We need to ask three crucial questions:
- When do we get involved?
- When do we quit?
- When do we keep investing?
When do we get involved?
I think I answered that question in a previous blog, “Four factors in a friendship”. I listed Common Interests, Common Values, Chemistry and Trust.
When you have all four, the friendship sparkles, glows, energy is received and given back. When one is missing, the friendship is going to slide or perhaps take a back seat. When the crucial element of Trust is missing, the friendship is doomed.
When do we quit?
In that blog, the deal-breaker for me is when someone holds a grudge and refuses to mend broken bridges. The typical scenario is the person who just ghosts you. I know of longsuffering friends who will hang on and make excuses for bad behavior. I have observed that denial doesn’t really solve the problem; rather, it prolongs it. Those friendships end despite their efforts.
Will I keep investing in a friendship that has negative returns? Probably not.
When do we keep investing?
What are the returns that we may look for in a friendship? For me, it is the freedom of being understood; that the other party isn’t going to second-guess everything I say; that if she doesn’t understand or has a negative perception of what I say or do, she won’t take the role of judge, jury and executioner.
She will ask and listen for my perspective. She doesn’t allow the prejudices of third parties to sway her thinking — she will observe for herself. She will allow time to show her the truth. She will also allow for the possibility that some of her negative reactions could be the result of her projecting her inner hurts at me.
When I was working full-time in church and in charge of many of the younger generation, I found that some of them had mother issues. Not all, fortunately. But my ears always perk up when they say, “You’re just like my mother!” Actually, time will tell that I’m not like their mum, not at all!
Are all the disappointments in friendships worth the risk? Yes, yes and yes.
The benefits of having good friends by my side, tried and tested through time, outweigh all the disappointments of having friends who were less than what I had expected. The rewards outweigh the losses. So, I will continue risking.
After all, I am an investor.
2 thoughts on “Investing in a Friendship”
This is such good content, Kathlyn. Thank you for summarizing your posts in one place. The part about how people sometimes project their inner hurts onto others is a good one.
My current struggle is I work with someone who is difficult to get along with. We need to cooperate to get the job done, and this is getting harder to do.
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So sorry to hear that. I know how frustrating this is. May the Lord give you wisdom, discernment and the strategy to tackle this.
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