Friendships make life enjoyable, offer support, and encourage improvement. When you have enjoyable moments from activities you do with friends, your circle of friends works. However, apart from having good times, trust and respect are other very important aspects of friendships. In your circle of friends do you think there is a feeling of trusting your friends and feeling respected when spending time together?
It is important to note that people may have good times but yet lack trust and respect within their circles. One is not sure how to act on certain things because specific conversations go around, insinuating that the circle is not a safe space to exist in.
Some of the things that make people lack trust and feel disrespected in friendships include;
1. Ill Talks about others destroying trust and respect
You are having a drink and then a discussion about another absent friend. The conversation goes in a way that portrays this friend in a mean and demeaning way. The dialogue lacks objectivity, and you know that you would never want to be spoken of in that manner when you are not around.
In such a case, you might not attend to an urge to go to the washroom because you wouldn’t know what they will say in your absence. Anytime a meet-up happens without your presence, you may feel that your friends won’t mention your name in a good light, and your trust and respect for the group will deteriorate with time.
It is also in friendships that individuals speak of their plans, wishes, and dreams. Maybe you witnessed an instance when one of your friends communicated their goals and did not get support like encouragement, analysis of the plan, or such contributions. Sometimes, encouragement could be actively listening and giving an honest perspective on this.
Such a communication instance gives a negative insinuation that may discourage you from sharing your dreams in the days to come. It tampers with the trust and respect one may have for the circle.
3. Violation of other boundaries
As you interact, you notice that a friend might not have shown up for an event because of personal errands they needed to attend. Then, conversations start going south on how that personal errand was not worth sacrificing the friend’s event for, and all the meanness that may come from such a conversation. A “No”, is a boundary to be respected even behind one’s back.
The next time this friend comes, and you all meet up, conversations revolve around making them feel bad for missing out. Their no to attending the event was taken negatively. It is important to note that that one’s personal life and friendship activities work together to make their lives whole. And that a “no” to one event is a win for the whole circle in the end.
How conversations affect our perception of our circle of friends
Conversations usually happen randomly, and they might be about an idea, an experience, dreams, or even people. However, when every conversation makes the whole space uncomfortable you need to rethink your friendships.
One way of knowing more about one’s circle is through reflection on conversations we have from time to time. When a reflection moment brings forth feelings of insecurity and doubt, maybe something is wrong.
When communication processes revolve around truth and building each other up, one feels secure to even be in these circles.
Communication etiquette to observe when with friends
1. Avoid gossiping about your friends as a form of respect
When one of your friends is not around, and a conversation about them comes up, carry the conversation in a friendly way. Speak in a way that wouldn’t be uncomfortable if they were there, or rather, speak in a way you would want to be talked about when you are not around.
If possible, avoid talking about individuals who are not around.
2. Listen attentively
It would be more helpful to pay attention when talking to friends. You are there to add value to each other’s lives, and what would an absence in mind presence help?
When one is speaking about something important to them, and they need an audience with you, it would be not polite to be on your phone the whole time and ask them to repeat themselves.
3. Be honest
Do not fear to be honest when there is a need to offer an unbiased perspective. The truth may hurt, but not as much as a lie would.
Honesty provides a platform for people to be themselves and to an even better version as time progresses. It also makes the friendship trustworthy.
4. Respecting others’ boundaries enhances trust and respect.
When any individual has made it clear that they do not like this or that, then attempts should be towards ensuring they are respected. Boundaries are meant to be respected. Conversations should be around understanding them more so the relationship can be enriched rather than demeaning them.
The simple conversations we have in our circles from time to time may make the circle either a safe space to trust and feel respected or a space to dread existing in and eventually breaking off the friendship. Friendship etiquette will take friendship to a whole new level.
Here are more articles on friendship to check out
15 Types Of Friends We All Have. What Role Do You Play In Your Circle of Friends?
8 Friendship Red Flags You Should Watch Out For
How To Maintain Strong And Lasting Friendships
An Accidental Screenshot Breaks A 3 Year of Friendship
The Importance Of Female Friendships