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What I Realized To Keep People Around



Finding anything truly lasting is difficult, and unfortunately sometimes friendships are this way too. Bonds and relationships with others are craved by every one of us; holding onto them can sometimes be a tall task. While by nature humans crave socialization and a sense of community, sometimes the comforting feeling of love and support isn't consistent. These inconsistencies can be due to friendships changing like seasons, or from a colder isolation of the feeling of loneliness. If you disagree, you are likely blessed in the strength of the relationships that surround you. This article may affirm these feelings within you and perhaps bring a consciousness of the ideas to follow. 

If socialization and warm relationships seem elusive (and a little bit more of a struggle) this piece is about the importance of developing and fostering friendships in a positive way to maintain deeper, more lasting bonds.

The basis of my emotional knowledge for this area in my life is the people that surround me. I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by people who genuinely care about the wellbeing of others- and this is a big head start. While new people have entered my life, the core of my friends have been consistent in my life for many years. I refuse to attribute this completely to luck or circumstance. Conflicting locations has never impeded these bonds, nor has any other factor that usually forces friendships to fade. There are characteristic constants found in these relationships that are a true driving force behind maintaining meaningful friendships. The first of these is value. This word typically springs thoughts of deals, sales or something like the good ol' Value Picks menu at McDonald's. As great as a Jr. Chicken is, friendships are probably worth more. The definition of value is "the regard that something is held to deserve importance, worth, or usefulness." 

This might seem like a no-brainer, but instilling value into the people around you is one of the most important aspects of friendship. 

Doing this means two dimensions: putting value into someones life that you care about, and knowing that someone respects you enough to return the favour. This doesn't mean eye-for-an-eye, or keeping score of any sort. Rather just being mindful of toxic habits that have no place in friendships, and mutual respects for people as individuals. This is easily identifiable. If someones level of respect indicates you lack importance or worth, this means value is absent. 

What is most important to realize is how crucial putting value into other people is, and how positively it affects you and the people that surround you. Value is as simple as showing someone you care, in whatever way comes natural to you. I've found that younger friendships and people find themselves in a balancing act with this, because showing someone you care about them can sometimes be difficult as it leaves you vulnerable. With emotional maturity comes the understanding that this is not an issue, and showing empathy and warmth become more natural and thus more present in longer friendships. 

If you find yourself struggling with some friendships, challenge yourself to making a real effort into adding value into other peoples lives without expecting it to be returned- the humility that builds from this is also rewarding.

What I've found in my own personal metamorphosis from a child into an adult is exactly this; value is everything. At younger stages in my life confidence was something that came more naturally to me, and some people around me would be very quick (and right) to say this sometimes came across as arrogance. In fact, those reading right now are probably questioning why "sometimes" is even in that sentence. And while many of my friendships were forged in this time, the reason they've lasted is because of emotional maturity and value. What I've noticed over this time is the sheer difference in support around me. Being full of yourself might make you a friend or two, but the difference of how these people support you once you add true value to them is incredible. Huh, imagine that- I found that being less of a d-bag increased my overall support network. Crazy. 

The reality is that while so many of these concepts are blatantly obvious, not taking the time to reflect on things allows them to slip away. 

How I began to add value to the people around me was by identifying a strength in myself and utilizing it to my advantage. Personally, I have confidence in my ability to display empathy, and show others I care by talking and listening to them (a trait no doubt learned from my mother, I can not sing higher praises for that woman). Understanding your own uniqueness and your own talents is key when assessing what it is you can bring to the table. If you can't think of anything, your own self-concept is getting in the way- trust that you are capable and that you are valuable. Once you've got it, apply it into your life and become aware of how positive the dynamic of your friendships change.

The final part is coming to terms with how important it is to show the people in your life how much they mean to you, and how valuable they really are. Holding this in only damages your relationship and the other person involved. Showing them they care might also relieve them of any anxieties they have about showing you how much they care about you too! So text them first, hug them when you see them, listen to what's going on in their lives- the only thing you have to lose is a more meaningful bond.

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Comments

  1. "If you can't think of anything, your own self-concept is getting in the way" so true. You can be your own biggest obstacle.

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    1. Thanks for reading! I'm glad you liked it and hope maybe something resonated.

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  2. Couldn't agree more.. adding value has always been a conscious effort in my books with newer people in my life but i believe we often take our closest relationships in our lives for granted and forget. Even adding value should be a conscious effort until habits are installed.

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    1. Thanks for your insight, all very true points. Glad you liked the article and look forward to your thoughts on future pieces!

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