Through the best of times and ideally through the worst of times, there are people in our lives who we can count on for support, an open mind, and a caring nurturing way of being – who sometimes feel like they are more family than our own blood relatives – our friends.
True friends, are those dear souls who we celebrate life with, grow with, share in the spice of life with, and who support us through our tough times as we also support through theirs.
Just speaking with a friend who unconditionally loves you and will listen to what you have to say without judgement, and instead holds the space for you to ‘get it out’, is absolutely important and useful to our evolution as people.
Friendship, though, is not just a one way street. A true friendship is a mutual exchange of aligned connection. This means supporting each other, listening to each other, working together through the thick and thin of life, doing best to stay open to each other even if there are issues between the two.
I hope that you are like me and have had close friendships with a variety of incredible people throughout your life.
At the same time I have seen the reality that relationships can change dramatically over time.
I remember having nearly 0 friends growing up – until high school, when my whole life changed. I had a dream high school experience with many great friendships and many great adventures and experiences. I recall overall, that high school life just seemed to get better and better each year – The movies American Pie and High School Musical, to a degree (and without singing), mirror my teen experiences. I even recall times when my group of male friends and I would go out, it felt like we were a posse of sorts!
After high school and into University, although I made many friendships while some old ones dissolved, my dream social life continued up until my 3rd year, when most of us became more serious about having to face the idea of what type of ‘career’ we would pursue when we completed school for the first time in our lives within 1 or two years.
Life began to change – not just for me, but for everyone I knew. Friends moved to different cities, different countries, began having families and of course priorities changed. This was and is the natural flow of life and of the rhythm of being human; it is also the law of attraction.
Over the past year especially, I have noticed a dramatic change in friendships both personally as well as for many many countless others I speak with.
As someone who is a natural ‘giver’ and who many would agree with is a ‘giver’ I know one when I meet one and throughout my life I have met many.
One particular change or trend that I have noticed over the past year is the number of friendships that are changing. Perhaps over the past couple of years you have seen a number of friendships decrease or dissolve and have been wondering ‘what the #@*% is going on?’
The great news is you are not alone!
Many ‘givers’ are awakening. ‘Givers’ give to others and truly care about others, while expecting little to nothing in return.
(You are likely a ‘giver’ if you read these Be-Inspired articles or blogs.)
You see, ‘givers’ typically give and have little to nothing left for themselves. ‘Givers’ are also not very good at receiving as they have been practicing and have become masters at giving not receiving. ‘Givers’ typically fight for the underdog, want the best for everyone, and often ‘wear their hearts on their sleeve’.
For those of us who are like this, we are entering interesting times. For those of us considered ‘givers’, we have a great number of friends who we likely consider as friends and who are great receivers. In fact, when it comes to the law of attraction, people who give typically attract those who receive just as ‘receivers’ typically attract ‘givers’.
In most cases, both ‘givers’ and ‘receivers’ do what we do to such an extreme, that we were likely ‘givers’ or ‘receivers’ since we were very young and without any awareness whatsoever.
Recently though, those of us who give, while at the same time are not great at receiving, are beginning to awaken.
As a giver who is awakening who is now looking for respect, care, a helping ear from the receiving ‘friends’, it is becoming very obvious and common that those ‘friends’ – the ‘receivers’, are not willing, not interested, or do not have the drive to do so. This results in the ‘givers’ feeling a rift with these ‘friends’ and a ‘parting of ways’ or the connection dissolving.
This ‘phenomenon’ has been growing over the past year and the realization that is arising from the awakening is that those ‘friendships’ were possibly and likely not necessarily true friendships in the first place, but rather more of a reciprocal and mutually beneficial relationship between a ‘giver’ and a ‘receiver’.
Some of the indicators or potential flags that show that you might be in this type of conditional ‘giver’ and ‘receiver’ relationship vs an authentic unconditional friendship include the receivers saying or showing:
-“My family is my priority and I just can’t take time away from them”
(ironically, when THEY NEED you, they will take time away from their family to get your help for themselves)
-‘Time’ or ‘scheduling’ issues’ in getting together with you
-Forgetfullness and therefore missing schedule get-togethers – after the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th times
-You will hear from them when THEY want to speak with you, rather than when you contact them
– this is usually clear when you leave messages and they do not return your call until they are ready (meaning longer than a few days)
-They say they will call, e-mail, or text you but do not until it is convenient for them or at all
These indicators are more common that one would think and it is important to acknowledge that these are potential signs that the ‘friendship’ is likely not mutual and that conversations need to be had to sort it out or to just let them go.
Five Powerful Elements to Consider About Friendships:
- True friendship is about mutual exchange and respect of each other – giving to each other, supporting each other, and growing together – with no excuses.
- To experience and attract true friendships – that include respecting you, who you are, and your opinion about life – YOU must respect you, who you are, and your own opinion about life and not accept friendships that will do anything less.
- To develop a true friendship, rather than a 50/50 inauthentic connection, giving unconditionally is a must. This is different from giving and then expecting the other to give back, which would constitute a conditional ‘friendship’.
- It is important to be at peace with being on your own and without friendships. This will be far more useful than having ‘one-sided friendships’ that you give your power and energy away to. Although at the same time, be open to the fact that new ones will come in.
- Be compassionate and give your ‘friends’ A second chance… not 5 second chances, not 10 second chances, A second chance… a chance to show that they are also willing to and interested in supporting, giving to, and growing the friendship.
I have gone through several stages in my own life, in which the friendships I had were with people I considered as my soul brothers and sisters. Over time, as their focus and priorities changed and as did mine it was inevitable that those connections would end or simply not exist as they once did.
The light, at the end of tunnel so-to-speak, is that along with your changes and a clearer understanding of what you are looking for in a true friendship, new friendships will also enter into your life.
Now that we, as ‘givers’, are becoming more conscious about learning how to give AND hopefully practicing receiving, new friendships that are created will have a wonderful potential to last for the rest of this lifetime.
If you are reading this and realizing that you are more of a ‘receiver’, and YOU are awakening as well, consider this an opportunity to reconnect with those ‘givers’ who have likely been giving all along.
Show your gratitude to them – call them, tell them how important they are to you because of who they are (not because they give to you and you still need them). More importantly – be committed to the connection and to growing it, respecting them and being a part of a true friendship in giving and/or supporting them on the few occasions they call out to you for help.
Either way, although it is not easy sometimes to let go of once important connections, it is important to do so to allow the even more profound connections that are awaiting you.
As some of the old ‘friendship’ doors close, many new wondrous ones are about to open!
you never can be old
for as you were ~
when first your eyes I eyed,
such seems your ~
Wondeful article, Joshua. Thank you for your continued help here in these words. I will also be sending it to a number of my own friends too.
You are very welcome! What continues to amaze me is how much there is to friendships, fostering them, supporting them, releasing them, and to learn and experience from them! Lifelong learning at its best!
Once again you tapped into my brain! LOL Thank you Joshua for always ‘GIVING’ me insight on how to continue to grow into the authentic person I am meant to be for myself and those around me.
You are welcome! Sending my best to you as always!
I am in a newer friendship where we are both “givers” and are alomost the same personality wise. I thought it would be great and now Im coming to the realization it might be a problem or am I just used to takers not givers in my life?
You are bringing up a great point and the focus for another article coming out soon… A relationship cannot work with two takers, but can it exist with two givers?
The key here is that it IS important to be able to receive and shift out of giving mode in ‘receiver’ mode both for one’s personal and professional growth, but also because you have to re charge sometimes.
Givers have difficult receiving for many reasons some include:
1. Givers are locked on to giving out not receiving in and it can feel ‘weird’ or uncommon to receive compared the feeling of giving that they are so used to.
2. Givers are usually highly sensitized to others… some people may appear to be giving, when they are really taking. This is an article unto itself.
3. The best way to practice learning how to receive is to treat yourself very well. Give to yourself and consciously acknowledge receiving from yourself. Take yourself on dates and ALLOW yourself to enjoy them. Eat foods that honour your body, go to a spa every now and then, go for walks in nature in and ALLOW yourself to enjoy them. Finally begin to practice with your newer friendship the art of giving and receiving unconditionally with each other. This means no strings attached.
If you two can begin to practice this, and respect and honour each other in practicing giving and receiving, you can develop a beautiful friendship ‘made in heaven’!
I really enjoyed reading this post on so many levels! My best friend and I are both givers and the friendship is amazing. We give and take from each other mutually, and we have only been best friends for about 6-7 months but I can truly say I have never had such a deep relationship with anyone except for my husband. I sent this link to her because she has had a lot of takers angry and upset with her because- in my opinion- she is giving emotionally and physically to me. They feel I do not deserve such attentions because they have been friends longer. By reading this article she has come to realize the root issue is that they are pretty much all takers. You brought a lot of clarity to the both us and we each had AHA moments reading this. Thanks again!
You are very welcome! That is wonderful. It is a beautiful thing when you connect with another person and both of you are open to giving and receiving with each other. This is a true friendship!
Glad you both gained from this article! More to come, especially on this topic of friendship. My best to you both! Joshua
I was wondering if you can help me get clarity on this “friendship”. This lady calls me once a month or so and wants to go for a hike. Usually I am busy or something and she always seems miffed that I can’t go and have other things planned. The truth is I said let me call you. So she says,”Does that mean don’t call me, I’ll call you?” Gee! The way she talks upsets me. What’s going on here?
You got it Constance! You are very welcome!