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We Will Never Grow Apart: Why Long-Distance Friendships Make The Strongest Bonds

We Will Never Grow Apart: Why Long-Distance Friendships Make The Strongest Bonds

Friendship. What is friendship? Friendship is a bond created when you meet a stranger inside your radar. Your radar is defined as the scope in which you detect other strangers. The instant bond and vibe that is created is what causes friendship to be formed. It is the bond that is there to support you when you are sad and the bond that is there to share your happiness. It is the bond that interlinks two different life together into one.

These are the bonds that will make you chuckle like a kid whenever you think of your best friend. The kind that makes you feel glad you are alive. This bond that is shared, it’s what makes you both key components in each other’s lives. You will feel grateful for the existence of each other and never regret your friendship.

However, this friendship may be put to the mettle when certain circumstances occur. You and your friend may graduate from school and your best friend moves back to his hometown or maybe your best friend migrated to another country. The bond you have forged with your best friend is now being tested.

I was at a dining restaurant just a few weeks back. It was a posh restaurant with an exquisite design. I looked around as we were brought to our seats to be seated. As soon as I sat down, the aroma of fried cutlet chicken drifted and danced around me. It reminded me of my best friend immediately.

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His favorite food is fried chicken cutlet and he loved it. He always chooses fried chicken cutlet if there was a choice. I still remembered how we made a bet on how many days he can go without eating fried cutlet chicken. He failed and I won myself 2 pieces of home made fried cutlet chicken. It was good and I sat there going through memory lane. I immediately texted him and said “I miss you” and continued with my meal. I knew he will not be able to reply since he sleeps very early and it was 10 pm for him. I miss him and longed to meet him again and during that process, our bond grew even stronger.

Here are a few of the many concepts I’ve learned during our long distance friendship.

1. You will cherish them even more

When your schedules and timezone clash, it will be hard for you to spend time with your best friend. Every time any opportunity arises, you will cherish this bond even more as you have put in extra effort to secure it.

2. You have precious memories that cannot be forgotten

All the memories you forged together will never be forgotten. Your memories that are shared with your friend are always so precious and valuable that they can never be forgotten.

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3. Every little incident reminds you of them

Once, my best friend migrated over to japan. He used a certain hair wax that has a distinctive fragrance to it. Even today I am still constantly being reminded of him whenever I smell that distinctive smell.

4. They will always be there for you

They will always be there to hear you out. Even though they are not beside you, their hearts will always have you in it. You will always share your biggest problems with your best friend and they will definitely help you solve it, one way or another.

5. You will never forget their laughter

Despite the distance between you and your best friend, you will never forget about your best friend’s laughter. The weird chuckle they makes or the hysterical high pitch laughter, it will always be deeply etched in your mind.

6. You will always remember to buy them gifts

It could be a birthday gift or a souvenir you got from another country. They will always be in one of your top priorities. You will never forget to sent them a present when you go overseas.

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7. You will never forget their birthdays

No need for social media to remind you of their birthday. Their birthday are stored in your heart automatically. You will have a clock in your head that rings whenever their birthday is approaching soon.

8. Sending a letter is a common thing

Sending an letter to your best friend, half way across the world, is the primary way you communicate with each other. You make it a point to convey your feelings across to them using physical writing.

9. You will always look forward to the day you meet-up

Every conversation will end with you asking your best friend to meet-up soon. You will always look forward to the day where you and your best friend will meet again.

10. You will remember their favorite food

I remember my best friend’s favorite food. It is fried cutlet chicken. You will never forget their favorite food and will always be reminded of them when you see the favorite food.

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11. You will feel grateful and blissful

Every time you are feeling down, you know that somewhere across the globe, your best friend is there to support you and you will feel extremely blissful inside. You will feel glad that you have a friend that will always be there for you.

No matter what happens, your best friend will never ever judge you, dislike you, hate you or even hold a grudge against you. This is because the friendship you have forged is too valuable to receive such treatment. You will feel that nothing is impossible and one day, you will eventually meet up with your best friend and have a blast together.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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