When we think of relationships our first thought often falls to our partners, at least it does for me – yet we have relationships with so many people; friends, family, colleagues and so on. On average people have between 8-9 close friends, but many feel they have less than that… But as I always preach to my children, the number of friends you have doesn’t matter if none of those relationships are meaningful – its better to have 1 close friend than 10 false friends.
Distinguishing between these friends can be tricky, finding out what people’s real intentions are behind becoming friends can be intimidating and leave you heartbroken at times – but you will be all the better for it.
Building lifelong friendships takes a long time, the clue is in the name! Relationships never stop growing and adapting as we as individuals change as we get older; from practical implications such as a career move, to more emotional implications like a new love interest, many things can alter your friendships but I believe if both you’re intentions are pure then the friendships will continue to blossom.
So how can you ensure that despite implications your friendship remains stable and close?
1) Be Available
This doesn’t mean that when they call on you you have to be free every single time, or that you should drop everything you’re doing to be with them – it means answer their calls, or return them when you can, take time and care to respond to their texts, and be there for them in times of need in whatever way you can.
One of the worst feelings in the world is to be lonely. Let them know that with you as their friend they never have to feel that; even if you live halfway across the world.
2) Keep in Mind Their Best Interest
As friends you should be able to give and take constructive criticism when it is due or asked for. Yet the key here is to be constructive about it, don’t insult – this can be avoided by taking some of the emotion out of the context. Its easy to become over emotional when the person you’re talking to is your closest friend; whether its the urge to run to their defence, or the feeling of disappointment with them for making a poor choice.
Its crucial to keep their best interest in mind, and put yourself in their position. Try and approach the situation with love and patience rather than frustration. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. You can give advice over and over but ultimately it is their choice whether they choose to take it or not; sometimes, people have to experience heartbreak or pain to learn and that is just life – it is part of growing. As much as it may hurt you to see your friend going through that, try not to resort to the phrase ‘I told you’.
3) Be Proactive
Don’t always sit back and expect them to make plans, and vice versa. It’s important to ensure its not just one of you making the effort to check up on one another or make plans. Try to take it in turns, where possible, when it come to activities or meeting up.
Being proactive should really come naturally, as you should both want to spend time or catch up with one another because you care for them.
If you enjoyed this blog you’ll love our downloadable guide, 50 Tips & Tricks to Bettering Your Relationship.
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For Moms By Moms
By Carys Redfern