Monday Musings, 10: "The Most Important Word in Any Friendship"

There was a recent study that found most friendships are one-sided. According to the study, approximately half of your friends actually consider you a friend, which is pretty depressing considering how many people we tend to consider "friends." There are many reasons why one wouldn't consider you as much of a friend as you consider them, so deciphering causes behind the disconnect is a waste of time, especially since those causes may be out of your control.

The one word we should always focus on when thinking about our friendships is the word "mutual." The word "mutual" in the context of friendships means having the same feelings toward each other. In a perfect friendship, feelings are always mutual. Best friends are best friends, and each person has the same the feelings. However, in our imperfect lives, there's a lot of deception and lack of communication when it comes to friendships. Because of this, a lot of feelings that we experience in friendships aren't mutual at all.

It's often the case that we feel closer to someone than they feel to us, or we feel desires that the other person never feels. It's a sad reality, but one that can be avoided if both parties communicated their feelings toward one another. Unfortunately, in generations Y and Z, it's easier to ghost or ignore a person than to talk with that person and address your feelings for them. This has put our friendships and relationships on a thin layer of ice called "uncertainty."

In the end, it takes two people to make a friendship work, not one. Don't be the only one putting in the work to keep a friendship alive. Reciprocity is critical when it comes to friendships. Before making plans with those people who you consider friends, think about whether your relationship with them is mutual or one-sided. If you sense that your so-called friends aren't pulling their weight and matching your interest in the friendship, it may be time for you to look the other way.