A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow. ― William Shakespeare
7 Ways To Improve Your Friendships So That They Last A Lifetime
There is nothing worse than sensing that you might be drifting away from your friends or doubting the true intentions of your relationships, without any clue on ways to improve your friendships. We’ve all been through it and it sucks! You feel lonely and depressed, and that’s not the way friendships should be! In order to prevent unnecessary depression and stress, I decided to share 7 ways to improve your friendships that should then last you a lifetime!
1. PRIORITIZE FRIENDSHIPS
Often times the reason why some friendships crumble is because not enough effort is put into them. Friendships are not automatic; they should be nurtured and maintained from both sides. That’s why it’s important to prioritize your friendships and put more focus in the ones that mean the most to you. Sometimes it’s hard to balance you time between school or work, family, friendships and personal time, that’s why whenever there is time, it should be put in the most treasured friendships. Prioritizing may not be one of the most obvious ways to improve your friendships but it sure is the most important one!
2. MAKE TIME FOR FRIENDS
Like I have said before, sometimes friendships require work but it’s not a bad thing. Every so often it’s hard to juggle everything in your life but you should always promise yourself some time with people. Although everyday contact is not necessary, it’s important to stay in touch and make sure that things haven’t changed. Friendships are well worth the investment of time and should always be towards the top of your to-do list!
3. BE THE BEST FRIEND YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE
It’s important to be trustworthy, supportive and compassionate toward your friends. Avoid doing the things you wouldn’t want to be done to you. For example if you are about to spill a secret or gossip about your friend, ask yourself: Do I want it to be done to me? The answer is most likely no, so stay true to your friends, reach out to them and stay reasonable!
4. ACCEPT YOUR FRIENDS THE WAY THEY ARE
Friends can’t be perfect and there will still be traits that you don’t exactly admire in them, but it is not your job to fix it. Not only can it cause massive arguments and offend your friends but it can ruin the friendship completely. Nobody wants a friend who constantly points out your flaws and judges you. Instead try to focus on things that you admire in your friend, your purpose is to provide companionship and not lower their self-esteem!
5. ALLOW THERE TO BE ROOM
Some friendships don’t require constant contact with each other, but solid friendships usually pick up where they left off. For example, one of my friends and I rarely get to see each other, because we don’t share classes and we don’t get time to meet up outside of school due to our hectic schedules. But when we do meet, it is like nothing ever changed and we pick up where we left off! The foundation of friendships is trust and we should trust our friends to still be there for us despite time obstacles.
6. DON’T BE STUBBORN
It’s completely normal to fight with your friends. Who doesn’t? No two people can get along perfectly; if they do that would be a little peculiar. What’s more important is overcoming the fights and strengthening your friendship along. That’s why next time you are in a fight with your best friend, don’t be stubborn, talk it out and learn from your mistakes. After all if you are a good long-term friend and you value the friendship, no differences should be more important than your friend.
7. MAKE SURE YOUR FRIENDSHIP IS NOT TOXIC
How do you know your friendships are healthy, and worth the time and effort? Sometimes friendships can be toxic, draining the life and energy out of you and most of the time they are not worth it. If you feel like your friend always puts you down, gets jealous of you or makes you feel like you are less than what you actually are, it’s time to deliberate whether it’s really worth being friends with that person. If the cons outweigh the costs, the best decision would be to distance yourself from them and rid yourself of any negativity. As hard as it may be, you are doing what is best for you!
7 Useful Tips When Distancing Yourself From A Toxic Friend
Friendships exist to nourish and sustain us but after a while, some friendships become a source of negativity, which is why it’s important to end it and start distancing yourself from a toxic friend. You know you are in a toxic friendship when you feel drained and suffocated, and there is always a sense of jealousy and resentment. There is no need to start a huge argument, but it’s important to gradually cut the ties. Here are 7 tips for when distancing yourself from a toxic friend.
1. MAKE SURE IT’S FOR THE RIGHT REASONS
Before making any drastic decisions like completely cutting out a person out of your life, you have to make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. Weigh up the pros and cons of your relationship and decide whether your friendship is really important to you. Make sure you don’t make the wrong move in the heat of the moment. Give yourself time and make your final decision of distancing yourself from a toxic friend with a clear head.
2. CONVINCE YOURSELF IT’S FOR THE BEST
If you are having conflicting emotions toward a toxic friend, chances are that choosing to end a friendship will be hard for you. You may feel like there is too much history and too many fun moments between you to completely give up on a friendship. However, if problems continue to arise even after several times of trying to mend the friendship, cutting the person off may be the best decision. It might be hard removing a constant in your life, but you won’t feel the tightness in your chest and constant pressure from your toxic friend.
3. REDUCE INTERACTION
Once you’ve decided that you would be better off without that person in your life, it’s time to abate the interaction between the two of you. It might be easy for some, but harder on those people who have to see that person every day. Try to converse with other friends and build relationships with other people and before you know it you will gradually remove yourself from a bad friendship situation.
4. MAINTAIN CASUAL TIES
If you are not one of those people who will directly tell that person that you can’t remain friends with them, it’s better to maintain casual ties so that your friend doesn’t get angry and start an argument. After maintaining your space from that person, it is completely okay to talk or go out with that friend as long as you act casual and don’t send the mixed signals that you would prefer to be close friends again.
5. GET INVOLVED IN OTHER ACTIVITIES
One of the best things that you can do when distancing yourself from a toxic friend is getting involved in other activities and getting to meet new people. You will have an excuse for not seeing or talking to your toxic friend and will be able to fill your longing for a new friend that can be there for you.
6. BE PREPARED FOR CONFRONTATION
If you are completely set to end a toxic friendship, you have to be prepared for a confrontation. Depending on what type of person your friend is, he or she might just get used to you being distant or they will approach you with questions. At this point you have two options; either you honestly tell them that distance is good for both of you, or you can say that you’ve been occupied with other things. Whatever you do it’s up to you but make sure that after that conversation, you don’t fall back into the trap of the toxic friendship again.
7. STAY CONSISTENT
After succeeding in distancing yourself from a friend, it’s important to stay consistent. You want to make sure that the tight bond between the two of you has been completely broken. After putting so much effort into ending a toxic friendship, you don’t want to hit reverse and be stuck in negativity again.