• Mia Manipud

Better Friendships Start with You

As many like-minded individuals from all over the world tuned in for the 20th day of the Third Door mentor sessions on Zoom, we were all equipped with our writing tools and an open mind to listen to some insightful advice on cultivating friendships.

Little did we know, it was a memorable day for author Alex Banayan, as June 5, 2020 was the second anniversary of releasing his book, The Third Door. By celebrating his noble achievement, he took it upon himself to get away and reflect on his journey through meditation and journaling.

Alex wasn't the only one who had a special day, attendees were graced with a special guest, Alex’s older sister, Briana Banayan. What was supposed to be a 20 minute speech on her experiences of struggling to connect with others, something bigger unfolded as the audience deeply resonated with what she had to say.

During the entire session, Briana was transparent about the roadblocks and triumphs of dealing with her internal battles as well as with fostering her relationships with those she cares about.

Here are 5 useful insights that we learned from Briana. Recognizing and being mindful of these insights is the first step to starting healthy relationships in your life.

Embrace growth and change as you are evolving

Provide yourself with some space to know that you are loved and that you always have something to offer in a friendship. Bear witness to other peoples’ lives by asking how they are without judgment, not providing advice, and just letting them be who they are.

Make amends with yourself

Be aware of your imperfections. Go back to relationships where you’ve done harm. Acknowledge your faults by apologizing and offering a way to improve it.

Don't burn yourself out by trying to change everyone

You rob the opportunity for them to learn from an experience that they need to go through on their own. Work on accepting others as they are.

Make a simple connection with a friend

Text or call your friend to let them know you are thinking of them. Be genuine and share experiences with them. If they don’t reply back, don't take it personally, know it is not a reflection of who you are, they are probably busy and caught up with their own life.

Check in with yourself on a daily basis

As Briana described, if you keep your feelings inside, it’s like carrying an invisible backpack of rocks that have nowhere to go. Journal how you are feeling in the moment, share with a good friend, or dedicate it to God or a higher power.

Much of what Briana has learned about friendship is from the Al-Anon program, which is open to anyone.

Quote of the Night:

“As humans, we like predictability and being safe. Unless there is an underlying foundation of support and love from the universe, new relationships and new experiences are still scary. I'm still working on it and that's okay.”

Written by Mia Manipud l Instagram: @mia.meets.world

This post is in relation to Alex Banayan's Third Door Mentor Sessions.

Topic for Monday 6/8: Friendship Pt 2

You can find posts on past mentor sessions, as well as sign up to get weekly recaps here.

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