A good friendship needs care and love to thrive, similar to a romantic relationship. If you don’t nurture it, it can fall apart quickly. Never take friends for granted. Here are 7 ways to help your friendships survive.
1. Keep Things Real
Don’t expect more of your friends than they can offer you. Be considerate of changes that have happened in their lives, like a recent promotion, which may have left them with less free time. Likewise, you can’t expect inexperienced friends to babysit your kids or give you advice. Set firm boundaries if you feel a friend is being too demanding of you.
2. Keep up With Them
Keep up with important developments in their lives. We don’t mean looking at every single post on social media, just more central things like career, family, or relationships. Show genuine interest in what’s happening to them. Even if you have your own important things to share, slow down and give them the chance to talk about what they’ve been doing and how they are feeling.
If you ask the average person, they’ll probably say they feel no one really listens to them. Be a good listener and you’ll never be alone.
3. Make Concrete Plans
A lot of people say “see you soon” and soon is never that. Months can go by without seeing someone. The friendship begins to fade. Like they say – out of sight, out of mind. To keep this from happening, make specific plans when you’re meeting next before you wave goodbye. Tell them when you are free and ask them when they are. Good friends will be excited about seeing you again.
4. Do Fun Things Together
There’s nothing wrong with eating or drinking, but it’s a bit boring if that’s all you’re doing with your friends. Try hiking or even just going for a walk together. Better yet, plan a trip abroad. This will give you new things to talk about and bring you closer.
5. Don’t Keep Tabs
A healthy relationship is based on support. Don’t keep tabs on what you are getting and giving because that dynamic is not healthy. While reciprocity is important, it might cause damage in the long run. Don’t nag at friends about how much you’ve helped them. It will lead to arguments and resentment rather than move them to profound gratitude.
6. Don’t be Afraid to Reach out
Has it been a while since you’ve seen someone? Don’t balk at the thought of making the first move. Your friend might be equally self-conscious and hesitant to call you, or just lost touch with you because they are busy. Either way, make the call. Maybe they won’t be responsive, but at least you tried.
7. Share Things That Remind You of Your Friend
Share news, jokes, or stories that make you think of your friend even if you haven’t seen them for some time. It’s a nice way of keeping touch. Talking about the old days when you do see them is also nice.
To cement a bond, a little nostalgia and some shared memories go a long way. While making new memories is more important if you want to keep a friendship healthy, talking about the good things you shared will go a long way toward sustaining the friendship.
People can drift apart despite their best intentions. Sometimes, they lose touch for years. When you see your friend again, though, it’s like not a single day has passed.