By Chardonnay Beaver
According to an article published by Healthline, stress reduction and emotional support are two ways our health benefits from good friendships.
Although these two benefits are significant, I don’t support the criteria used to measure a good friend in this article. For instance, the article stated “validating your feelings” and “helping distract you when you feel sad or upset” are signs of an emotionally supportive friend.
In my opinion, our society encourages friendships that promote convenience rather than wholeness.
An emotionally supportive friend is someone who acknowledges your frustrations, but participates in outcomes that will aid your future. An emotionally supportive friend shows-up for you because they learned the art of showing-up for themselves. An emotionally supportive friend doesn’t shy-away from difficult conversations, but engages wholeheartedly with gentleness and care– seeking understanding and resolve.
In part, many friendships end because of differing emotional capacities. Imagine a friendship between two individuals. One individual endures hardship that shifts their practices. These practices were integral in establishing their friendship. The other friend continues these practices that encourage emotional stagnancy.
Stagnation occurs when the motivation that once fueled you burns out. Oftentimes, we describe this as “feeling stuck.”
As a result, this individual believes they’ve outgrown the emotional capacity of this friendship. This breakdown in their friendship is an opportunity for growth. They’ll decide whether to grow together or continue to grow apart.
Words of Wisdom by Char of the Week: Don’t be content with simply getting along to avoid being alone. Be the friend you seek to have by being the person you were designed to be. Amos 3:3