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Posts Tagged ‘Friendship’

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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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

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A man is known by the company he keeps. Anon

Just look around and see how we pass judgment on people around without ever knowing them. In most cases we base it on their mere appearance and personality and unconsciously we also give a lot of credence to the type of people with whom they are seen moving around and interacting extensively.  In effect, our perceptions about people are largely dependent on physical appearance and physical company that one keeps. While it is quite possible that we may be wrong in our initial assessment and discover that the individual is made up of much more than just the outward appearance our initial assessment ahs a large bearing on how we interact with the person later on.

In the 70’s for example, anyone with long hair and flowery clothes was broadly described as a hippy and anyone who associated with these people was perceived to be cool by their peers but viewed with disdain by the society at large. Today the same people following similar trends are either cool or geeks and seen as a breed apart who merely march to a different drummer. Funnily enough most people would think that geeks and cool techno savvy people are brilliant but at the same time they wouldn’t really want their own children or siblings to be influenced by these geeks. They would rather that have their kids and siblings follow the straight and narrow path that is the family tradition or the societal norm. It is human nature to rebel against norms and confines and it is also human nature to view rebels as social pariah’s who are forever stretching the boundaries of convention and customs. Obviously anyone who is seen as associating with such a crowd is inviting trouble and the wrath of the majority who view them with disdain.

In most formal settings there is a social hierarchy and pecking order that is determined by the social status of the people around. There are no fixed norms or clear cut boundaries but by and large the social order is based on financial muscle, perceived social standing and power play. There are of course some incongruent elements who are thick skinned and shameless enough to ignore the social rules and by stealth or cunning attempt to be seen in the company of those on the highest pecking order. The hangers on around politicians or the entourage that accompany film stars and high flying business men are ample evidence of the crazy to be seen in the right company. They thrive on portraying themselves as close to the seat of power for the general perception is that those seen with the high and mighty are influential, powerful and useful.

There are two outstanding examples of how each of us is deeply influenced and is easily influenced by the need to be seen with the right company. The craze of people to be seen with celebrities who will never ever know them or recognize them again is not just a fad but an expression of our urge to be seen with the extraordinary. Sportsmen, actors and writers are among the most sought after celebrities. The second example pertains to the new age social networking trend where a look at our friends list reveals a lot about ourselves and the company we prefer. Our preferences for certain blogs of celebrities and following the posts of celebrities/ high flying  individuals on twitter etc. are also pointers to our need to cozy up to power, status and social visibility.

Remember: Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company. Mark Twain

Try this:

  1. List out 3 individuals who are still alive who you would like to meet in person if the opportunity arises. Now note down the reasons you want to meet these people and the line of interaction you would ideally have with them.
  2. Make a list of the types of people you will never associate with. Now make a list of people who you would love to associate with. Now check and jot down at least 3 things you love about your current friends and at least one irritant in them.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

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Hold a true friend with both your hands. Nigerian proverb

First of all, apologies to all my readers for uploading this blog a wee bit late. As I was out of town, despite my best efforts this post and the subsequent post could not be written and uploaded on time.

One of the things that money can never buy is a good friend. Unfortunately money attracts a lot of friends but most of them are more interested in the good things that our money can buy and ultimately almost all these friends turn out to be fair weather friends. It is those friends who we make more because of our common bonding, comfort level and above all implicit trust who will become our confidant, companion and collaborator. Yet we would make the painful realization that many a time, some of our closest friends have faded away from our lives and it is only much later that we wake up to the realization that we have missed out on an invaluable relationship.

If we are to look back and trace the roots of how and when these friendships started fading away, the one striking realization we would make is that invariably most friendships faded because of a break down in communication. When either we have not kept in touch with them over extended periods of time or vice versa, the bonding that is originally sealed gets weakened and gives way and then before we realize it, the friendship has ceased to exist. Other times, misunderstandings and mistrust snip of the thread of friendship and then it is very difficult to sew the whole thing up again. In fact good friendship gone bad can actually lead to enmity which is the opposite of friendship.

 It is clear therefore that friendships may blossom suddenly but it is imperative that we nurture it with care and affection. It is essential that we make the realization that no one can take friendships for granted. There are so many emotions at play in a friendship, that it is imperative that we pay close attention to how these emotions have a bearing on friendships. The most important thing is never to take emotions of our friends for granted. Sometimes a mild teasing or a sarcastic comment or a hurtful remark could spark out tensions between friends and be very damaging to the relationship. Other times our impatience, our inability to listen or our habit of not taking our friends into confidence can have serious negative repercussions on friendships. We must also watch out for our own emotions that maybe triggered by our own ego, emotions or poor judgment that may precipitate a crisis that can strain a friendship.

The one common balm that can always ensure that friendships will endure and can be mended is honest communication. At the first signs of a strain in friendship or relationships, the moment we are uncomfortable with some thought, idea or observation of a friend or when we have the urge to clarify or apologize to a friend, we must instinctively use all means of communication to reach out. We are fortunate to live in an electronic age where we have so many varied and discreet ways of communicating effectively we need to use all those means. It would also help if we develop that ability to be proactive and actually take the lead in surprising friends with little gifts, some surprises and some out of the way pampering. We often do it when in love with someone of the opposite sex, but seem to miss out on using it to nurture the real friendships. Finally leaving aside all our ego and hurt aside we must develop the fine qualities of apologizing and forgiving. With these twin balms in our custody, all hurt and ill will can be got rid off and we can nurture friendships to bloom all the year round life long.

Remember. : Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose  Tennessee Williams

Try this:

  1. Look back and recollect 3 good friendships that you could not nurture and wish you could be in touch with them and review the old bond. Are there some tips from the above blog post that you believe that you can immediately implement to activate those friendships?
  2. With the New Year season around the corner how about exploring the possibilities of getting gifts for some friends and surprising them?  Don’t wait for the New Year’s eve to do it. Go today and explore possibilities both for friends and family.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

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Friendship is like money, easier made than kept. Samuel Butler

Ever notice how our income barely seems to help us keep our expenses covered even if we are earning more and more each year. The reason for this is very simple; we really don’t pay attention to our money matters as much as we should. Now if we substitute the word money with the word friends, we notice that we have made so many friends but find it hard to really maintain the relationship. The reason is the same; our inability to take care of our friendships.

In today’s technology facilitated world, making friends across the globe is passé. Yet while we may see many of them online for example, either we do not converse with them or they are too busy. Over time we delete these contacts with no remorse. Technology allows us that liberty without any pangs of conscience but in real life, we rarely delete but we rarely connect either. When we look back at the close friendships we have made in school, college, our neighborhood, at work etc. we find that we are open to most people when making friends. However when we interact more closely we could be changing our opinion and then the friendship starts to fizzle.

To begin with any friendship to be called one needs to be developed and this is a time consuming process. There has to be some commonality of interests for a friendship to begin and flourish. More importantly the wave length of friends should match so that there is understanding, tolerance, mutual respect and a strong bonding. These are traits that are discovered slowly as one nurtures a friendship. There are three pillars of friendship Communication , Trust and Openness. All friendships are built up on this foundation and so it is important that one is not only aware of this but also makes an effort to strengthen each of these qualities in our interactions with friends.

Communication is of course a two way process and unless both parties interact and share thoughts ideas fears hopes expectations and very often discuss on mutually interested topics and also indulge in talking shop, the friendship will not really flower. Of course we must be careful that we are not too blunt or insensitive while communicating or else we would be making a very counter productive move. Trust is the soil in which the seeds of bonding are sown and it is here that friendships take roots and sprout into a life long bonding. We have to be careful that we never betray anyone’s rust in us for there is no second chance when trust is betrayed. Openness is the fertilizer that nourishes the friendships and ensures that the growth is healthy, robust and invaluable. Openness is tough because we expose ourselves and we hope that our open communication is accepted with out bias and the underlying trust is never shaken.

Remember: Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.”

Try this:

  1. Take a fresh look at the names appearing in your friends list in your email contacts, chat lists, social networking sites etc. Are there some people who you should delete to make the list more manageable? Are there others who you realise have been unfairly ignored but need to be communicated with. Go ahead and do just that.
  2. Ask yourself if you prefer an email greeting or an old fashioned snail mail greeting card / letter. Make a list of people whom you feel will much appreciate a and written letter and personalized card. Ensure you write the note and get a card and if possible go and deliver it personally to such people. The recipients need not be friends of your age but could be teachers, friends of your parents or neighbours who have moved away.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

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They are rich who have true friends. Thomas Fuller

It is not said for nothing, that a dog is man’s best friend.  A dog is completely loyal, non judgmental, gives itself completely to its master and would never ever betray the trust placed in it. If there is a flaw in a dog, it is its inability to communicate in words, but there again it more than makes up by its phenomenal non verbal communication, the furious wag of its tail, snuggling up and its mournful demeanor when it senses tragedy and pain around. Can we claim to have a human friend who has all these attributes? If you can honestly say yes, then you are the RICHEST person in this world.

Our need for friendship and companionship emits from the reality that we are social creatures who cannot live in isolation. When seen from this point of view, it follows that we will naturally socialize, befriend people, perhaps dislike some and be indifferent to the vast majority. We would also identify some people with whom we share a good connect, feel comfortable in their company, trust them even though occasionally they may hurt you, rush to them when emergency calls and magnanimously forgive them when they may have wronged us. The common name given to such a relationship that evolves is friendship. It may begin as a casual acquaintance, with more interaction it can develop into a friendship, with proximity it can blossom into a good friendship and with intimacy and trust it can flower into an intimate friendship.

Most friendships would be seen as having a strong commonality like similar age group, social status, financial status, shared value systems and styles and of course common interests and strong mutual bonding. However, there could also plenty of friendships that hinge simply on the pure comfort level that people enjoy with no other major commonality to speak about. Comfort level holds the key to enduring friendships. We might have strongly differing views on many issues but if we have the comfort level and trust a strong friendship will naturally blossom and there would be strong ties that bind. In such intimate friendships there can be gross misunderstandings, deep hurts caused by one another and even the threat of broken friendship might loom in the background, but most intimate friendships over come it as long as the ego does not play spoilt sport. Saying sorry and the magnanimity of forgiveness must be embedded in an in the friendship to qualify to be called an intimate friendship.

The bond of friendship transcends widely differing thought process, diametrically opposite styles and even possibly complete different value systems simply because friends find a treasure of love that tramples over these differences.  Some friendships involve tremendous sacrifices like lovers who are hounded by societal pressures or standing by a friend accused of gross misdeeds. It is these visible examples of boding that become so priceless that such friends actually believe that they have the greatest treasure the treasure of enduring friendship. In some extreme cases, friendships may have to be sacrificed for it to be really realized as it would happen if two ardent lovers have to give up their passions just so that social stigma and ostracization will not make life hell for either one or both of the parties involved. The ultimate testimony to the riches of friendships is ironically in the sacrifice that a person makes with his life to ensure longevity for the friend. The battle field is resplendent with examples of such rich and heroic friendships.

Remember: “Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.”

Try this:

  1. Can you think of the 3 greatest sacrifices you have made for a friend? Did you feel these sacrifices were acknowledged by the friend? Do you regret not having stood by your friend at any time? Do you remember the time when a friend let you down badly? How did you feel and how did you react then?
  2. Read the poignant Eulogy to a Dog by George Graham Vest by clicking this link http://www.milwinkennel.com/poems/FaithfulFriend.htm

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

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Who seeks a faultless friend remains friendless. Turkish proverb

The greatest treasure a person can have apart from a loving family is the presence of  an intimate friend / s. Almost all of us are fortunate to have the luxury of a friend with whom we can be free, frank and forthright. Yet, there are many times when wished that our friend/s would not have certain qualities or mannerisms or vices or oddities that we dislike, despise and abhor. From time to time we could also get a feeling of being suffocated by the friends well intentioned but unwelcome attempts at demonstrating his/ her affection for us and /or inquisitiveness/ bluntness/ rigid stand etc. Despite these varied irritants, we value our friendship and passionately believe we can count on our friends when the chips are down or morale low or if we need their wise counsel.

While we are very clear in our mind that every person comes with a set of his/ her own unique mannerisms and characteristics, we gravitate towards those whom we are comfortable with, those who share some common sentiments with us and people with whom we can relate too even if they have sharply different views. In many friendships there might be very little commonality between friends and they might have very divergent backgrounds/ views ( for example friends from diverse ethnic/ religious/ cultural backgrounds) yet the bond remains because of the comfort that they share. Many good friends happily take a dig at each other’s oddities, quirks and idiosyncrasies without the slightest damage to their relationship and intimacy.

It is the odd ball who goes around with a magnifying glass, analyzing the faults of people who ends up being a very lonely soul. Obviously human nature being what it is, no one is perfect and every has  his/ her faults and it is virtually impossible to find an individual without blemish. The truly friendless person is one who seeks perfection in a friend and sadly keeps searching, hoping to meet an angel. There could be some people who have angelic qualities and will attempt to befriend the lonely soul but then a human in angel form will never be able to live down the earthling within… and the poor soul who is friendless remains so for he / she won’t accept any blemish …not even from an angel.

Remember: “A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.”

Try this:

  1. List out 3 friends and ask yourself if you can tell each of them 2 of their worst faults without alienating them or losing their friendship.
  2. Examine a couple of friendships that you developed in school days that have not endured today. Can you analyze what contributed to the going apart over the years? Was it the yawning physical distance or the chasm of ideological differences or the pressures of expectations from one another that could never be met or was it because of a serious misunderstanding or difference of opinion?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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

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