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15 June 2022

Healthy Friendships

  • Student Wellbeing

Friendship what a lovely word to be able to use. What do we think when we say friendship?

Do we think about the depth behind what entails a healthy friendship, or do we think it just means to have someone to play with or hang out with? Establishing a healthy friendship aligns with some elementary facets that we already have installed in us; sometimes, we forget to implement them. Everyone needs a support network, so how do we offer others a healthy friendship. Here are some tips on how we can implement healthy connections:

1. Support, trust, and honesty: When we consider ourselves a friend to someone, we automatically offer to be their support network. Supporting your friends entails showing up for them in the good and the bad. If we forget to show up, we can expect that person won’t show up for us. So, let’s show up! Without trust, there is no authenticity to the friendship; enabling trust allows for strength during the more challenging times in friendships. Without trust, the friendship will become quite turbulent in more difficult times. Stumbly turbulence will enable us to run into a negative driving force, leaving us to not be transparent with one another and establishing no loyalty, trust and honesty (Psychology Today).

2. Listen to your friends: Sometimes we forget to listen to our friends because our own life is busy and complicated. However, friendships require us to be attentive and tend to our friend’s needs. If we don’t understand what our friend genuinely needs, we will stay in our bubble of needs, feel alone, and wonder where our friends are. Listening is a crucial concept in establishing friendships to eliminate those feelings of where are my friends? I’m alone and caught in my own needs. Listening entails scraping the judgement; we are all human and make mistakes. Friendships don’t function well on conditions; we need to remember we are imperfect and forgive our friends. We all need second chances, so giving people second chances sets you and them up for a successful healthy friendship without conditions (Psychology Today).

3. Respect your friends: Respect one another. This entails boundaries, and remembering their story is a different life story to yours. Some people may carry a great deal of fear when entering friendships, fear of being hurt. We mustn’t crowd our friends and allow space and friendships to deepen over time. Integrating our values into friendships is a critical way of developing strong connections and staying true to who we are. Respecting others’ values is essential and equally important to recognise when your values don’t align, remembering not to disrespect someone based on their different values (Psychology Today).

1 Thessalonians 5:11 "Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing."

Colossians 3:13 "Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."