Whether it's between a mother and son, father and daughter, a married couple, or a grandparent and toddler. What really thrives in any relationship is friendship.
Often, we get carried away by the expectations we have in our relationships.
Although done very innocently, we expect people to behave a certain way. We expect them to be like us and do things we would do. And this is what troubles a relationship.
When we expect something of someone, we are unconsciously creating a foundation for disappointment. How are they to know what you expect? How are you to know what they are wanting and needing in your relationship with them? So in essence, it's not the other person creating this disappointment for us, it's our expectation of them.
Our Expectations are learned from many years of being conditioned by our surroundings to what it means for us to be In a certain relationship.
Take for example, a married couple in the traditional sense.
Depending on what part of the world we grow up in, Society has already decided for us what each is meant to do In a relationship together. And then we work tirelessly to meet these expectations.
All of which are made up.
Friendship is different.
When you have a relationship based on friendship, it's simply a place you go to give. It's not based on any expectation. It has no agenda so you're not always looking to get something from it. You are there because you simply enjoy the company. You enjoy giving yourself to this person you call a friend.
Friendship is the same no matter what part of the world you're in, because it carries with it the innocence of childlike qualities. You are allowed to be completely yourself In a friendship. It is the most evolved relationship right from the beginning. There is no need for further complications.
There are studies that show couples who get divorced go back to being great friends with each other after the divorce, because they have now dropped the expectations that came with being spouses.
They are back to the simplicity of friendship.
Think of a friend you currently have in your life. You are most likely friends with each other because you simply enjoy each other's company. You enjoy spending time with this person. You like to see them and maybe share a meal with them. You catch up on each other's lives and share a few laughs. It's simple being friends. There are no expectations to meet.
See, It's only when we start to label our relationships that expectations of these labels come into play and have us start to live from an ideology of the meaning we are making them out to be.
With the labels comes an agenda.
If we are father and son, we have to live up to what that means in society. If we are husband and wife, we unconsciously bind ourselves to what that's suppose to mean. But If we are friends, all of a sudden, we will only enjoy each other's company.
Friendship is a pure and innocent relationship because we can truly be our genuine selves as friends. We don't have to meet an outside agenda.
Imagine being friends with your spouse, parents or grandparents.
How would it be different? Would it be more fun?
It was just like that when we were children.
Children can be our greatest teachers in relationships.
They will be friends with anyone, but as soon we start to label their relationships, confusions and limitations come in to play. They start to develop a personality to fit into these labeled relationships and each label comes with a different set of behaviours. If we leave them to be friends only, they will be themselves.
We are the same as adults. If we can form relationships on the basis of friendship with the people in our lives, we will enjoy them just as they are and we won't try and turn them into an image we harbour of what it means to be in a specific relationship.
Be friends with your parents, your wife/husband. Girl/boyfriend, aunt/uncle, grandparents and neighbours. Because in friendship, we can humbly enjoy each other, and that's really the only goal we should have of any relationship in our lives. To enjoy each other's company.
If you look at any relationship that you consider successful whether it is a spousal or family, you can see that the basis of a truly thriving relationship will always be friendship.
Friendship is a gift that nurtures kindness, laughter, altruism, fun and allows love to cultivate it.
When we can give the gift of friendship to every personal relationship we are involved in, then we will truly see each other in our most authentic and creative way.
Here’s to friendship.