It’s not what we have in life, but who we have in our life that matters – Happy Friendship Day!
It is said that friendship is the purest form of connection that unites two people in an irreplaceable bond. No friendships are alike. Each and every friendship has its own unique fabric which is what makes a friendship so special. Friendship is a wonderful gift, allowing us to do this thing called life together.
Recently I discovered that this coming Tuesday, 30 July marks World Friendship Day. The original idea of Friendship Day came from Hallmark cards in the 1930’s. The first World Friendship Day was proposed for 30 July 1958 by the World Friendship Crusade, an international civil organisation that campaigned to foster a culture of peace through friendship. Many years later, in 2011, the 30th July was declared as the International Day of Friendship by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
I remember seeing an image which showed our friendships as a circle with 3 layers…the outer layer being your wider friendship circle; friends and acquaintances – interactions on this level are friendly and sociable but not of great depth. The next layer is smaller and depicts your inner ‘groups’ of friends who you’d share more with and feel a part of. The innermost layer is your core friendships and may only include a few very close friends who you trust with your ‘stuff’.
To celebrate the gift of friendship, we thought we’d use the five love languages for some inspiration. The Love Languages describe the way each one of us feels loved and appreciated. There are 5 suggested love languages which include words of affirmation; gifts; acts of service; quality time and physical touch.
Have you ever asked your friends if they know what their love language is and if they know what yours is? It opens up a way of showing your love and care practically, in a way that speaks directly to the heart.
Words of affirmation
Words mean a lot if your friend has this love language. It means they love hearing words of affirmation and will be so encouraged by them. Whether verbal or written, these words of affirmation can mean more to an individual than any material gift. If you feel like exercising your creative juices how about creating your very own card with a handwritten note for a friend telling them just how much you treasure and appreciate them or use an online platform like Canva which allows you to create very quick and easy designs that you can personalise in any way you want to. Sometimes we think about saying something lovely to someone and then the moment passes and we don’t…it’s about grabbing that moment and being intentional because it does make a difference.
A gift doesn’t need to cost you much, it’s often the little thoughtful and unexpected items that are most appreciated – it’s when your friend knows that you’ve gifted your time, showing them that you’ve thought about them, giving them something which is often sentimental and always meaningful that makes them feel appreciated and loved.
If you are looking for the perfect gift to say “I appreciate you,” CareBox has designed a “A little something” box that is a lovely way to gift a friend with personally selected items. Send a friend something that says, “this is a hug from me to you to let you know I’m thinking of you and although I haven’t got much to say, you’ll know I’ve thought of you today.”
Act of service
Technically speaking, an act of service is doing something you know your friend would love and appreciate having done for them. Your friend might have this love language if their motto is generally ‘actions speak louder than words.’ Something I did recently was buying a Motherland coffee voucher for a friend. I could then write a message on the voucher for her and leave it pinned to their in-store pinboard for her to redeem when she was up for a coffee – such an awesome initiative to connect people. There are so many other things to do, it just takes a little thought, time and effort.
This love language means that the most important thing to me is spending one-on-one time with you. How about spending some fun and creative time together getting your hands messy and creative juices flowing; arranging to walk together, treating yourselves to breakfast somewhere or simply enjoying a lovely cup of tea at home together. The fact that it’s undivided attention is such a spoil. Enjoy the little things, whatever you choose to do.
This love language is all about physical touch and close proximity. Giving them an extra hug or cuddle will make them feel extra special.
As I finish off, I’m thinking about the layers of the friendship circle mentioned earlier, and I’d love to add another layer to the circle, a friendship which I may have previously neglected and found quite tricky. This core layer would include my very own friendship with me. Am I a good friend to myself? Remember that you yourself are your very own best friend. Find something that you love doing and give yourself some time to enjoy the pleasure of your own company. Whether it is a day outside reading a book, a quiet coffee alone at your favourite coffee shop, writing in your journal or a personal pamper, remember the importance of spoiling yourself too! Even having a little giggle with yourself can do wonders (I find this most helpful when I’m taking myself far too seriously!) No one is you and that is your superpower. When this particular friendship is healthy it has a ripple effect and will flow from you to others, enriching your relationships even more.
We hope you enjoy celebrating World Friendship Day, everyday, remembering that your LOVE LENDS STRENGTH!