It feels good to have old friends, there’s a certain comfort in it that I’ve only recently come to appreciate.
You see, I’ve moved a lot in my life. I’m sure many of ya’ll can relate. The city I’m living in now has just recently won the title of “place I’ve been the longest.” And it feels good.
But there’s also history. Good and bad. When you stick around long enough, there are inside jokes, fun stories of “back in the day,” trust and comfort.
There is also baggage and hurt feelings,
because friendships. get. messy.
Friendship can be beautiful, life breathing, messy, scary, fun, wild, and wonderful at times! Maybe you’d disagree, but I happen to believe “messy” is very different from “dramatic.” Life is messy, drama is unnecessary. Here’s how the Urban Dictionary defines the word, Drama:
Something women and especially teenage girls thrive on. consisting of any number of situations that have an easy solution, which would bring a fairly good outcome, but these girls choose another bad way to deal with it, again consisting of backstabbing, blackmailing/gossiping/betraying their friends, or the all-too-common “I want to break up with him but i still love him!” it drives men and what i like to call “normal” girls nuts.
Girls are so weird, am I right?
I love being with people, but I also love my alone time.
I’m pretty confident, but sometimes I feel awkward starting conversations.
Sometimes I feel like people are ignoring me on purpose, and sometimes I feel like ignoring them!
I can feel personally offended by something a friend does to me, or hurt by what a friend doesn’t do. I’ve lost sleep over issues with friends, when they may have never even known there was an issue!
I know what it’s like to be ripped apart by words, and feel like the outsider.
I’ve been betrayed by people I thought were my friends
…and I know I’ve hurt people too.
Julia and I have been friends for 12 years
We’ve managed to stay friends through 4 moves, 8 garage sales, 4 blogs, 6 pregnancies (including several years of infertility, an “oops” and a “surprise!”), 20 domain names, 3 churches, a devastating loss, several business partnerships, camping trips, family vacations, conferences, speaking engagements, pod casts, stomach bugs and swaddling techniques.
Our friendship has survived, not because we’re so much alike (because we’re actually complete opposites). I think we do several things really well, all of which create what we like to call a “drama free friendship.”
5 Tips to Keep Your Friendships Drama Free
- Let it go! Does something irritate you about the other person? Unless it’s harming someone or contradicts your/their beliefs, is it really worth jeopardizing your friendship over? I think soooo many of the issues we choose to turn into a big deal, should have just been dropped.
Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult. Proverbs 12:16 NIV
- Always give the benefit of the doubt. Don’t jump to conclusions. Your friend didn’t text you back or answer your question? Maybe their cell phone wasn’t working properly or they never got your message! This has happened to me on more than one occasion. Ahem. Give them the benefit of the doubt before you assume the worse and allow yourself to get worked up. Did your friend cancel a plan or turn down an offer to meet up? Don’t take it personally. If your friendship is built on trust, you can assume she has a good reason and you’re not it.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (ESV)
- Keep healthy boundaries. Give each other space. Don’t let your friendship take precedence over your relationship with your spouse or every other important person in your life. A good friend is there when you need them, but should never become a foundation to build your life on. Don’t ever elevate a friendship too high, or put a friend on a pedestal. I’ve been put in that position too many times and it never ends good. Friends can be life-breathing and all things good for your soul, but if they’ve taken over the most important position in your life, you will have a hard time bouncing back when that person disappoints you.
Believe the best, forgive the rest.
- Love covers a multitude of wrongs. When your friend does wrong you, choose forgiveness over grudges. Forgive them first, even before (or if!) they ask for it. What what?
Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs. Proverbs 10:12 NIV
- Be willing to confront // willing to accept rebuke. If you’re in a healthy friendship and have let the little things go, practiced forgiveness and kept healthy boundaries, you may need to accept correction from time to time when it comes to the bigger stuff. A friend that I can trust has my good in mind, has every right to come to me with a concern or correction. I have to be willing to listen and process their concern without blowing up and walking away mad. If a friend sees me slipping in a certain area, notices my temper has been flaring up, senses I’ve been distant or is concerned with an unhealthy habit, I need to be open to them speaking the truth in love over my life.
You can trust a friend who corrects you… Proverbs 27:6 CEV
What would you add to this list? I’d love to hear your thoughts!