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How to know a friendship is healthy (watch for "sorry's" and "thank you's")

Matthew once said that good collaborators feel bad being in debt, and seek to give back. And, they might also refuse a favor if they feel it’s "too much".

I always agreed and thought the same, yet didn't share that thought before Matthew did because I felt like it might be "too beginner of an idea" to write here. (Glad Matthew stepped up and proved me wrong :).

Now that that idea is out there though, it's got me thinking about other signs and characteristics of good character and good relationships.

And, as I interacted with Lucio over WhatsApp the other day, something jumped out at me:

Maybe it can also be said that good friendships have a feeling of comfort in exchanging "sorry's" and "thank you's" too.

Typically, one must be careful of saying "thank you" too much to avoid getting social scalped and withhold some "sorry's" to avoid losing too much status.

But, in interacting with Lucio, I don't get the feeling that I need to worry too much about those things and, while I still do my best to be power-aware in our conversations, I also feel that I can "be myself" and don't have to "play a lot of games" because:

  • I know that Lucio is also willing to apologize back when it's appropriate: so, there's never a case when the relationship is imbalanced with one side doing all of the apologizing and the other only doing "it's OK's".
  • I know that Lucio is also fair in giving back credit when it's due: so, the "thank you's" are often reciprocated enough to keep things balanced (and, are even given sometimes without being prompted at all, such as if I think something's "no big deal" but it means more to Lucio).

What this has led to, in my opinion, is:

  • More openness: because if we feel like saying "thank you", we're free to say it since there's no need to think first, "Wait, have I already said 'thank you" to this person too much lately? Should I withhold this one?"
  • More closeness: because the "thank you's" and "my bad's" are often appreciated

Happy to read any thoughts.

Lucio Buffalmano, Mist1102 and 2 other users have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoMist1102KavalierBel

Thank you for sharing this, Ali

And yes, absolutely agree, with you.

The "sorry" show that someone is not afraid of losing some power to "make things right".
Such as, he prioritizes respect and fairness over personal power.

And the "thank you's" are an indicator that someone is not afraid of giving credit -and accruing a debt-.
Such as, he prioritizes a good balance of fair give and take, over taking as much as possible.

Ali Scarlett, Mist1102 and 2 other users have reacted to this post.
Ali ScarlettMist1102KavalierBel
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
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