The happiest people I know spend their time surrounded by people that make them feel loved. People have a huge impact on your life. Satisfying relationships plays a vital role in our overall happiness.
It’s wonderful to have a spouse that is your best friend and you do everything with, but the dynamics of that relationship are different than those of a healthy friendship. Unlike your spouse, friends typically are removed from your daily routines so can offer an unbiased perspective about many things. As adults, we have all developed attachment styles that are seen in our romantic relationships. Secure attachment characteristics tend to be in trusting, long lasting relationships because they have a positive self-esteem and feel worthy of love. They have the ability to open up and share their feelings with their partner. In other words, a healthy romantic relationship should foster and support healthy friendships outside of their own.
I personally have been blessed with many loving friends in my life and am so grateful for each and every one of them. They are all different than me in many ways, but have shared parts of themselves with me in a way that has helped shaped who I am today. These friendships have not been perfect, but are judgement free and allow me to be my authentic self in their presence. We have laughed together and cried together. There is love.
I have also seen people push friendship away. Some choose to exclusively spend their time with their immediate family. I’ve seen that family unexpectedly taken from them through death and divorce. The hardship is so much more unbearable when you don’t have loving support from other people in your life that you can feel yourself around. Some are afraid to give themselves freely. Fear of intimacy prevents them from truly connecting with other people in a meaningful way. Some get stuck in unhealthy friendships that are toxic to both parties. So much time is wasted that could be spent perusing more worthwhile friendships. Imbalanced friendships are draining and hurtful. Equal amount of time and effort are necessary for a fulfilling relationship.
Cultivating a wide variety of friends is a great way to find balance in your life. Exposure to the diversity of thinking from people that are different than us broadens our view points and allows us to look at life in a way we might not otherwise. It’s also more interesting! I have been introduced to so many new experiences through friends that has been amazing. I love them for what they have taught me.
It’s great to have things in common with friends as well. It’s fun and easy to plan adventures with someone that shares the same interest and viewpoints as you. I love that I have friends that share my passion for travel. Those are the people that are most fun to travel with. Their enthusiasm shines and makes the trip so much more enjoyable. I love that I have friends that have the same appreciation for wine that I do. They are the best people to visit a winery with. Mutual values make connecting about certain things in life more satisfying. Conversation flow is effortless.
Friendship has enriched my life in the most amazing ways. My friends have helped me find myself and continue to challenge me to be the best version of myself. Their happiness has been contagious when I am feeling down. They support my crazy ideas and sometimes will even join me! We have the best memories and are always looking to make more. We have our ups and downs like anyone else. We are imperfect humans that make mistakes we wish we could take back. We get annoyed and disappointed with one another at times. We hurt each other’s feelings unintentionally. The thing is, this is all part of being in a healthy relationship. Conflict is necessary and doesn’t have to be harmful to the friendship. It’s actually what makes it stronger. I love my friends and will always concentrate on having many purposeful relationships in my life.