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
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 that 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 on the ones that mean the most to you. Sometimes it’s hard to balance your 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 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!