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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?

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 at 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.

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 one 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 your 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 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.

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

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