What makes a good friend? Do you feel you have good friends? Are you a good friend to others? Do you have enough good friends and feel guarded about making new friends? Have past experiences made you wary?
Lockdown has created a spotlight on isolation and loneliness. Those early days when we were all meeting up on zoom for chats and support seem to have slowed right down. It’s winter and people have withdrawn. So how can we reach out to others and make a connection and build resilience?
There are different types of friendship and we tend to present a version of ourselves to our friends – a version that we feel fits. Human beings need connection and like to be part of a “tribe”. We start to interact with others from a very early age. Those early friendships we make as children may or may not last the test of time, but if they do there is a shared history that goes with them.
As we go through life, we make more connections, perhaps in further education, or through travel or work. If we have children, we then join the “parent tribe” at baby groups and then school. Situations create these opportunities and some of the people you meet along the way will stay with you, others will come and go out of your life.
You may feel you have made all your good friends by middle age and the opportunities to meet new people may not be as frequent, but it can be a wonderful bonus to meet someone new when we least expect it and this can happen at any age.
How though to create an enduring and valuable friendship, one we can rely on, particularly when we are not feeling that great or confident? The key is vulnerability and authenticity. Sharing how you feel with others.
The more comfortable we feel with someone, the more likely we are to show sides of our character that we usually keep under wraps. This of course can only happen when there is trust and understanding. And it’s a two-way thing. For firm foundations with friends, there needs to be vulnerability on both sides.
Often in challenging situations, such as divorce, illness, bereavement, loss of a job, or feelings of depression and loneliness, we are able to show our truest self, without the mask. This then breaks down barriers and there is an opportunity for a shared connection and empathy. So sometimes out of the darkest moments, there is a positive from the genuine support of a good friend.
How Hypnotherapy can help with friendships
Hypnotherapy can help you to be a kind friend to yourself and to become more confident and authentic in your communications with others. Sharing something of yourself and finding points of connection with others can feel very affirming. When we feel supported, we become more able to take the initiative and to reach out clearing that space to enable dialogue.
So, if any of this resonates with you and you would like to take positive steps to develop existing friendships or find ways to make new friends, then do please see the support I offer.