Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Make Deeper, More Sincere Friendships

Make Deeper, More Sincere Friendships

Sincere Interest
Show sincere interest in the other person. Care about what they care about.

Years ago in Japan I had a very close Japanese friend. As an American I was interested in how he defined friendship. So I asked him, “What does it mean to be a true friend in Japan?” He thought for a moment and then replied, “If you went into a restaurant with your friend, without asking them you would be able to order a meal with which they would be perfectly satisfied. Or if you went shopping for clothing together, you would be able to pick clothes that would make them perfectly happy.”

I was stunned. I had never thought of it in those terms before. I felt I had good friends, but at that level? I doubted I could order food for a friend; if I did, it would be what I like, not particularly what they would want.

My friend’s definition has stayed with me for years.

Invest Time
Invest time with your friends. Friendship can wane over time unless we invest time to contact and be with them in some meaningful way.

My very best friend from my high school years passed away at age 47. As I thought about our friendship in our adult years, I realized that I had allowed the friendship to wane. I wished I had spent more time with him. I wished that my children knew his children. A simple telephone call every once in a while would have kept the friendship alive and allowed it to grow to a higher level.

Friends accept each other as they are. Of course we want the best for our friends. We want them to be as happy as possible, but that does not mean qualifying our relationships by insisting our friends become who we want them to be.

Let’s help them become who they want to be!

Accept them for who they are, warts and all!

Remember, they may actually like what we think is a wart!

Let’s not try to live their lives for them through the window of how we see the world. They would want us to help them live their lives as they see the world.

Sometimes I think pets make very good friends in this regard. They simply are friends in a very unqualified way. They accept us for who we are.

We accept them too! Nobody expects a dog to become a cat.

Accept our friends for who they are and who they want to become.

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About the Author

Mark Victor Hansen, best known as the co-creator of the ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ empire (which is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling non-fiction book series ever), is a walking success magnet! Between his books and speeches, Mark has helped countless millions of people become their very best. Visit Mark’s 101 E-Book Library at