ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

We’ve Lost the Art of Being Friends

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

Photo by Simon Maage

What’s going on with our world today? It seems like we’ve completely lost the art of being friends with the people in our lives.

You may not remember it, but there was a time when we could have meaningful conversations with other people, regardless of our different backgrounds and beliefs. We could even—dare I say it—disagree with strangers without being offended and still walk away as friends.

Impossible? Not at all! Here’s how it works.

You can be friends with individuals who you do not agree with when it comes to sports, politics, religion. You can even be friends with individuals who believe the Vikings will win the Super Bowl. You just have to understand and accept that everyone is different, and that the things we disagree about will never be as important as the things we all agree on.

(I happen to think the Vikings will never win the Super Bowl, but believe it or not, I’m still friends with a host of Vikings fans.)

Many of us claim that football is life, but we all understand this as an exaggeration. Life is a rich tapestry woven out of many threads—yes, including football, but just as crucial to our quality of life is having friends who talk to us, listen to us, and even respectfully disagree with us.

Like any other skill, it takes practice to develop and maintain the art of being friends, but the payoff is well worth the effort you put in. For example, I’m a dog person and not a big fan of cats…yet I still married my bride 29 years ago, even though it meant welcoming a cat into my life.

Relationships are all about empathy, compromise, and understanding, and we will only recover the lost art of being friends by practicing these important traits in our daily lives.

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