“Define and conquer”

If you’re reading this, you either have friends or want friends. It’s important, in either case, to define what you mean when you think of what a friend is. When you spend time talking to any one person regularly, you are quickly confronted with the fact that humans can be very different from one another. This can lead to a multitude of interpersonal issues. We have found that a beneficial first step to begin mending these issues and head in the direction of growth is for each person to define what a friend means to them.

For Roger, a friend is about mutuality. It’s an unspoken or spoken agreement between two people that they will regularly invest in each other, most obviously in face to face time together. That regular interval may differ drastically from relationship to relationship due to extraneous factors such as distance, time difference, work life, romantic relationships, etc., but it must be regular nonetheless.

For Ayodeji, friendship is about selflessness. It feels the most true when the other person is kept priority. Friendship can easily become something we make all about ourselves and feel justified in doing so. You shouldn’t have to neglect yourself in order to be classified as a good friend; however, friendship involves sacrifice. Operating from the standpoint of being a friend first rather than expecting friendship from others will help navigate natural friction and deepen friendships.

There is most likely a large list of definitions of what a friend is, but a slightly smaller list of what a friend should be. Everyone’s definitions work best when refined. When these definitions are exchanged, it makes it easier as a baseline to evaluate the health of a friendship. Defining anything should be Step One. It gives you direction.

ACTION: Define “friend” for yourself

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