Loss is a large part of life. Much of it, painful to petty, is unavoidable. But there are losses in every life that should never have to happen.  Even then, one can blame time, circumstances or others. When it comes to friendships, however, or other relationships, one’s self needs to be accountable for their part in what caused the loss.

Any relationship is fragile by nature, especially friendships. No matter how important, long-term or deep one’s connection with an other might be, a single word or look or a piece of gossip can shatter trust, respect and sometimes love itself. Thus it becomes important to know the dangers that lurk in any self that can destroy relationships.

Here is just a handful of some of them: Envy, criticism, manipulation, control and neglect.

Envying the talents, friends or lifestyle of an other can create unnamed tensions that erode respect in any relationship. The green-eyed monster is ugly and greedy. Envy is never about the other person but feeds on one’s ouw low self-image and inability to accept though not settling for, who self and the other happen to be.

Envy breeds criticism which is a form of judgment. Differences in relationships are inevitable. They need only to be recognized and accepted, not eradicated. Differences at times need to be discussed but should never create unnecessary wars, which are ultimately manipulative and all about control.

Friendships should always be about peace, even though they may not always be peaceful. No one likes to feel used or controlled. Relationships experiencing either or both feelings seldom survive. True, people can and should care enough to fight, not against each other but about the relationship. Sometimes there is no better way to test its solidity.

If there is an upside to the above characteristics, they can all imply that a relationship is not being neglected. Neglect evidences an attitude of “taking for granted” or a disconnection of caring. Friendships require consistent and mutual attention and those involved should realize that any relationship is a work in progress, always. Neglect is a matter of attitude that betrays a lack of energy and an emerging indifference.

There are other, more blatant dangers: dishonesty and deceit, to name a couple. The loss of anything precious, however the loss happens, leaves initially a feeling as sensitive as a fresh wound and, later on, scar tissue. Nothing is more precious in life than life itself. But relationships, particularly those involving family, significant others and friends, are a tightly close second. Take good care of them.