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Authentic Friendship ~ What is it and How to Build It

authentic friendship what it is and how to build it

Authentic Friendship; Important or Overrated?

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Authenticity and transparency in friendships within the body of Messiah are but necessary. Without genuineness, relationships fail. Or remain shallow and fall by the wayside. Authentic friendship is worth a little extra effort, am I right?

What is Transparency in a Relationship?

1. Having the property of transmitting rays of light so that bodies can be distinctly seen through; pervious to light; diaphanous; pellucid; as transparent glass; a transparent diamond; opposed to opake.

2. Admitting the passage of light; open porous; as a transparent vail.

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

Next, let’s apply these definitions to our relationships. Just ponder transparency for a moment. Do you have any transparent relationships? Do you think you should?

As scary as it may seem to allow another human being to see the real you, relationships without authenticity are seldom satisfying. Having a spouse and/or friend that accepts you for exactly who you are and where you are is a beautiful thing.

Authentic Friendship Definition; Hearing Each Other

Knowing that those you are in a close relationship with are willing to try to understand you and listen to your perspective should a disagreement come up is beyond priceless.

Without a doubt, people who are able to step outside of their perspectives to try to understand someone else make the best sort of friends. Likewise, those who are not offended when someone thinks differently than they do, are a joy to be around.

How to Build Authentic Friendships

In her article How to Create Authentic Friendship

Dr. Gail Gross states

 “Friends should be loyal and validate you, be there when you need them, support your dreams and goals, be mutual and trustworthy.”

Do you ever find yourself insisting on your perspective as correct? Shutting another person down without putting some effort into hearing and understanding what they are desiring to communicate? This is an area we can all grow in and mature in. Sooner rather than later.

You will find that folks willing to get past themselves are a rare and precious breed. But hold out for those friends! They are worth the love and delight they will bring to your life. Be discerning and take an honest look at the current friendships you are putting time into.

See my posts that show the opposite of authentic friendships and how to build them – difficult people and when friendships go wrong.

The lack of divisiveness in a transparent friendship or marriage is extraordinary. Indeed, when you take the effort to be open and ‘see through’ and your counterpart does the same – you have the makings for a Jonathan and David friendship.

Additionally, the ability to bear one another’s burdens in the passion of 1 Corinthians 13 is worth dying to ourselves and loving each other in the same way as we love ourselves.

Authentic Friendships are Cultivated

Habits that Cultivate Healthy Relationships

You can cultivate healthy authentic friendships and relationships with loved ones using the habits that bring you together, like traditions or enjoyable activities you do together. Here are 5 activities that can help form healthy relationships and encourage authentic friendships.

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Authentic Friendship includes Quality Time

Spend quality time together. Create fun activities together. Simply put, this can be as simple as sharing a meal together occasionally. Sharing a meal creates the opportunity to catch up and share what’s going on in each other’s lives. It’s a time to laugh and exchange stories. Sharing meals allows you to be open and to truly know each other or offer support.

Enjoy regular experiences together. Go to a sports event together. Put together a friends or family kickball game at the local park. Share a picnic and nature walk with a good friend. Attend your children’s events with each other. 

Authentic Friendship Needs Nurturing

Show respect to one another. Secondly, nurture affection and show that you care about the other person in simple ways such as calling them occasionally just to talk or bringing them a meal when they are stressed. Lastly, respect and affection can help maintain peace when disagreements happen. Do your best to speak calmly and without irritation. Be mindful of the other person’s feelings. Listen intently to each others’ concerns. 

Communicate your feelings and thoughts – we really can’t read each other’s minds. Engage in real and meaningful conversations with your friends. Share your feelings, experiences, or achievements. Be constructive and kind in your feedback when others ask for your opinion.

Show your appreciation for each other by taking an interest in each other’s lives. Talk about what’s going on in your life, your job, and the event’s that happen during the day. 

Take the time to implement habits that cultivate authentic friendships. Once you start treating others with respect, courtesy, and compassion your relationships will become healthier and happier.

Authentic vs Toxic Friendships True Friend or Toxic Friend

Signs You May Be in a Toxic Friendship

 Sometimes it can be hard to know if you are involved in a toxic relationship. If that is the case, it’s time to look for the following five signs because they might be toxic if you see them in your relationship. If you are uncertain if your relationship is toxic, there are five telltale signs to watch out for. If present, it could mean that the relationship is unhealthy and should be reconsidered.

Recognize Toxic Relationships – Feeling Isolated?

Do you feel like you need

Quality therapy

 to help yourself through? I trust Calmerry.

Do you feel your partner or friend doesn’t want to share with you? Do they tend towards jealous behavior? If they lack respect and make you feel like everyone else in your life isn’t good enough, this is not a healthy friendship.

They may do this because they want more attention from you and don’t want to share you with other people. It also helps them to be able to control you better because it will be more difficult for you to leave the relationship when they are your only support system. 

Real Friend, True Friend, vs Toxic Friend?

Authentic friends are supportive friends. Unhealthy friendships, whether it’s a friend or a partner, may try to change you, However, they should be in a relationship with you because they like being with you. They shouldn’t try to change you or talk down about the things that make you unique. A healthy relationship will always be one of support and encouragement, while an unhealthy one will tell you everything you are doing wrong. 

Differences Between Good Friends and Toxic Friends

 Whenever a relationship has a lot of jealousy, it is never a healthy thing. If your friend is jealous of the time you spend with other people or jealous of things the other gets to do, then this is not a good sign. The relationship is likely toxic because neither of you feels confident being your authentic self. 

If the friendship is toxic, keep reading for tips on how to respond and get free.

An authentic friend is the type of friend that you can disagree with, but also make you feel like that isn’t a problem.

When Friends are Subtly Toxic

 The thing about toxic relationships is, they are usually one-sided. One person in 

the relationship gets everything they want, while the other feels mostly ignored or unimportant.

Ask a psychologist for advice on this sort of friendship and they are likely to point you toward learning about narcissism.  

This can be a subtle issue, yet when you reflect and listen to what your heart is telling you – you may recognize there is no joy for you in this friendship.

Another Sign of a Bad Friendship

When you are in a healthy relationship, you will maintain outside friendships and have time with family. In a toxic relationship, the partner will be your everything. This is by design—because it makes it easier for them to control you and harder for you to leave. It also makes it easier to get their way. This is the number one sign that a relationship is toxic. 

What are the 5 Signs of a Toxic Friend?

  1. Social isolation
  2. they try to change you
  3. there is jealousy
  4. everything is about them
  5. the relationship has become all-encompassing

Overall, if you see one or more of these signs in your current relationship, then it could be toxic. Since toxic relationships rarely get better on their own, it is probably better for you to begin to look for help to leave the relationship. 

This post is dedicated to my authentic friend, Gloria.
And to my amazing transparent husband. I love you Hubby!

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