re a calm person however you know that someone chaotic or high energy affects you negatively then show discernment to these types of people.
- Then, what are you values? We don’t need to have the exact same values of those around us all the time however we do need to understand and resonate to some extent. For example, the values of honesty and organisation are two that are super important for me and so, I appreciate those in my close relationships.
Journal Prompts from this Chapter
‘What conversations do you enjoy having with friends?’
‘What conversations do you find uncomfortable and would like to face?’
Share how the exercises went for you in the comments below.