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Friendship – Cherish and Nurture Those Who Are Close to You


Genuine friendships come in all shapes and sizes — and in many varied places, both near and far. We all have friends who are dearly, deeply and profoundly close to us — friends who share in our ups and downs, our tragedies and our triumphs, friends who have clearly and joyfully wound their way into the coziness of our heart space.

Additionally, we all have acquaintances, those who lives touch ours, brush against our reality, but who do not impact us so closely.

And of course, we all experience a range of relationships that span the gamut in between those two ends of the spectrum.

The challenge is to balance it all out, to acknowledge and cherish all of the above in the best and most sincere way possible. Clarity, contact and communication are what I think of as the “Three C’s” of a healthy friendship. These three aspects also need to be offered in an authentically caring, supportive and nurturing manner.

Most essentially, these need to be offered in a non-judgmental way, which is, perhaps the most difficult perspective to cultivate. Over the years, I have been learning to infuse my friendships with as much of this perspective as I can muster.

However, this doesn’t mean sitting back and accepting unhealthy or uncaring treatment from certain “friends” who may not always have your best interests at heart.

In the last few years, I have “lost” a few long term friendships which I never expected to be gone from my life. They were painful losses, but in the long-run, appear to have resulted in a healthier and less stressful aspect of my life experience. These were profound life lessons for me, and helped me understand how important it is to cherish, nurture and support those healthy friendships. I have also begun to distinguish between what I personally need from a friendship in order for it to be a strong, happy and beneficial bond.

Most everyone is familiar with the classification of “fair weather” friends — those who only stay with us when we are in a joyful, optimistic or positive stage of our life. These kind of friends seem to suddenly and conveniently disappear when challenges arise for us.

But I have also experienced that there are “foul weather” friends — those who might gravitate toward taking charge of us in our misery, drama or tragedy. They may feel the extreme need to be needed, thrusting themselves into that role of caretaker or life manager. They often DO serve a genuine role in assisting us through the hard times. However, when the turbulence is over for us, giving rise to more radiant days, these friends seem to suddenly relegate themselves to the background of our lives — or become completely absent.

The very bottom line is that friendships have to be genuinely sharing — an exchange and flow of emotions, talk and genuine concern (yes, even LOVE) for each other.

Anyone who is in a friendship that does not encompass these essential facets will feel slighted and even taken advantage of.

So it is important we set conscious intentions to feed and nurture those friendships that lovingly surround us in order to maintain them and help them grow.

Here are seven basic suggestions:

  1. Connect in person. In this age of a million technical communication devices, it is still key to connect face to face. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a blitz of text messages will do the trick. Spend quality and pleasurable time with those who are close with you. And do this regularly — or as often as both your schedules will allow.
  2. Stay in touch between actual visits. Sometimes nothing beats that old-fashioned phone call with a good friend, just catching up with what is happening in both your lives. And of course, emails and text messages here are a perfectly wonderful way to say a quick hello or give an update. Even using Facebook or Twitter to give brief updates to friends is a newer and far-reaching way to get messages out to a group of friends.
  3. Be bold and confident enough to share true sentiments and emotions. A friend will understand just where you are coming from and be supportive through all emotions, scenarios and challenges.
  4. Be a good listener — and a good ASKER. Cultivate the skill of listening patiently. And afterward or in between, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification, for more information about what your friend is feeling or how they may want to approach a challenge in their life. Everyone loves having focused attention on themselves, will know that you are listening — and will appreciate this.
  5. Express appreciation verbally. Let your friend know how much they mean to you in whatever way you are most comfortable. With a really close friend, you may be able to say “I love you.” On some verbal level, let the friend know that you DO cherish the bond. If a friend has gone over and above what you have expected, tell them so, gratefully.
  6. Let your actions speak for your commitment to the bond. Go the extra mile, particularly for a friend who is down or facing life hurdles – send a bouquet of flowers, a card (even an eCard) or make an in-person visit to help out, cook a meal or lend a shoulder to cry on — whatever will be helpful to a friend in need. Remember birthdays and anniversaries too!
  7. Know that friendships can ebb and flow over the years, and be understanding of this. If a relationship is truly unhealthy and severely negative, you will sense it and feel it in your heart. And if it continues in a prolonged way, you can always let it go as diplomatically as possible.

Friends exist at every level. I treasure my friendships — the full range of them — from those who are close in-person friends to those whose lovely and uplifting energies I have connected with on Facebook and the internet. Be open to all new friendships and possibilities. Let your life unfold with a heartfelt desire to joyfully connect with others who resonate with you, as this will definitely enhance your journey!


  • I gratefully cherish all the close and caring friendships that warm my life.
  • I make the time and effort to express appreciation to my friends, and I feel joyful!
  • It is easy for me to listen patiently and supportively to others and I know that I will receive the same attention.


  1. A wonderful article, Sheryl. Thanks!

  2. Sue Miller says:

    Thank you for sharing this great article. it came along at a most opportune time. Many Blessings!

    • Sheryl Schlameuss Berger says:

      Sue – thanks for your kind words and I am glad this post was very timely for you. Blessings to you as well.