I confess that I’ve been binge-watching a medical drama these last few months. Lots of relationships on and off again, marriages, divorce, children, loss, and all that goes with life.
I’ve been watching their fictional lives with great interest, watching them mess up, do amazing things, go above and beyond. I’ve been watching them support each other through thick and thin, sometimes when they shouldn’t but always because they love each other.
But I can’t help but liken their lives to my own. Of course, I’m no hotshot surgeon with world-leading ideas. But what I do recognise is that fighting spirit. That supporting your friends through the hardest moments of their lives. The not giving up on people. Encouraging them to be better.
As someone who grew up with a very limited friend group, being excluded is something I don’t like to see. I like to see people included. I remember that feeling so well of not fitting in. And being left out. And I’d hate for that to be happening to other people.
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My tips for great friendships:
1. Be honest with each other. Not Mack truck level honest. Not hurting others’ feelings deliberately honest. But honest about the real things that matter.
2. Don’t give up when things get hard. Help as much as you can and as much as you’re own energy allows.
3. Take photos together. Something I forget to do all the time! But I love my friends and I never want to not have those triggers for memories.
4. Laugh often together. Don’t sweat the small stuff and do things you both enjoy.
5. Look outside your age group. Some of the most amazing people in my life are a little bit older than me. They bring value and wisdom that only comes with age. They are joys and gems in my life.
6. Apologise when you stuff up (like we all will from time to time). Yes, it’s hard, and as adults, we seem to think we can be above apologising sometimes. But don’t lose an amazing friend because your pride will be hurt if you apologise.
7. Be an open circle. Be willing for other people to join you. The more the merrier!