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Meaningful friendships are cultivated by mindful actions.

For additional details on this page’s content, go to author Doug Carnine’s website here.

Most cultures prioritize the couple relationship over all else, which has an undervaluing effect on friendship. This inequality may not be serving us, as there are many stabilizing emotional qualities without the complexity of sex or exclusivity. Mutual bonds that feel like family are a rare gift. The emotional stability they provide is still equal to that of a partner meeting emotional needs. One has to consider, if friendship were not secondary to partner value, what would we do differently to cultivate and protect it when ill-will arises?

We are wired for mindful friendship, diversity, and adapting to whatever ages and forms our friends may take. We love storytelling; we enjoy mentally visiting the places that we could never go through the shared life experiences with friends. We enjoy the understood silence with our pets that give us a judgement free soul break. We learn just as much from an animal’s unspoken actions as we do from the best communicators in our life. As modern psychology evolves, we have more and more access to simple truths that make up how we flourish. Below are the skills to master to experience profound friendships.

Mindful Listening

Lending our full attention without judgement or interruption may be one of the most profound immaterial gifts we can give. Asking what kind of response would be preferred is more respectful than immediately responding with your own assumptions. Assumptions can often be incomplete and make your friend feel like you were not listening. Asking deeper questions and about the truth behind the surface answer is not only revealing, but validating that you care enough to ask.


  • Friend Feels Heard (Heard = Loved)
  • Friend Feels Fully Expressed (Emptying Our Mental Content On Complex Situations Is Recentering)

Listening Well Invites New Insights

Close friends will share personal stories. The thing no one will ever explicitly teach you: Your awareness is not equal to your right to share an experience that isn’t yours. It’s tempting to share stories that don’t belong to you within a group of friends that you imagine might already know the story, or have permission to hear it. This is a mistake. Only the person to whom the story belongs has the right to the telling. Being mindful of your friend’s sharing means keeping that story secure in the shared vault that makes your connection sacred.


  • Material For Inside Jokes
  • Confidentiality Is Miracle Grow For Closeness
  • Better Equipped For Emotional Support
  • Mindful Vault
  • mindful friendship


Reliability is principles in action. Being mindfully reliable just means you’ve taken the time to find out what kind of reliability your friends want and honoring that. If you are struggling to be reliable, perhaps you are operating at a mental or energetic health loss you are unaware of (such as adrenal exhaustion.) This affects short term memory, energy levels, mental clarity and decision making, and makes it impossible to keep your word. Temporary illness isn’t going to be held against anyone, get well soon.


  • Reliability Is The Super Glue Of Your Connection
  • People Are Excited When They Find Out How Solid You Are, Like A Dog’s Happiness When It’s Owner Gets Home


Claiming sovereignty means you are in a process of transmuting the fall out of codependency (being a child, being a chronic over-giver) into sustainable skills of creating new ways of living. We build upon the poor habits of previous generations, and learn indirectly from other’s mistakes as much as our own. We are capable of transmuting the bad into good. Personal mindful sovereignty means accepting your power to do this. This allows one to create their dream work, and their dream relationships, from a space of claiming how they wish to be in the world.


  • Discover & Master Favorite Skills
  • Replicate Your Unique Knowledge
  • Enjoy The Benefits Of Friends Who Share Your Causes


Integrity is a superpower. A personal commitment to doing the right thing means you are capable of developing reliability, accountability, non-judgmental thinking, protecting confidences and being generous with assumptions. It means you are capable of being trustworthy. With enough mindful integrity, we can build a more functional world together. Mindful integrity means you’re willing to remain receptive, keep your word, and give your best effort. High integrity people usually know how energy wasteful it is to personalize other’s actions. They save their energy for supporting positive outcomes that serve all parties.


  • People Trust Your Judgement
  • People Benefit From Your Ideas
  • You Make A Difference


Welcoming, setting, and honoring boundaries is a unifying form of communication about limitations. Others can’t always see or know about these without helpful communication. A warning about past abuse for example, lets you know that a minefield of emotional triggers may exist; it’s easier to understand boundaries, than to cross them. If you are worthy of hearing about the trigger or boundary, it means you are considered an ally of support. It’s an honor anytime someone trusts you enough to share their vulnerable truths.


  • Protection From Being Triggered, & Causing The Trigger
  • Kinder Understanding For Others
  • Willingness To Act In Non-Triggering Ways Once Aware

Other Resources

Kind Youth – Young people are the key to a kinder future. Learn how you can support the youth in your community!