Friendships have been on my mind lately.
Who has them? How do they work? What makes a good one?
Instead of providing my viewpoint, I asked you a series of questions.
A big thank you to all who courageously hit reply.
Question 1: What are the best attributes of your good friends?
They are funny, encouraging, and engaging.
They listen to listen, not to reply.
They are always good listeners when I need it, comic relief, and supportive.
They laugh at themselves and at me.
They like to laugh and to play and are wickedly funny in a way that’s not always appropriate.
Integrity, safety/security (based on trust, understanding, compassion, and forgiveness), humor, honesty.
Being there for each other emotionally and spiritually and being a great ear and supporting.
They ask me how my soul is on regular basis.
They listen, ask questions, and show genuine interest/concern in others.
They ask good questions and are ok if I have to not respond for a while.
They’re willing to be real – authentic, vulnerable and open.
They are consistent.
They value friendship and are willing to work through distance, conflicts, etc.
They cheer me on to do the things that scare me most.
They are kind, encouraging, and they try to keep a positive outlook.
We can always “pick up where we left off” no matter how much time has passed since we’ve seen each other in person.
Will accept you for who you are but will call you out when you are being stupid.
They are ready to offer a shoulder to cry on or boot up my ass and aren’t afraid to ask me which one I need most.
We can shift conversations from the deep places to the hilarious and irreverent and back again and not lose our way.
I think all relationships exist on a continuum with the shallow/superficial at one end and the secret at the other. What makes a friendship close is the ability to go from one end to the other, sometimes in the same conversation. Between the two endpoints are additional points—the silly, the serious, the sacred, the sacredly silly. Note: I’m pretty sure the continuum isn’t just populated with words that begin with s.
Again thank you for being part of this experiment. You didn’t have to, but maybe there was a lesson in that simple act of replying.
There were 8 more questions. And the answers just keep getting better and better.