The Many Degrees of Friendships in Your Life

One of the tenants to good mental health is an emotional awareness – sometimes referred to as mindfulness. The more you fully understand yourself and the more aware you are of your emotions and what you need, the easier a time you’ll have controlling them.

But awareness has benefits that go beyond mental health. Awareness is also an important component of understanding and establishing friendships. While many believe that friendship is “supposed to be easy,” friendships often serve different needs, and are significantly more complex than most people give them credit for. In many cases, an awareness of what those friendships are to you can help make sure that you’re addressing these relationships the right way.

Different Types of Friendships

Building on your friendships is important. But understanding what each friendship means for you is equally so. Evaluate the type of friendship you have, and see if you can get a better idea of what it means in your life:

  • There are friendships that are people you turn to in times of need. These are your most supportive friends – they are the ones that you cherish for their help and value, and the ones you call whenever you need help.
  • There are friendships that are simply fun people – those you turn to when you simply want to have an enjoyable time out.
  • There are those you have a connection with. You may have many things in common with you, or you have great conversation. Yet they are not yet someone you rely on.

Awareness of these types of friendships and others is important, because the best way to build upon your friendships is to also have the right expectations for each friendship, and to make sure that you are reciprocating the right way.

For example, relying on a fun friend to provide you with support may put strain on your friendship when you don’t receive the response you expected. In addition, failing to reciprocate for a supportive friend because you were unable to realize that you were relying on them for that support could cause strain in your friendship.

These are all reasons that it is important to make sure that you’re aware of what your friendships are. You don’t want to make the mistake of having inappropriate expectations for your friendships, and you want to be able to make sure that you’re giving and getting the most out of these different relationships.