Everyone wants deep, enduring friendships – the types of friendships that span time, miles, and life experiences. However, an unbreakable bond doesn’t spontaneously develop. If you want great friends – friends who truly understand you, friends who will stand by you through thick and thin, friends who will last a lifetime – you’ll need to put in some effort. Use the tips below to learn how to build lasting friendships.
How to Build Lasting Friendships
Make Time for Each Other
To transform a brief friendship into a lasting relationship, you need to be open to connection. When your friend calls, pick up the phone. When they send you a letter or e-mail, write them back. Even if your life is quite busy, you need to prioritize your friendships. Just because we’re more accessible to one another these days due to social media and texting, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to maintain friendships. Reach out to your friends, and always respond when they reach out to you.
In addition, remember that you don’t need “a reason” to call. Communicate with one another even when there’s nothing important to say to maintain a close, “everyday” sort of connection (source). You could chat about the TV shows you’re watching, the weather, or even what you’re eating for dinner.
You can’t build a loyal friendship on dishonesty. Especially when it comes to your feelings and opinions, be truthful and don’t pretend to be someone else. Tell your friend how you really feel. And if you ever believe that there’s something wrong with your friendship, don’t be afraid to talk about it.
Be Vulnerable and Support Each Other
One of the best things about a true friend is that you can open yourself up to them without fear of judgment. Vulnerability is a key aspect of intimacy, so don’t be afraid to share your joys and sorrows. And when your friend shares their joys and sorrows, listen and offer support. Remember that you don’t always need to offer solutions or expert advice; simply listening and empathizing is often enough.
A friendship should feel balanced in the long run. When your friend is going through certain life experiences, the conversation will focus on them. Then when life throws you a curveball, the conversation will center on you. But generally, each conversation you have should bounce back and forth between your friend’s ideas, opinions, and experiences and your own. If you ever feel like you’re talking about yourself too much, ask your friend questions. If you’re a true friend, you’ll naturally be curious about your friend’s ideas and experiences.
Adapt Your Friendship
All people change over time. If you’re wondering how to build lasting friendships, it’s important to acknowledge this fact and adapt your friendship as needed. Accept that your friend may change, and don’t cling to the way your relationship used to be. Celebrate each other as you exist now, in this moment.
Wonderful friends don’t come along every day, so be sure to hold on to the friends you have.
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