The Importance of Give and Take in Adult Friendships in Our Personal and Professional Lives by Cindy Stradling CSL, CPC

Friendships are a cornerstone of our personal and professional lives, offering support, companionship, and a sense of belonging. Maintaining healthy and fulfilling friendships as adults requires a balance of give and take. This balance is essential to keep the relationship strong and healthy.

The foundation of any good friendship is mutual respect. In adult friendships, whether personal or professional, it’s essential to recognize and appreciate each person’s value to the relationship. This respect means taking the time to see things from the other person’s perspective and communicating honestly and authentically. It also means being willing to give when they need support and knowing you can expect the same when you need help.

Emotional Support and Encouragement

Being there for each other during challenging times and celebrating successes strengthens the relationship in personal and professional friendships. Support means listening, providing help when asked, and showing up when it matters most. Encouraging our friends without insisting they follow our advice and suggestions is also important.

Balanced Contributions

A healthy friendship involves balanced contributions from everyone. Balance means sharing responsibilities, whether planning social activities or collaborating on work projects. Personal friendships could involve alternating who hosts gatherings or who initiates plans. It means sharing workloads and recognizing each other’s efforts in professional relationships. It is not a balanced friendship if one person is controlling or demanding of the other.

Personal Growth and Development

Friends often serve as sounding boards, offering constructive feedback and different viewpoints that help us see things from a new perspective. By sharing experiences, ideas, and perspectives, we help each other grow and expand our understanding. This is particularly relevant if friends have different backgrounds, professional experiences, and ways to look at situations.

Conflict Resolution

Inevitably, conflicts arise in any relationship. The ability to move through these conflicts is a hallmark of a strong friendship. Healthy give and take involves compromise and a willingness to see the other’s point of view. In both personal and professional contexts, resolving conflicts requires open communication, patience, and a commitment to finding a solution that works for all involved. By addressing issues head-on and working through them together, friendships can emerge stronger and more resilient. It is also a great learning experience that can be used in other relationships and situations.

Ultimately, the balance of give and take is the glue in long-lasting friendships. By investing time and effort into our relationships, we build connections that endure the test of time. Whether in our personal lives or professional careers, these friendships enrich our experiences, provide stability, and contribute to our overall well-being.