Every relationship goes through its ups and downs but an old friendship is worth preserving because it's a source of comforting joy on both good days and bad.
I learnt a little something about it last week when a friend visited my city after two years and messaged me asking to meet up. The last time we had met, it had ended on an unpleasant note so I told him I wouldn’t be able to come. He insisted so I told him clearly that he had been an ass the last time we met and thus, my lack of interest.
He said sorry immediately even though he was unclear of what he had done and asked to meet so he could clear it out and move forward. He added that he valued our friendship and wouldn’t want my unpleasant memories to fester any longer.
I agreed and met him. I told him what he had done that set me off. He apologised again, and said he hadn’t intended it and asked me why I hadn’t told him earlier. Long story short, I forgave him within minutes of meeting up (because I valued our friendship too) after which we were back being our old selves and laughing at each other.
Every relationship goes through ups and downs. To maintain a long-term relationship:
1) Say what you feel CLEARLY and DIRECTLY. It’s the easiest way to communicate a problem. Stop smiling if you don’t feel like it. Stop pretending that everything’s okay when it’s not.
2) APOLOGISE quickly rather than letting your ego get in the way. Even with the best intentions, we can still hurt people. An apology works like a balm. Use it SOONER than later.
3) Let it go aka FORGIVE and move on. If you hold on to the past, it’ll consume both your present and future.
Friendships are an integral part of life. They nourish us, support us and give us a reason to smile when there may not be many others. Hold on to your friends and tell them that you value their presence in your life because there’s no replacement for relationships. They contribute DIRECTLY and in a BIG WAY to our happiness. And life’s too short anyway. Why spend it being upset with each other when you can spend it laughing at each other? :)
TO-DO: Is there a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while and miss? Get in touch, tell them you’ve missed them. We all want to be valued. Tell someone today you value what they bring to your life.