1. People & Relationships

5 Things Never to Assume About a Friend

Taking Friends for Granted

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It's so easy to assume things about people, especially those we bond with. We enjoy their company and as a result start thinking that we have other things in common with them than just the ones we know. The trouble is, that isn't the case. People are all unique and even if they become friends, there are a few things we can't take for granted. Here are five things you just can't assume about a pal.

1. Your Friend Tells You Everything

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You know your friend really, really well. Right? But maybe you don't. Most people have a few things that they don't tell other people, even friends who love and care about them. Sometimes other people will know your friend's secret before you. Or maybe your friend chooses to tell you, but only years after the fact.

Finding out that a friend has kept a secret from you can feel like betrayal, but before you jump to any conclusions, give your friend the benefit of the doubt. There may be a good reason for them keeping things to themselves, even if it is that they were embarrassed or felt like it wasn't your business. Don't get offended, but instead, give your friend the space they need.

2. You Have the Same Opinions on Politics and Religion

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Many arguments start, not necessarily because you and a friend disagree on a touchy subject, but because you assumed they believed the same things you did. The surprise of seeing a friend who you hang with all the time talk from the opposite point of view can be jarring.

Know that your friend probably does have different opinions on at least some things in life, so instead of letting it come between you, use it as a bridge to more spirited conversation. And if you can't talk without bickering, then avoid that particular topic.

3. You'll Never Get Past a Sticking Point

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Some couples feel like there is a reoccurring argument that happens between them that no matter what, they can't seem to get past. The same thing can happen in a friendship, however, never underestimate how much talking things through sufficiently can suddenly clear the air. Sometimes all your friend needs is to be fully "heard," and afterwards, it can feel like a whole new start to your relationship.

If you and your pal are fighting a lot, pay attention to this. Don't chalk it up to moods or even a rough personal time. Instead, keep the communication going and make sure that you fully resolve any lingering issues. Be especially mindful of arguments that seem like the same one being rehashed over and over. These are often the source of old wounds that never totally healed.

4. Your Friendship Won't Change

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Friendships will evolve as you age and your life changes, but the rate at which things shift is different for every relationship. That's why it can be so difficult when your friendship gets to a really good place, and change comes along to topple it.

One way to combat the disappointment and anxiety that change can bring is to view your friendship in moments. When you enjoy a moment where you really feel connected to a friend, be thankful for it but don't wish it to "stay." Friendships are meant to provide comfort and joy, but also teach us lessons. If things never changed, we wouldn't be able to grow as people.

5. Nothing Can Ever Shake Your Friendship

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When you are friends for many years, you get so comfortable with each other you're almost like family. But even family members can experience a rough time that does such damage to the relationship. Sometimes, they end up estranged.

If you treat a friend poorly, it could end things between you for good, and that's true no matter how long you've been friends. Rather than have this happen with your friendship, give it the attention and respect it needs.

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