Saturday, May 22, 2021

How to Maintain a Long Lasting Friendship


Just because the majority of us have friends does not mean that we are being the best friend that we can possibly be. As in many other roles, being a good friend takes time and effort, and it is something that we should all continue to practice each day. Every relationship is unique, but there are a few steps to being a true friend that seem to translate well across the board. If you notice that something has been left off the list, please leave a comment at the end with your advice on how to be a true friend.

Listen to What Is Being Said

It sounds so easy, but so many people have difficulty just listening to their friends. One of the ultimate signs of respect is just showing your friend that his life was important enough for you to listen. I cannot think of much worse than unloading a whole story to my friends only to have them ask me basic questions afterwards indicating they never heard me in the first place. Valuing a friend means taking the time to hear what they have to say. Hear your friend's questions, and take the time to ask follow up questions to make the picture more clear. By the end of the conversation, your friend will feel better knowing that you care enough to know what is going on in his life.

Be Loyal Regardless of the Situation

Nobody likes a back-stabbing friend...nobody. Do not become a person that smiles in your friend's face and then talks badly about them when they are not around. Not only does this have the potential to blow up in your face later, but it also shows other people that you cannot be trusted.

Being a true friend means that you are there whenever your friend may need help. No matter how much time has passed between conversations, a true friend is one that will be there immediately if called upon in an emergency.

Sacrifice for the Good of Others

Good friends know that there will be times when they need to set aside their own personal gain for the benefit of their friends. There will be moments where you may feel like celebrating but your friend just needs to stay in and vent over a problem at hand. Knowing when to sacrifice the moment in order to be there for a friend is a huge part of taking a friendship to another level.

There will be nights when it looks like you may be able to get a full night's rest, but instead you end up consoling a friend over the phone for hours. Sure it can be hard, but it's worth it months later when your friend thanks you for what you did for them. Or better yet, when they are there to return the favor when you are in a time of need.

Offer Advice Without Being Demanding

Try not to just sit there in silence when your friends need you. Be a reference point for them. You may have knowledge of certain subjects that they are unfamiliar with, or you may have already dealt with certain issues that they are going through now. Give your friends some food for thought and then let them make the ultimate decision on their own.

Just remember that there is a fine line between giving someone advice and telling them what they should or should not do with their lives. Give your friend some possible options and then respect them enough to let them make a decision with that knowledge.

Be Supportive During Good and Bad Times

As a friend, this was always one of my favorite things to do. Support does not just mean offer financial help. It also means to be there mentally and emotionally for the people you love. If you know that your friend has an important race coming up, make it a point to be there to cheer them on. Have a friend making a presentation? See if you can be in the audience so they can have a familiar face to look out upon during their speech. Overall, just remember the little things that your friends are involved in, and see what you can do to help them out.

Keep in Touch When Possible

It may seem like friends are supposed to talk to each other every day, but I have found exactly the opposite as I have gotten older. My closest friends and I talk sporadically over the phone and by computer, but we never seem to miss a beat. We have learned how to communicate with each other without smothering each other in the process. We respect each other's space and right to grow as individuals without feeling like extra space could tear our friendship apart.

What advice would you give others on maintaining a long lasting, positive friendship? Feel free to leave your words of wisdom in the comments below, or share them on Twitter!

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