Valuable Lessons I’ve Taken Away From All of My Friendships

 
 
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The people in our lives are like pieces to a puzzle. We’re all connected in some way. I believe that friendships, both good and bad, help form us into better humans. Toxic friendships are never good, but in hindsight we can get a better understanding as to why we were in those friendships to begin with. Friendships can help us become aware of our insecurities, protect us from harmful experiences, open us up to some enlightening conversations, and influence us to be more authentic. Thankfully this has all been the case for me- so I wanted to take a moment to share what I’ve learned.

 
 

Sometimes the things you fear are the most beneficial for your growth.

I would still be deep inside of my dark shell if it weren’t for a couple of social butterflies who flew their way into my life. Thank you for pushing me outside of my comfort zone, time and time again. It would’ve been impossible to grow without the encouragement of my friends.

coffee made by a friend is the best kind.

I’m lucky to have friends who love coffee as much as I do. There’s nothing better than the coffee they make for me. Even if it’s brewed in a Mr. Coffee machine, it still the best. The conversations that follow are pretty sweet as well.

Sometimes it’s absolutely necessary to fly over 3,000 miles to see them.

Catching up and exploring a new city with a friend is a must. If you find that your friends are moving away, then why not chase them? Long distance friendships work- as long as you don’t let them drop off the face of the earth.

if they don’t dance with you, are they really your friend?

All of my friends know that I love to dance and not all of them are dancers (so they say). But they dance with me anyway. Even the subtlest dance moves (like a little shoulder, hip action) let me know they’re putting in effort to join me and it seriously warms my heart.

collaborative playlists take friendship to the next level.

When two or more people mix music together, it can tell a beautiful story. Whether it’s for a road trip, a party, or something random- I believe it’s almost another form of communication. When moody sister is throwing in some sad jams, maybe you need to check in with her. But if she’s throwing in some Blood Orange or Robyn- you know the vibe is good.

telepathy is real.

I can’t count how many times I’ve looked a friend in the eyes and just knew what they were thinking. Or we would communicate in a silent language to each other to get out of certain situations. I’m a huge believer in telepathy, but it can only be found in close, real relationships.

 
 
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There’s power in coordinative outfits.

When you can find a friend who isn’t offended when you match them, there’s power in that. If you really want the world to see your friendship, trying dressing up in a certain color scheme. Or, wear the same dress but in a different color. I had so much fun going out and mirroring looks with my friend. It made me feel like she was my sister- but now I realize it’s true. ‘Cause we all sisters out here.

always be honest.

Communication is key in friendships, no doubt. Finding the courage to say what you feel isn’t always easy, but when you have friends that make it easy for you- that’s when you know they are in it for the long run. They are there for you because they care about you.

Time spent in solitude can teach you more about yourself.

I’ve learned the difference between feeling lonely and being alone. My introverted soul needs time to recharge so that when I’m with the people I love I can be fully present with them. So I’m thankful to friends that give me space.

Embrace your innerchild.

When I’m around the people I love, it’s hard for me to suppress the playfulness that is within me. I believe everyone has this quality, but a lot of us shut it down in modern day society so that we ‘act our age’. I’m thankful to my friends for letting me be a child again around them and allowing me to express myself fully.

 
 
 
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hug and kiss your friends more.

It’s somewhat taboo to express affection in platonic relationships, so it seems. Thankfully the friends I’ve made along the way have broken that barrier for me- always welcoming me with bear hugs, lending me their lap to sleep on after a long night out, or a kiss of appreciation. Wanting to be touched is a basic human need. (Without it, we’re so much more susceptible to depression, stress, anxiety, loss in self-confidence and loss in drive and motivation!). I want to cherish every moment with the people I love with devotion.

emotions shouldn’t be feared and are (sometimes) best shared.

I find that the best way for me to cope in times of stress and anxiety is to vent to my close friends. Thank you for lending me your shoulder and your ears. There’s no greater gift a friend can give you than the gift of listening.

 
 
Payton RodewaldComment