Why You Still Need Freedom On Your Friendship

I must be getting older. It feels like the world I knew is changing right before my eyes. I imagine that is how every generation feels as they age. There have been both good and bad changes. Some have been necessary but some have come with decline.

I graduated from college in 2002 without a computer. I actually typed my papers. When I began my professional career in 2004, secretaries were still typing to dictation for a few of the old-timers at work. That same year, we got laptops. In 2007, we went online for reporting. In 2011, machines were brought in that we had to learn to use. By 2014, I was struggling to keep up.

I had to learn texting, social media and new gadgets. I recently found out that CDs are old. Since when? Now I have to upload my music! What happened to when we just answered a real phone and hand wrote a letter?

Customer service even seems to be a bygone. I went to a bead store that charged to wait on you. I walked right back out. Tips used to be for exceptional service. Now, they are expected.

Today, you can talk to someone but it may cost you. Granted, some counseling services are vital but now, people are charging big bucks for spiritual direction, life coaching and therapy. How many of these people know you inside and out or even care once the session is over or you cannot pay them?

Your best resource are your friends if they are good ones. You only need one. You’re blessed if you have more.

Chances are, your childhood or long-term friends know you as well as they know themselves. They would never charge a fee to talk or listen. They don’t judge, only give advice if they see you in harm’s way and love you in spite of your flaws. You do the same for them.

I’ve loved watching God at work in the lives of both my childhood friend and myself. Each time we talk, it is confirmed. Neither of us are perfect but we get more out of our conversations than any fee from a stranger could provide.

I’ve been trained in reflective listening and understand the purpose but I personally hate it when it is being used on me. I recognize it the second I hear it. I would much rather be with a friend who totally gets it.

One of the best out pours of love from a young woman at church once was when she showed up at my door with a huge basket of chocolate. She said, “I know you and this is a chocolate moment.” I said, “Oh, you’re good!”. That’s what I’m talking about.

Between Social Media And Friendship

Weeks ago, I had lunch with one of my best friends at McDonald’s. We talked about many things to catch up since we were both busy from work. We talked about our other friends. How are they? What are they up to? Do we still communicate with them? Sadly, the answer relies on social media. We are updated because of what they post. From time to time my best friend and I would check our phones. At some point, we were quiet and not talk with each other because of the other people online that we are also connected at the moment. By the time I was done, I put down my phone but she wasn’t. So I just ate my fries and looked around. And there they are – all the same. A father holding her daughter while talking to someone on the phone. A group of girls who seemed to not know each other after taking one too many selfies, now editing photos and picking which will get more likes on Facebook and those oldies who kept talking and laughing loudly about something funny in the past. At that moment, I remembered Gary Turks’s poem entitled “Look Up”.

I took a step back, and opened my eyes,
I looked around, and the realized
That this media we call social, is anything but
When we open our computers, and it’s our doors we shut.

Turk pointed out the negative effects of social media in a very creative way. But he made it clear in his YouTube channel that he have nothing against it, “this film is about the times we choose it over real connections and experiences.”

As of January 2016, about 2.2 Billion people all over the world are active social media users, conducted by Global Web Index. In this plugged-in world, having friends is just a click away. The question is, are they really your friends? And if so, how are you guys? Social media made us easy for us to connect and reconnect with our family, relatives and friends. But the quality of relationships is at risk. A study done by Robin Dunbar, a psychology professor at Oxford University, shows that you can count on only a few online friends during hardships (4.1%) while the other so-called friends (13.6%) only send their compassion through texts and other messaging flatforms. He also coined the term Dunbar’s number. It is a theory in which states that a person can only maintain 150 stable relationship in his lifetime.

Case in point: maintaining friendships over so many medium is challenging. But this may be a test of friendship after all. If you are in turmoil of the status of your friendship with anyone in particular. It may help to take time to think it over because ending relationship is messy. Since friendship is mostly based on communication, here are some questions you need to ask yourself before breaking up with your friends.

1. Do I get excited or irritated on my friends postings?
This could be a sign that both of you have drifted apart. The things you once liked or shared together no longer interest both of you. And even if you see each other again, it is just not the same.

2. Do I secretly rant over our friendship?
If you are doing this, you are not communicating well with each other. Misunderstanding can happen anytime. Do not let it spoil your relationship. If your friend keeps posting and tagging to make you feel humiliated or betrayed, talk it over.

3. Do we see each other face-to-face?
Staying connected online is not the same with having conversations in person. You can detect if a friend is sincere or not when you are together.

4. Am I the only one in this friendship who is trying to make it work?
Friendship is between people and not a relationship with yourself. If you tried communicating with no response or worse, seenzoned, maybe he/she ended it before you even realized.

To get my best friend’s attention, I sarcastically told her in a higher tone than my usual to stop it. She stopped and we continued talking. We didn’t take any pictures of how our day went or posted anything online for the world to see that we are very good friends and had fun together that day. We keep the balance of the use of social media and our friendship. And if you are considering to end things with your BFF, you might want to think it through. Break ups are not easy after investing a lot of yourself for your friendship. Remember, social media and friendship is a perfect combination to revive relationships before it dies out.

How To Remember Long Lost Friends

I don’t remember when they first popped up in my life, but I suspect I was about four years old. My memories before kindergarten are few. The family living room was the first room you entered as you came in the front door. We lived in a two family house on the first floor, with my grandparents on the second floor. They actually owned the home which was located on a busy avenue in a small New Jersey city.

My imaginary friends lived in the wall behind the front door. I would knock on the wall and press my face up against it trying to look through the painted sheet rock to catch a glimpse of their world. I guess I created Cooney, Chetty and Susan because I wanted someone to play with. I was so ahead of my time creating a virtual play date.

Usually when asked if they wanted to play, Susan was most times the only one who could, because Chetty and Susan were always going to Florida and leaving Susan home. I felt bad for her. We would dance for hours in the living room, doing fabulous stunts off of the hassock looking at ourselves in the wall of mirrors my parents had installed at the time. That was the style in the 70’s. We had an entire wall of mirror tiles with a crackle film overlay. So hip! Oh, don’t dare get your fingerprints on them though as you would hear the wrath of my mother. It was one of the many things that ticked her off.

I remember running over to the half wall in between the dining room and the kitchen as my father and mother were seated finishing dinner, telling them tales of my friends and just sitting there chewing and nodding their heads as if this was normal and just fine with them. I was friggin’ crazy and they let me go with it. If I’m being truthful, I always had the feeling they thought I was a bit off.

Can’t recall when my friends disappeared and we stopped playing together, but I have yet to doubt their existence. I wonder why I named them these crazy names. I mean Susan is mainstream, but Cooney and Chetty? Their names are as familiar as the friends I had in elementary school. I have no recollection of their appearance. That will forever remain a mystery.

Experts would say children develop imaginary friends to help deal with change or times of transition. Maybe subconsciously I knew that my life would change soon, sort of a sixth sense, because up until this point I think we were happy as a family. Again my memories at this age and younger are sparse. All I do know is my imaginary friends were comforting to me, like a blankie or stuffed animal.

How To Eliminate Conflict With Your Partner

It’s just another day, I hate it, just another day! I get up, do my every morning thing, carry in my right hand, my coffee cup and drag myself to the car and drive to my work.

I don’t tolerate my wife to say too much because she is a “zero” and nothing else than trash can food. The moment she tries to communicate with me, I simply cut her off and finally she get the message not to bother me with all that crap and nonsense!

She is a failure anyway, so why should I listen! Live moves on day after day, after month, after year and nothing is changing. A couple of years and hopefully I’m dead, great, nobody will miss me! Whining, Whining, Whining…

No kidding, that sound like not a good relationship if you ask me, why the approach to the opposite party? A relationship is not to criticize instead help each other, lift each other, make each other feel darn good and important, as well be mindful with our thoughts.

Being on the same page with our partner is the number one requirement in order to live that united life together. We could say: “thinking and caring about each other at all time is a serious responsibility.”

Being negative towards the opposite party can create as much as being positive and will affect both our life experience. Attract the beliefs and desires from each other will create harmony in any relationship.

So, is this just another moody day and who is the moody person here, both parties might ask themselves that question. Does life exist of working, criticizing, offending, down playing, I’m much better than you, yelping? NO! With capital letters.

Our success and failures are not caused by “the world out there” but by the love, care we carry inside our heart. This is not a brain surgery neither high technology and we don’t need to spend years of psychoanalysis to find the way to respect.

A negative mindset drains your energy and create a self-perpetuating cycle of disappointments, worry, fear to fail and fear to make a mistake. The other site of the coin is that positive thinking creates hope and self believe. With a little bit of mental pushing power we should be able to control our mindset.

Let’s sit down here for a short moment and ask our self about the person who is working and working and does not believe in quality of life, so that person spend a big time of the day in a stress full environment, get ruled by the clock, the upper level authorities, appointments, customers, fighting for its own little space in the company, and much more.

Coming home late in the evening, rest for some hours and take off the next morning again is sure not enough to unwind all the stress. So let’s assume that both parties are moody the moment they are in each others neighborhood.

Here are the 15 ways to eliminate the moody moments:

You remember what I said in the beginning of this story; “The moment she tries to communicate with me, I simply cut her off and finally she get the message not to bother me with all that crap and nonsense!” Here is the answer to the problem of not being able to listen to a family member, instead simply cut off the person and depreciate that party.

Let’s wrap this up and nail some solid points down that might clear the air for both individuals:

1. Don’t try to do many things at once!

2. Prioritize, let them know, and do the essential things first!

3. Don’t take on everything yourself!

4. Learn to say politely “No”

5. Meetings should be to the point and not dragging on!

6. Going home, close the door of your job. Coming home, take your rest for some minutes, sit down, relax, rewind, think about the daily blessings and have a little talk with your partner!

7. Be an open book for your partner and don’t live a secret life created by” the life of fear to fail”

8. Don’t let the job take over your life!

9. Take your days off, take a chair and sit down somewhere you can relax and dream away without any noise around you and being bothered!

10. Force yourself to exercise on a daily base and definitely on the days off!

11. Create a hobby that grabs your attention!

12. Create a mile post of accomplishment with that hobby!

13. Learn to count your blessings in life and do NOT take everything for granted!

14. Do not answer the cell phone on your days off!

15. Fight for your own space in life and do not allow others to influence you and make a different “You” out of “You”

Here you have it, I didn’t leave any ingredient out!