Category: Friendships

The secret to great relationships

20- 4 June17 -A great relationship

If you look at the friendships you have made over the many years of your life, what stands out is the fact that you have and equation with your friends which is often very ironical. There are things about your friend that you love and that is the reason for the bonding and yet there are habits/ mannerisms/ behavior / style of your friend that you dislike, possibly abhor and yet you overlook them. Friendships thrive on these differences and how individuals manage to reconcile these juxtapositions holds the key to endearing and enduring relationships.

It is possible that in many relationships it is differences between individuals is what triggers attention to each other but ultimately it is the similarities that bring about a confluence of appreciative emotions. In most cases though, it is the similarities in thought and approach that helps bonding and the respect for differences cements these bonds. Excellent relationships are all about managing these juxtapositions.

Good relationships are cemented stronger if both the appreciation of similarities and the respect for differences are expressed; the former more vigorously the latter more diplomatically. The latter is a tad tougher to express for it always carries a possibility of being misunderstood or being seen as a reproach and hence viewed as an indictment. This can bring about a wedge in relationships and hence has to be expressed very selectively and cautiously.  The differences are accentuated in criticisms, puns, sarcasm and disagreements. Hence it is important to be aware of the potential lethal effects of using any of the above in words or deeds.

Honesty in the relationship ensures there is greater understanding. However, brutal honesty can be damaging. Disagreements and differences of opinion are essential to retain the individuality of the people in a relationship. It is the individuality of the parties in a relationship that makes the communication, the interaction and the engagement in a relationship unique and interesting. The similarities between two individuals is what cements the relationship for there is a commonality of understanding, purpose and respect born out of appreciating the commonalities in each other.

Try these

  1. What are your three strengths that you think your friends appreciate in you? What are your three traits you think others find it hard to reconcile with or do not appreciate in you?
  2. What are the similarities and differences you note in the following people
  • Your siblings / cousins
  • Your three friends at work
  • Your three colleagues with whom you bond easily.
  • Your three best friends
  • Your classmates in school/ college with whom you meet up occasionally

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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Family tree…

40-family-treeThe Christmas season is fast approaching and that is a time when most times families, particularly in countries that celebrate Christmas get together to bond and renew ties. Equivalent festivities are definitely present in various other countries and cultures too. So what is common to all these festivities?  It is a time when we realize how each person has evolved and found his/ her own path in life and chalked out their destiny. What makes the season special is also the fact that gifts are exchanged, which means each gift is thoughtfully selected for the person to whom we gift it. It is also a time for fun and bonding, a time to reminisce and a time to realize how each one has grown and yet remained rooted.

This is a good time to have a re-look at our own family tree.

Branching out – The individuality of people, the paths they tread and the way each one evolves is reflected in the way one branches out and chalks out one’s own destiny. The beauty of this branching out is that it helps people evolve, it is the blooming of the child into maturity and it is the culmination of how one attempts to give expression to ones dreams, hopes and aspirations. Some are fortunate to have a smooth passage with encouragement and relatively easy success paving the way. However, for many, branching out is a challenge. There are parental expectations, personal weakness and conflicting alternatives that we need to overcome, before we reach stability in personal and professional life.

Remaining rooted –Branching out happens because we have our individualistic thoughts, dreams, passions and abilities that are different from the other family members.  However, what gives us identify apart from our own achievements are the family ties that bind us, the support system they represent, the commonality of emotions that draws us close to each other. We can fondly reminisce about the good old days; go through the ecstatic and most depressing moments together, feeling it as one. It is also the bond that makes us come together for a joyous celebrations like weddings in the family or a significant birthday of a loved one and it is also the same bond that enables us to be present during traumatic moments of our extended family  be it a an accident or a death. Our roots bind us together for we are all nourished by the same love that runs through our branches, leaves and fruits.

Growing – For a tree to become a tree, it is essential that both its roots and its branches grow healthy and strong. The same holds true for a family. So while the individuality will help one find his/ her own future and destiny, it is the bond with the family and extended family that provides one with values, culture and nourishment through support in testing times. If the roots are strong, the tree will always grow and flourish and a family that is grounded in good values, culture and close bonds would be the same too. Give space to individuals to bloom and flower and keep them close so that they continue to be nourished by the bonds that tie one another.

Try these:

  • Make a family tree and share it with the extended family.
  • Hold family reunions to ensure there are more meetings and interactions especially between the younger members of the family.
  • Share interesting tidbits of family members who have some remarkable achievements/ talents / success so that others can be proud of them and also benefit from their success.
  • Surprise a family member with a surprise gift on a significant occasion for the person.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Enjoy the little things in life…

13-4-Little things matter

In the week gone by, this blog has crossed 1,50,000 views and now has 875 odd followers. A BIG THANK YOU to all of you patronizing this blog. For me this amazing journey started on 1st Jan 2010 and as I look back I am both surprised at my own gumption to try and write every day (which I did justice to in 2010) and grateful to my blog followers both for their feedback (largely favorable) and for providing me the motivation to keep writing. Today’s blog post, is also a tribute to all of you my readers, for as the daily views and increasing followers list came in trickles initially, they laid the foundation of the milestone I mark today. Thank you buddies. Jacob

Nostalgia they say is recalling the fun without revealing the pain. No matter what your age, if you are reading this now, you would definitely have enough years behind you to look back and visualize the wonders that have lit up your life at various times. Cut to childhood; the earliest recollection of your birthday celebration would bring a tear in your eye, a lump in your throat, a heaviness in the heart but most of all an unmatched thrill and joy. Perhaps another birthday celebration could trigger a wave of ecstatic emotions with you as the focus but love as all encompassing.

It is not all fun and joy that we recollect all the time. Perhaps there are painful memories too of the first punishment that you got for no fault of yours. Or the nasty injury you suffered when playing a highly competitive sport or perhaps you missed the finals that you looked forward to playing because of suspension. Yet when you look back at these moments, what remains etched more than the pain is the realization that those were defining moments that shaped you into what you are. Perhaps the injustice of being unfairly punished made you subconsciously more sensitive to others or it could be the reason why you are far harsher to those who are guilty.

Remember the first gift you gave your first crush or it could be your lovelorn mushy mushy little note. If you can recollect the contents, you might even unconsciously squirm at the realization of your immaturity then and the frivolous nothings that you conjured up. Yet, that day you grew up to overcome your inhibitions, overcame your apprehensions and learned to be more decisive. Remember the reluctant way you went through the mandatory social service visit to the local orphanage or old age home. Once you got over your initial shock and surprise at what you experienced there, the human values in you kicked in and they, the inmates, suddenly became an extension of your life. Perhaps those moments made you strive for success so that you would not meet a similar fate or turned you into a large hearted person, who gives at every opportunity without the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.

Pause a moment to remember the school days. The mischief, the examination phobia, the elation at unexpected academic success, your share of the punishment that you had to endure, the words of praise or congratulations that also came your way which was the icing on the cake called schooling. Perhaps the memories of some exceptional teachers have become a role model for you in life, the strict teachers that you resented then now remain idols who were fair and impartial though strict. The patience of others who understood your limitations in keeping pace with the others or those who secretly sympathized with your struggles or those who tactfully highlighted your strengths and pepped you up are now memories that well up your heart.

Finally family, parents, siblings, elders and neighbors and pets; can you just remember in one sentence how they left a mark on you? Love would be a common theme but for some it could be the harshness of not being able to get their affection or it could be their inability to appreciate you that hurts. Yet the precious moments spent with them would each hold a lingering fragrance of experience, affection, guidance, intrigue, regret in some cases, hurt in some very rare cases but a definite impact in all cases.

Beginning today, seek out those moments consciously, hold on to them in memories tenderly and embrace them tightly in the cockles of your heart.

Try this:

List out the following

  • The 3 happiest moments of the your life so far
  • The most painful moment you experienced
  • The most unexpected surprise you got
  • The best gift that you ever received
  • The most unfair criticism that you have received
  • The 3 mistakes that still make you cringe
  • The 1 love (each) of your life which is – a person, a place, a thing, an animal

Write down the first thought that comes to mind when you have to name

  • The best book you ever read
  • The worst book that you would not suggest to anyone
  • The best movie you have seen
  • The movie you couldn’t sit through
  • The most impactful proverb/ saying
  • The silliest feedback you have ever got
  • The best meal you ever ate in a restaurant
  • The worst foodie experience

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

When the going gets tough…

There are times when the spirit is low, the pathway seems steep and the goal looks very distant. Disappointment is evident, frustration is natural and giving up seems the best and easiest way out of the predicament. It is at these times that we consciously or unconsciously attempt to reach out for help, support and encouragement and the two mains stays of our life friends and a song to hum anchor us firmly to the bedrock of hope, positivity and inspiration.

Notice carefully that friends and that includes family, neighbors and colleagues are the external anchor that we can physically lean on. The importance of being social is never more clearly articulated when we face a crisis and seek support from those around. When the human race is unique qualified as a being ‘social animals’ it was well established that human beings need each other at all times and its efficacy and importance is best established when one experiences it when one needs it most; a death in the family is an extreme case and contrasting that are the joyous occasions like a wedding or a birth. In day to day life though we experience this social dimension practically every moment be it at the work place or at home. The times when we are

A song on the other hand is an internal anchor, developed through our upbringing, our attitude and our fortitude.  Most of us are bathroom singers, who open up and express our joy through our tuneless, carefree and occasionally senseless rhythmic meanderings secure in the knowledge that we are all by ourselves. That gives us a good clue as to how important a role a song plays in translating our emotions into an expression of hope, delight and fun. There are times when a song lifts us up when downcast and forlorn and other times we would rather merge our emotions with the pathos and subtlety of the poetry. The latter though does not last long and when we have indulged in reliving our sorrows through a mournful song, we realize the futility of regret and find a more meaningful peppy song to uplift and inspire us.

When amongst good friends, have you noticed the cares of the world seem to disappear, life seems like a breeze and while tomorrow may not change very drastically, it becomes a lot easier to embrace tomorrow?  Similarly when a lilting tune pops out of nowhere and we merrily hum it, especially when confronted with a problem, an issue or a challenge, the load becomes lighter, the burden more bearable and there is a ray of hope that seems perennial. Do you anything more to live life to the fullest?

Try this:

  1. Make a list of 5 of your good friends and outline the one quality of theirs that endears him/ her to you.
  2. Can you recollect the names of books or movies in which friends have been shown to bond despite all odds and differences? E.g. Remember the Famous 5 and Secret seven series of Enid Blyton
  3. Click on this link to hear the Theme song of the war movie The Bridge on the Rive Kwai http://tinyurl.com/yff5zlh
  4. Can you list out 3 songs that will always uplift you no matter what your mood?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

The challenge of relationships

People must be taken as they are, and we should never try to make them or ourselves better by quarreling with them.  Edmund Burke

One of the many reasons relationships fail is because we have a lot of expectations from the other party and consciously or unconsciously we keep finding faults over trivial matters and blow it out of proportion.  Other times we are so full of ourselves that we fail to understand that we are actually irritating the other person by our selfish and self centered ways.  There are times when we believe we have the right to harshly criticize, articulate uncouthly our feelings particularly when irritated or hurt and worse of all take liberties in ascribing motives to people’s behavior that does not appeal to us. When we let our differences become barbs, turn our expectations into demands and dogmatically spurn friendly overtures to pamper our own ego that is when the first signs of cracks in a relationship show up.

It is tackling our own ego that poses the real problem in maintaining relationships.  Many a time we make an issue of a perceived slight to our ego. It could be a comment that we do not agree with or it could be indifference that we think is deliberate or it could be completely misunderstanding a gesture,  a communication or even non communication.  Other times we want to be given importance, want others to take the lead in touching base with us and far too often we seek to control the relationship. If we step back to take a good hard look at the reasons why we do not get along with some people, why we do not enjoy the company of others and avoid like plague certain individuals we cannot deny the fact that we are in some way at least partly responsible for the situation. Perhaps we need to also look at why the same people could possibly be giving us a wide berth too.

The challenge in any relationship is to balance expectations, minimize presumptions and maintain open communications. This is easier said than done because our personal styles are so varied, we succumb to the pressures of our own emotions and attitudes. While some of us are loud, arrogant and on your face there are others who appear docile, submissive, fearful but are constantly scheming. While those inclined to adopt the aggressive style easily provoke and snap of ties the latter are prone to mask their feelings and yet cunningly severe ties by pushing relationships to the brink. While individual styles play a crucial part in cementing or severing relationships, one can make an attempt to become aware of how to change and soothen ruffled feathers and restore balance and relationships.

The fact is we can with effort on our part, an open mind and honesty of purpose always improve relationships, cement relationships and nurture new relationships. For this the first step is to meet, greet and respect people.  The next step is to acknowledge people, praise them when required, be patient if the need arises and give them their due. To scale up a relationship to a different level be more candid without being offensive,  be honest without being moralistic and be open to all feedback without being judgmental. Patience, respect and acceptance are three virtues that will help us maintain healthy relationship with all those whom we interact with.

Remember: It doesn’t matter what the other is being, doing, having, saying, wanting, demanding. It doesn’t matter what the other is thinking, expecting, planning. It only matters what you are being in relationship to that.

Try this:

  1. Recollect three pleasant memories and one unpleasant memory of your relationship with the following people. Ask why you enjoyed the relationship and how you could have helped improve the relationship that was unpleasant.
  • Your father
  • Your mother
  • Your siblings
  • Your best friend in school
  • Your favorite teacher in school
  • The teacher you disliked immensely
  • A current colleague or batch mate
  1. Name one person who comes to mind in the following situations
  • An actor or actress you dislike
  • A player/ sportsman who you feel is overrated
  • An idol/ icon who you would love to meet
  • The sweetest person you can think of immediately
  • A person known to you personally for whom you feel really sorry for.
  • Someone you need to really apologize to.

(In the first three cases are you justified in your feelings since you do not know the people concerned personally)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

The secret to a happy marriage

What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility. George Levinger

Strange as it may sound, the theory of opposites attract as is proven by magnets is perhaps just as applicable in marriages. The genesis of the marriage could be anything from love marriages to arranged marriages or marriages of convenience as would perhaps happen when a divorcee marries another divorcee or   a widower marries a widow ;  the focus though  is often on how compatible the couple is and we mistakenly believe that compatibility will cement the relationship. Compatibility certainly plays a vital part in getting a couple together else there would be no commonality of interest/ purpose/ objective/feelings. However compatibility does not really address the reality that surfaces after the courtship and honeymoon, that of the individuality of the partners that manifests itself in differences, disagreements, opposing style and personality traits  and even in completely divergent expectations and behavior.

The real issues in marriage often surface soon after marriage but the emotions of love, tenderness, joy and the eagerness to please the partner and respective families and friends camouflage the differences that may have crept in. In many ways the earlier the differences come to the fore the individuality of partners becomes more obvious and enables the couple to find ways and means of handling it using all the positive emotions and by suppressing ones ego and making adjustments. There is no doubt that in this process each partner also does sacrifice a part of his/ her individuality and adapts and adjusts to the demands of married life. The good part is that we get used to the adjustments early on and so the process is easier than unlearning and relearning which is tedious, painstaking and above all a major psychological hurdle to cross. To explain, if one partner is obsessed with brushing the teeth before going to bed and the other couldn’t care less the earlier they adjust to the reality by either accepting each one’s differences or one of them adjusting to the others pet peeve it won’t be long before the issue becomes a major bone of contention in a temperamental married life.

It is essential to accept the fact that when we express our individuality there would be a hugely disproportionate number of differences that come to the fore. While many of these could be insignificant it is the serious differences that could often mar an otherwise harmonious marriage. It is equally possible that the differences small or big get to be more frequent, more stressful and more acrimonious and that is when the strain of living together comes to the fore. The chief culprit that actually stretches the relationship to breaking point is often cited as incompatibility but this is just a pseudonym for intolerance, ego hassles, inflexibility, bickering and nagging not to mention finger pointing and possibly culminating in use of vile and abusive language tone and threats. If one can manage to bridge the differences that crop up in a relationship through a combination of understanding, give and take, acceptance, adjustments, sacrifices, forgiveness and unconditional love, handling incompatibility would never pose a problem ; ask those couples who tenderly hold hands even when they squabble, have a love tinged mischievous smile when then poke fun at their other half and revel in the affection of their partner and display both concern and pain when the other is suffering. The vows of marriage when the couple get married offer a clear clue to the incompatibility that is central to marriage when they  vow to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ’till death do us par.

Remember : “More marriages might survive if the partners realized that sometimes the better comes after the worse.” Doug Larson

Try this:

  1. If you are married outline the 3 most annoying traits in your spouse that you never realized before marriage. In the same breath also jot down 3 wonderful traits that your spouse has that really surprised and elated which you never knew before marriage. If unmarried, list 3 traits that you would hate to have in your future spouse and 3 traits that you hope he/she will have.
  2. Identify 3 ideal couples known personally to you (other than your own family members)who have been married for  less than 5 years, married for 5-10 years and 20-25 years. Why do you think they are an ideal couple? Is there some trait that you can emulate in your relationship now or in the future?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

 

The perfect time is now…

This time like all times is a very good one if we but know what to do with it  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Last night, I was deeply disappointed that I ran headlong into a writer’s worst nightmare ‘the writer’s block’ and after pottering around for more than an hour attempting to get going with the blog I simply quit. Funnily enough I enjoyed a good sleep but on waking up was racked with pangs of guilt on not writing the blog, suffering the ignominy of being idealess and I suspect more depressed at the blow to my ego. However as the day wore on it occurred to me that the experience of the previous night was not entirely wasted; after all I was subject to the painful realization of my own limitations; having made the decision to give up and go to sleep my dilemma was resolved and I enjoyed blissful sleep; and on waking up I was glad to rediscover my competitive drive. That time (yesterday when I stared for an hour at a blank screen attempting to write)  just like the present moment that I am writing and this moment that you are reading this post are all equally invaluable provided each of us is doing exactly what was/ is required.

Our successes or failures in life are nothing but net effect of the time we spend fruitfully minus the time we waste in doing things that either we ought not to do or should do at another time. Look back at our own student days and reflect on how much effort we put into studies and how much time we spend in day dreaming, hanging out with friends, sleeping, watching movies TV partying etc. It is not as if to suggest that the latter activities are to be avoided but definitely they must be restricted for each of us is fortunately or unfortunately privy only to 24 hours of the day. A good test to understand how much time we utilize productively is to ask if we have any regrets. The more the regrets the greater the waste of our limited time. Ask if you have taken time out to smell the flowers as you traverse the paths of life. If you haven’t then soon you would realize the frustrtionof having the time but squandering it.

Another test to find out if we have made good use of our time is to answer the question’ what will I do with the last 10 minutes of my life?

Ask if you would end telling yourself the following

I will go around telling those whom I love that I love them passionately

I will go around pardoning all those who hurt me

I will go around seeking pardon from those I hurt,

I will loosen my purse strings and liberally give out to charity etc.

Some questions that will haunt you then are

Can  I do all this in 10 minutes?

Should I have not done this all the time?

Why did I waste my time on frivolous things when I should have spend more time with loved ones?

Was my life worth whatever I achieved?

Will someone really grieve for me?

Remember:

Happy the man, and happy he alone,

He, who can call to-day his own:

He who, secure within, can say:

“To-morrow, do thy worst, for I have liv’d to-day.”

Try this:

  1. Ask yourself right now if this is the right time to read the blog. If your answer is yes then go on and read a few more blog posts including the weekly post at www.poweract.blogspot.com If your answer is NO, then stop reading and slot a time to read and henceforth make it a point to read these posts only at that time.
  2. Any time is perfect to do the following. Ensue that you practice as many of these as often as you can.
  • Smile
  • Thank
  • Apologize
  • Praise
  • Reflect
  • Appreciate
  • Pardon
  • Pray

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

The challenge of decision making

If we wait until we’ve satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late. Lee Iacocca

One of the toughest parts of decision making is trying to minimize the uncertainties associated with the decision so as to ensure that we improve the chances of having taken the right decision.  There are numerous reasons why getting answers to all uncertainties is extremely difficult. To begin with there is a tradeoff between the time available to get all the inputs required to answer all uncertainties and the time frame within which to take the decision. There are numerous uncertainties where a judgment is the only way one can use to determine the probability of nailing the uncertainity.eg  if we visit a couple of doctors for each ones expert opinion on a serious illness and all of them suggest a different line of treatment, we have no choice but to go with one of those recommendations.  As a result, most times apart from using the available data we end up having to use our judgment and rely on our prior experience to arrive at a decision.

One of the most common ailments of decision making prevalent largely in the corporate world is described as Paralysis by analysis. Here the problem arises not because the decision to be made is really tough but more because the decision makers don’t want to be held responsible in case their decision goes wrong.  As a result they would attempt to use all techniques and tools to study and analyze the data available and they would even tweak it till it confirms what they want to believe or prove so that there is ample paperwork to justify their decision. Unfortunately since most decisions are time bound, decision makers can be mentally paralyzed by the reams of analytical data that is generated which may be quite at variance with our expectations and the decision making process goes for a toss.

Decisions concerning relationships are even more tough because it calls for a value judgment. A simple test is to write down the qualities of an ideal spouse. Most times this process for married people poses a serious problem of having to forcefully appreciate the qualities of a spouse. For those yet unmarried the problem is one of how to prune the list. The tough part is yet to come;  for those who are yet to be married the question is how does one really recognize this quality or attribute in their to be spouse for the married person it is accepting the reality that many of those attributes longed for are utopian and unrealistic now. Breaking off a friendship or relationship is perhaps one of the toughest decisions because it is hurtful, painful, emotional and distressing for all concerned. Many a time this happens when there is mistrust and doubt and an amicable parting is often difficult but inevitable. Here the sheer pressure of the uncertainly in the relationship could prove to be a mill stone in the relationship which ultimately drowns it perhaps a wee bit too late.   Even more tough is to take a decision to part because pure rational itself does not provide the answers to all the uncertainties associated with the relationship. E.g. An office romance between a married boss and a subordinate or social pressures associated with a gay relationship or the breaking up of a partnership or a joint venture because the parties have divergent view points.

Remember: “My basic principle is that you don’t make decisions because they are easy; you don’t make them because they are cheap; you don’t make them because they’re popular; you make them because they’re right.”  Theodore Hesburgh

Try this:

  1. Your most intimate friend has picked up a new job and ever since his visits and interactions have come down.  You are disappointed and not sure if it is only the new job that is the reason for this sudden drop in communications and interactions. You are confused and hurt but you still cherish his friendship. How will you ensure that you don’t take a drastic or wrong decision by cutting off all your ties while at the same time ensuring that he still values your friendship?
  2. You are at a famous art museum that has a Picasso, a Rembrandt and a Van Gogh painting among some other prized paintings being exhibited. Suddenly there is a fire in the museum and you are able to save just one painting. Which painting will you save?  (The answer to this will be published in our weekly blog www.poweract.blogspot.com before this weekend)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Friendship

When it hurts to look back, and you’re scared to look ahead, you can look beside you and your best friend will be there.

Many of our actions today are subconsciously affected by our past experiences which in turn also have a major bearing on our attitudes, behavior, thought process and decision making and that indirectly has a bearing on our future too. For the overwhelming majority it is the hurt, the humiliation, the failures, the taunts and similar negative experiences that remain deeply ingrained in our psyche and percolate into our thinking and our action which are often defensive or aggressive. Looking back at the past therefore hurts terribly. Looking ahead seems and equally frightening prospect and that is when one really longs for someone to be right besides you to support and encourage you, help calm down your anxieties, point the right way ahead and accompanying you when are fearful and scared. While family would often offer all this it is only one’s best friend who will really understand you and accept you the way you are. It is the best friend to whom you can open up freely, fight with remorselessly, shout and scream at to let out our frustrations and confidently turn to when there is no one left to lend you an ear and a shoulder to lean on and cry upon.

Most times our best friends are school mates/ college buddies or neighbors but we can also get fortunate in meeting some new people who providentially cross our path and we become soul mates. Similarly most times the best friends are of the same sex and age group but some people get exceptionally lucky and discover their best friend in someone much older or younger and someone of the opposite sex too.  What is important to note is that TRUST holds the key to friendships, OPENNESS crowns the interactions and TRANSPERENCY holds the mirror to show up the warts and moles and ACCEPTANCE cements the relationship. Each of these elements needs to be present for a friendship to develop into a relationship of BEST FRIENDS. More importantly we need to nurture and treasure these critical components that make us fortunate to have BEST FRIENDS.

Without trust no relationship can develop.  For friendships to develop there must be implicit trust. This means we not only believe the person but are willing to overlook his / her transgressions, forgive their mistakes and place your faith and possibly your life in their care. One can do this when one has to know the person intimately and accept the person as he/she is. Interestingly even if the person has breached your faith you will continue to give the benefit of doubt and give them another chance to both redeem themselves and also reaffirm their trust. Openness relates to our willingness to share and disclose our personal,  private and privileged information partly to unburden but mainly to get a an honest  feedback and unbiased suggestions from the friend. This is risky business because we may divulge information that could be misused or misunderstood too. We may even open up a Pandora’s box that could have potentially devastating effects on relationships and friendships too. It is by being open that we crown the relationship and turn friends into best friends.

In being transparent one does not hold back one’s feelings of hurt and disappointment in our relationship with our friend. It also implies that one would not hesitate to call a spade a spade and would show courage of conviction in firmly articulating a view resented by a friend. As individuals each one has a different thought process and view and even between friends there could be vastly divergent views and equally controversial positions being taken up on matters. Transparency ensures that one is brave, bold and business like in openly articulating feeling and thoughts. The high point of the blossoming of a relationship between best friends is the unconditional acceptance of each other.  As individuals we may have radically opposing views and philosophies. Yet when one is willing to give space to the other to follow his heart and yet accept that person unconditionally that is when one discovers ones best friend amongst a multitude of friends.  Even when there are serious differences, perhaps even disparaging comments and remarks made in anger but when the dust settles and the individuals can look eye to eye and embrace each other without rancor or disapproval that is when one knows that your best friend is there by you ALWAYS.

Remember: “Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.

Try this:

  1. Look back and ask yourself if you had a best friend in school, in college and in your work place. Do you still remain good friends? If not why do you think the friendship did not sustain. If it sustains till date can you identify one reason why you have been able to cement your relationship so well.
  2. Think of your best friend and honestly answer if you know the following about him/ her
  • His /her worst fears
  • His /her real passion
  • His/ her worst moment or experience
  • His / her most annoying quality

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Valuing friendships

A loyal friend laughs at your jokes when they’re not so good, and sympathizes with your problems when they’re not so bad. Arnold H. Glasow

It is tough to find good friends not because they are not made anymore, but because the slightest of misunderstandings can kill a beautiful friendship. People today tend to be more sensitive, have greater expectations from friends and are quick to pull the plug from a potentially lifelong friendship because they get impatient, take offense easily and often let their ego overrule their judgment. On the other hand if one has the ability to be non judgmental and love a friend unconditionally, overlook his/ her faults nonchalantly and be able to put with their idiosyncrasies be it their silly jokes or their oversensitive outbursts then the fruits of those friendship never go stale and they will make our life heavenly.

Friendships blossom on compatibility, affection and trust. Each of these parameters poses a challenge and it also provides the platform for friendships to begin, grow and blossom. Most people view compatibility to mean that good friendship s can be formed only by people in near similar age groups. This is largely true because many friendships are formed during school and college days and invariably all the friends are in a similar age bracket. However the critical factor in compatibility is the meeting of minds; the ability to find common ground, the possibility of moving ahead hand in hand and the insight to reconcile differences if any.  Many a friendship has perished when the apparent initial compatibility began crumbling under the weight of impossible expectations and unreasonable demands.

While compatibility can be there between people as it is possible with two people who share a common interest or hobby, it does not necessarily mean that they have any affection for each other. Affection begins with understanding and then proceeds to the next step of liking and culminates in being completely at ease in each other’s company. Many a time they understand each other so well that they are able to instinctively anticipate each other’s emotions and feelings be it one of elation or sorrow. Trust is what cements a friendship. Trust is all about having implicit faith in one another being able to see only the good in the friend, being able to overlook the idiosyncrasies and quirks of the friend and being able to stand up for the friend through thick and thin. Trust will ensure that friends are open in their communications, respect each other’s individuality and be magnanimous in pardoning friends faults. A true friend will never let a good relationship die because of lack of trust.

The challenge to maintaining friendship is in ensuring that all the three pillars of friendship remain strong and upright always. Communication is a critical ingredient in the reinforcing the bonds of friendship. Humor is another factor that goes a long way in cheering up friendships. Above all faith in one another will eliminate misunderstandings, suppress ego’s and ignite the candle of friendship on the rare occasions that the flame gets blown away. The beauty of true friendship lies in its nebulous property to endure the limitations posed by time, space, silence, indifference and separation.

Remember: “To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.”  Brandi Snyder

Try this:

  1. Pause and look back at a close friendship which has either died out or that has end on a bitter note. Can you make the effort to forgive and forget and begin again by reaching out to that close friend and making him/ her know that you still value their friendship?  If you are rebuffed do not take it personally but try to ignore the hurt and rather cherish the good old days.
  2. Some friendships become too demanding and it is possible that we are guilty of having too many expectations from a friend which ultimately snapped the friendship. Some friendships may have withered away for lack of effective interaction and communications.  If you feel that you are guilty of either of these two strikes that robbed you of a very good friendship, put your ego behind and rekindle the friendship. You may discover that the new bond is stronger than ever before.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com