Characteristics of Healthy Friendships- 4

Vulnerable Healthy friendships are REAL.  They allow you to be yourself and to be vulnerable, without fear of judgement or criticism.  Healthy friendships promote transparency and create a space where you want to share.  These are the friends who you can call when you make a mistake or have thoughts you wouldn't share with just "anyone".  And the surprising thing... when you share in a vulnerable way with a healthy friend, they reciprocate and share back!

Vulnerability means that you don't feel like you need to keep secrets with a healthy friend.  Since they don't ask you to do things that make you uncomfortable (and if they did, you can be honest with a healthy friend and tell them without fear of abandonment or rejection), there is no need to hide things from a healthy friend.  They accept you... warts and all!

These are the friends you don't hesitate to tell them when they have food in their teeth or when their outfit has a stain on it.  These are the friends you tell your hopes and fears to.  These are the friends you share your shame with, and the friends who you can cry on their shoulder and know they will comfort you.  These are the friends who ask, "How are you doing?", and you actually tell them.  These are the friends who are priceless and wonderful!

If you have a healthy friend who you can be vulnerable and real with, we encourage you to thank them today.  They are one in a million!

Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling.  Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.