By Madi Goldspink
Part 1 – Finding Yourself
In order to get the best out of a friendship and to be a good friend, you first need to find yourself.
All too often, friendships are formed because we want to be a part of the ‘cool group’ or friends with the ‘popular’ girls or boys. Before investing time in a friendship you need to consider a number of things like what traits would you want a friend to have, as well as what characteristics and traits can I give to a friend.
I have had a number of experiences where I have become friends with people just to fit in and to have people to ‘hang out’ with. You should never have to conform or change to be wanted, liked or even just to be a part of a friendship. You need to be able to ‘find yourself’.
In order to do so, I have found that by asking myself these questions, it allows me to really find myself:
- Who am I?
- What are my values?
- What do I stand for?
- What would I like to be remembered for?
After you have answered these questions, you will begin to learn who you are and what you believe in.
You then should choose a group of friends that accept you for who you are! Don’t go changing and conforming to what others want you to be, stay true to yourself and believe that you are good enough.
Part 2 – The Power of Friendship
Friendship is a very powerful thing. Have you ever just had a really bad day, but then you see your friends and suddenly everything feels ok again? That is the type of power that you can get from friendship.
When you are with your friends so many powerful things happen, you feel uplifted, encouraged, supported and safe. When you are with your friends, everything else seems so little, they can make you go from crying one minute to laughing the next. When I am with my friends, suddenly the things I was worried about, no longer worry me, all the pain I have experienced seems so dull and the smile on my face just gets bigger and bigger. The type of power that friendships have are just magical.
That is one thing I love about the NETFIT community. It doesn’t matter if we haven’t met or whether we have gone on some amazing adventures together, we are one friendly, supportive community. The NETFIT community is a bubble of happiness, positivity and good vibes, it is impossible not to smile, laugh and just enjoy the good times and memories being made.
If there is one thing I want to be remembered for it would be the power to make friendships, to light up a room, comfort someone if they are having a bad day and ultimately just be that shining light and bit of magic someone needs. That is how powerful being a friend and having friendships can be.
Part 3 – Being a Good Friend
There are so many people all over the world that have been given the impression that they are not good friends, or they have the feeling that they have done something wrong or are unwanted by a group of people. One piece of advice I was once given was that ‘to be a good friend, you had to demonstrate the values that you would want in a friend and to continue to be you’.
We all know the basic characteristics of what a friend should look like and be: someone who demonstrates kindness, who includes everyone, who listens and someone who shows an interest. But what we really need to do is to dig a little deeper and really understand what characteristics you would want in a friend.
I will be honest, there were some points in my life where I was under the impression that I wasn’t good enough for people and that I wasn’t a good friend because suddenly everyone started to behave and act differently. I now know that it was because I tried too hard. To me, a good friend shows acceptance to everyone for who they are, includes everyone, listens to what others have to say and how others are feeling, lends a hand, encourages those around you, supports you to follow your dreams and puts in time and effort into the friendship.
I tried to change to suit them, I believed it would make them like me and include me. Looking back, I know I was just too caring, I cared too much about whether they liked me, I cared too much about what they said about me and ultimately I cared too much about the friendship.
You should never feel as if you are not good enough, you should never think you tried too hard, there is no such thing. To show others that you care and are willing to try hard to make a friendship work, shows in itself that you are a great person and an even better friend and that someone somewhere is extremely lucky to call you a friend.
Part 4 – Change is Inevitable
One of the most important things I have learnt is that change is inevitable. At one stage in life we all change one way or another. Our hobbies and interests will become different to what they used to be, and you will want different things to what others will. The important thing to note is that it is ok.
I have personally experienced many friendship changes and at the time it seems like the worst thing in the world, you feel as if you are hated and that everything is your fault. However, you are wrong.
In 20 years, you are more than likely not going to remember the people you were friends with in primary or high school, you are not going to be hanging out with them. In 20 years, you are going to be doing what you have worked so hard to be doing and you are going to be loving your life.
It is super important not to worry if change is happening because the majority of changes lead to bigger and better things. Whilst change is happening, although it may feel scary not knowing what is coming, you should remember that a lesson has been learnt in every chapter of your story. You should be thankful for this lesson and should take it in your stride, knowing that it isn’t always your fault.
Change is a necessary thing in life. You cannot keep growing and learning without change, it is inevitable.
Part 5 – Importance of Friendship
In the dictionary the word ‘Friend’ itself is defined as a person, whom one knows and likes well. But friendship is so much more than just knowing and liking someone well and having mutual likes, dislikes, interests and hobbies.
To me, friendships are one of the most important things in life. Friends are the ones that you turn to, they are the ones that make you feel safe to be you, friends are the ones that help shape you into who you become. I have learnt that the friendships you should invest time in are the ones that are ‘two-sided’, these are the ones that will survive and deserve the recognition and effort.
All too often we get caught up trying to develop and create friendships with people that aren’t willing to do the same in return. Friendships are an essential part of life, you should use your time wisely and invest in friendships that are compatible, where you all put in effort and show interest in the other person’s life.
To me, friendship is so important because they allow you to grow, they allow you to become you and ultimately they provide care, support, encouragement, respect, honesty, loyalty and most importantly kindness.