CATHARTIC is how I describe meeting friends over a cup of tea. Let me clarify- by friends I don’t mean a 1000+ folks whose pics I like to Like or comment on just to show I have noticed what’s happening in their private space. To me F.R.I.E.N.D.S are: FOLKS who Roll together yet remain Independent thinkers, Expressing their heart with NO holds barred but then again Deal with highs & lows and Stick together. NO MATTER WHAT. Undoubtedly I am blessed with bosom pals who have been with me since like forever. And how have we managed to sustain our friendship through quite a few decades (3+)? Well it is pretty simple.
I present 5 ways to stay in a friendship forever:
1. Be yourself:
That’s what I have always done. Leave camouflaging tricks to the chameleon. When true thoughts and emotions flow friends flock to you. Pretentiousness. Oh no! That benefits a stage presence, not a real-life relationship. Yank off that curtain and present your actual self. If not folks, on the lookout for a real friend will see this gossamer veil and realise that the person across isn’t the one they were looking for. Consequence? The magnet that drew them will serve as a repelling agent.
2.Strength is in smaller numbers:
Having crossed the midway mark to a century, I happily proclaim that I do not have many friends, but a few that I can count on, and that’s not merely on my finger-tips. How is that helpful? Confidently, from the roof tops I declare- We have been there for each other ever since we first bonded. We go back to high school days. Our number is small-single digits- and so it has remained. No regrets. They are my strength. Undoubtedly, I know many, am acquainted with even more but whom can I rely on? These rock-solid pals. When I am uneasy, they fret and when I rise from the ashes they revel. We may not meet regularly, but when we do we have to merely pick up the thread from the previous time, even if that were a few years ago. Years transform to seconds in no time at all. Small is good. Less is more.
3.Speak your heart:
The fruit of my honesty and truthfulness is the treasure of sincere friends I have. Be truthful and honest. Concealing, cheating or contriving are a big No-no! My firm, fence-like support has been forged through my honest and sincere ways. Have I been reciprocated? Of course. Else I would have backed out years back. In fact, that wouldn’t be needed as such a relationship would fizzle out, gone up in smoke of dishonesty and deceit. Be a book. Open it. Place trust and have faith. 2 vital ingredients of a successful friendship. Care and believe in these dear ones. Once this happens you build bonds. You are glued for life. Knowing people close to you in and out helps understand them better.
4.Be a good listener:
Without sounding boastful, I would grant myself that I am a good listener. That could be the reason why my friendships have sustained all these years. Say it all- true- but do lend a ear too. The others need to share their bit. So, allow each to share their bit. Why? Not only does it let everyone share their thoughts freely but also presents an opportunity to understand better. No matter how close and connected each person may be a in a group, they are still individuals with distinct thoughts, ideas and traits. It’s best to suggest changes if essential. Wish to keep friendships going? Try not to change folks. Instead, change your outlook and perspectives.
5.Respect individuality, don’t judge:
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration if I say that I blossomed much in the encouraging company of my true friends. Reticent and shy, I couldn’t initiate conversations till I was drawn into this group of effervescent teenagers bubbling with enthusiasm and energy. A sea change came over me and I emerged from my cocoon. My friends hadn’t judged me. They allowed me to transform, yet my qualities of being mostly a quiet listener were retained. The beauty of friendships is the sense of space they offer. It’s an accommodation of diverse interests, an adaptation to traits and acceptance that forges relationships. You may argue, you may disagree but at the end of the day it is about sticking together, bonding and enjoying an everlasting, evergreen friendship.