Thanks for joining me.
In this episode, my associates and I are focusing on friendship. We hope the thoughts and ideas we share serve you well as you consider your friendships and whether they satisfy you along with satisfying your friends.
Let’s start by considering the role of self-awareness in making and keeping friends.
Let me kick things off by asking,
“Why is it important for friends to be self-aware?”
Self-awareness is a key component of emotional intelligence, and emotional intelligence is essential for building and maintaining healthy relationships. When friends are self-aware, they are better able to understand their own feelings and behaviors, which can help them communicate more effectively with each other and can prevent misunderstandings and conflicts. Self-awareness also enables friends to be more empathetic and understanding towards each other, which is vital for developing strong and long-lasting friendships. Overall, friends who are self-aware are better equipped to navigate the complexities of human relationships and are more likely to be supportive and caring towards one another.
What happens when friends are not self-aware?
When friends are not self-aware, it can lead to a number of issues in their relationship. For example, they may have difficulty understanding their own emotions and behaviors, making it harder for them to communicate effectively with each other. They may also struggle to see things from each other’s perspective, leading to misunderstandings and conflicts. In some cases, friends who are not self-aware may be insensitive to each other’s needs and feelings, straining their relationship and even leading to the breakdown of the friendship.
Additionally, they may struggle with personal growth and development. Without a clear understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses, they may have difficulty setting and achieving goals, impacting their overall happiness and success in life.
While it’s possible for friends who are not self-aware to have a good relationship, the lack of self-awareness can make it more challenging and lead to a range of issues that may negatively impact the friendship.
So how can friends become more self-aware?
Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment in a non-judgmental way. It can help friends become more aware of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
Engage in self-reflection: Friends can set aside time to reflect on their emotions and behaviors. This can involve journaling, meditating, or simply taking a walk and thinking about how they’re feeling.
Seek feedback from others: Friends can ask each other for honest feedback on their strengths and weaknesses. This can help them develop a more accurate understanding of themselves.
Read self-help books: There are many books and resources available that can help friends develop self-awareness. For example, the book “Emotional Intelligence 2.0” by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves can help friends learn how to improve their emotional intelligence.
Consider seeking professional help: If friends are struggling with their relationship, they may benefit from seeing a therapist or counselor who can help them develop more accurate self-awareness.
Developing self-awareness and strengthening friendships are continuous processes that require conscious effort and practice. Friends who make an effort to become more self-aware can strengthen their relationship and become more supportive and respectful toward each other.
Ok, I get that self-awareness is important, especially when I’m spending time with my good friend. But are there things I can specifically focus on or steps I can take to keep things on a more even keel?
before you invest a lot of time and energy in ramping up your personal friendship quotient, you may want to consider whether the other person really is a good friend prospect for the long hall. Here are some important questions you can ask yourself about the person who you call your friend.
Is he or she consistent or are things between you more up and down, on again off again?
Is he or she positive about life and your relationship most of the time or hard to figure sometimes?
Does he or she make an effort to keep your relationship on solid ground?
Does he or she make good choices and decisions for him/herself and for your relationship?
Does he or she know what’s really important to you, what you value and what pushes your buttons?
Is he or she up-front with you about what he/she wants and needs from your friendship?
Does he or she refrain from being bossy or trying to control you?
Is he or she someone who you want in your commercial, (We are known by the company we keep.) someone by whom you are comfortable having others judge you?
Is he or she dependable, someone you can count on?
Is he or she interested in you and your activities?
Is he or she a good influence on you?
Is he or she a good listener?
Is he or she considerate of you, your feelings, your interests?
Is he or she patient with you and your little quirks?
Does he or she hang in there with you when things are not going as well as usual?
Even if your friend gets a thumbs up from you for all of the questions, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she is a good friend prospect for the long hall. It’s one of those chemistry things. Sometimes the mix just doesn’t work.
But here’s the point. If any of the questions gets a solid thumbs down,you may do well to take that red flag seriously. No need to expand on that. Just don’t dismiss it as unimportant or trivial.
Here’s the self-awareness test.
Revisit the questions and rate how well you do as a friend. For example, as a friend, are you consistent or are you more up and down, on again off again?
I’ll bet you get the idea. Friendship is a two-way street. Just as it works to evaluate the other person as a friend, it can be helpful to assess how well you are doing in the being a friend department. Just how self-aware are you and how much effort are you making to be sure you are holding up your side of the friendship?
That’s definitely some food for thought. I guess we can all do well to consider whether we are doing as well at being a friend as we expect our friends to do. There’s that self-awareness thing again.
Thanks for spending your time with me. I appreciate it and hope you have found your investment worthwhile.