The best friendships watered and nurtured blossom and bear stunning fruits. Having a support network of friends is crucial to well-being. Man, I wish someone told me that 40 years ago. As a young Black woman, being able to do things without anyone’s help was bragging rights. If I could give them a tongue lashing while walking away, all the better. No one would “mess” with me, or so the thinking was. Did I ever think, would I want to be friends with someone having that demeanor?
It’s easy to walk out on relationships that don’t work for you. But it is hard to stick around to mold and maintain relationships that might start harsh or challenging, but with patience and nurture, that relationship could be one of the best in your life.
Many Jamaicans pride themselves on not taking shit from anyone. But is that a helpful attitude? Relationships grow through mutual communication of trust, loyalty, and compassion. No one wants to be hurt. Unavoidable disputes either add to the layers or remove layers from the mask that hide our vulnerability.
About two years ago, I rekindled a friendship. There was a mass shooting in a nearby state. Out of nowhere, I felt anxious and a deep sense of alarm and concern when I thought my friend’s parents lived in the area and could be hurt. That concern made me forget my resentment. I reached out.
That was the first step. We didn’t immediately talk about the past, but it was honest with no holes barred when we did. Our friendship, while different, is much better now. We are both strong women who respect each other.
While friendships need watering and nurturing to grow, misunderstandings are bound to happen. Don’t let disputes or conflicts end good relationships. The best friendships survive the ups and downs together. Supportive friendships are crucial to your well-being.