Friends are the family we choose. We find friends of all kinds, some are compatible with our natures and some are completely opposites. The best part of friendship is to have someone by your side whom you can count on in any situation. Good friendships make the life exciting and interesting. However, the inconvenient truth is that we lose many valuable friendships over time. Lack of communication, mistrust, distance, misunderstanding, not opening up, dishonesty, and indifference often destroy good friendships. We lack diligence, act too quickly, and often forget to rekindle old friendships in the lure of more success and powerful relationships. We make new friends everywhere and forget old ones and eventually end up with fake soulless people we call ‘friends’ for a reason or stuck lonely in our own ruts. Life without rewarding friends is not satisfying. Even having a single real friend you can trust and spend your life with is deeply enriching. So lower your guard, be open-minded and find right friends for your life. Choose wisely and nurture the liberating fountain of joy, harmony, and abundance with your friends for life. We will tell you how.
- Provide physical and emotional support- Friends can sometimes feel broken and unmotivated to even complete simple daily tasks on their own. They retreat when stressed. Don’t let them suffer alone. Accompany them and, your presence will act as a magical potion in their battle. Hold their hands, pat them on the back, give them warm hugs, cook them comforting meals, keep their room clean, take them outdoors, and plan sleepovers to let them vent, cry and sleep peacefully. Encourage them to succeed in life in the face of difficulty. Don’t let them fall into any bad habit or addiction. Tell them how everyone face similar situations and they are not alone. Show them the brighter side of life, lighten up their environment, join them in healthy activities like jogging, dancing, sports, exercising, healthy eating, etc, and inspire them by being a good example yourself. When emotionally hurt, people often choose to be silent to protect their feelings, break prolonged silence, and listen to their pain and suffering without being judgemental and provocative. Support them to overcome their wounds and move on to better things in life. Be empathetic.
- Learn to forgive and resolve conflicts- Forgiveness is not easy. Considering that most of the time we forgive our friends for doing silly things that annoy us, but sometimes friends can overboard and cross the boundaries which can hurt us, knowingly or unknowingly. Selfish motives, jealousy, and competitiveness can blind anyone and people often cross the lines to triumph, making others look bad and hurt them in their most vulnerable state. All these coming from a friend makes the forgiving process difficult. Take your time, cut off if you need to, acknowledge your feelings, analyze the situation, work on yourself, and observe your reactions. Forgive and let go of the bitterness and anger before you get involved with someone. If your friend apologizes, it’s your call to reconsider them or not, whatever you choose let them know. If you decide to forgive your friend, be sure to communicate them your limitations and feelings. Look for a solution to the conflict rather than holding a grudge. Remember that mutual understanding between friends is more important than forgiveness. But don’t compromise on your values or react to the insults. Even if you can’t forgive don’t take the path of revenge. Mistakes can happen in any relationship. Forgiveness heals and strengthens friendship. Work on the conflicts together and learn to grow stronger.
- Let them make other close friends- For a successful friendship, independence is needed. It is important to give your friends their personal space and freedom to choose people with whom they want to mingle. A secure friendship knows that the bond is strong enough to withstand any confusion or insecurity among friends, it allows us to expand our tribe, and explore different people without being jealous or fearful of losing good friends. Trust your friends and give them time to buid more meaningful relationships. Don’t compare or ask them to select between any friends. A friendship built on compromise and conditions is surely not going to last longer. Whenever in doubt do communicate and believe them when they say there is nothing to worry about. Also make sure you have a wide circle of friends yourself, to be in a space where you are not over-dependent on a single friend for support. Balance a healthy friendship with a bunch of common friends where it will be easier to resolve any issue between two friends with the involvement of other friends. The more the merrier holds true in the case of friendship, just make sure your friends are with good happy companions.
- Reach out from time to time- Do you connect with your friends when you need them or whenever they are in trouble? Being there as a support system is a great trait, but that should not be your only chance to bond with your friends. Check on all your friends without any specific reason or worry. Call them every once in a while and be a part of their regular life. Chat or talk about anything or everything like good old times and rekindle the bond. Visit impromptu and surprise them to spend some quality time. Lack of communication is a very important reason for the weakening of any relationship. Due to long distance and busy lifestyles, we often miss small events in our friend’s lives. These little things are just as important as the big ones. Be thoughtful and allot a few days every month to check on your friends. It offers ideas on how to improve communication so that you and your friends can connect with each other and misunderstandings are virtually non-existent. Trust builds when you have someone to talk to and you open up well without much effort. Keeping in touch with friends is like a chore, and reminding them that your friends are always important and you are there for them no matter the time or distance between you two. Tell your friends what you think every time you think about it. Don’t hesitate, or procrastinate to find the perfect moment. Your own life and crises should not tie you up so much. So send messages and reply to those pending texts, pick up their calls or call back whenever you have time, listen, offer advice or suggestions, and resources whenever needed.
- Spend time to create memories- Taking things for granted and being in our comfort zone for too long makes us lazy to show up for our friends. The ease of the virtual world and long list of excuses such as work, family, partner, and children it’s easy to avoid seeing friends in person. Taking time and sharing real-life experiences and activities on regular basis refreshes the bond of togetherness. It connects you well, shows that your friendship bonds are as important as other phases of life, and brings out your inner child and destresses to a next level. Take that dream trip with besties, go out for a shopping spree, plan an adventure trip, relax at a spa, attend a sports tournament, pamper friends with lavish outdoor brunches, dinners, or parties, take up a cause and volunteer. Bonding through activities is the best way to strengthen any friendship. Also if possible, encourage families of friends to meet up for cultivating more stronger family bonds with friends. Make lots of memories, planned or not planned, and record them to last a lifetime. These memories with your beloved friends over time will bring a sense of belonging, reinforce the importance of friendship and encourage us to reunite in future.
Friends are indeed rare treasures of life you can never replace with anything. They are your partner in crime and well-being. Nurture this really important part of your life with care and loyalty. Your tribe need not be bigger but closer with time. Put your time and effort into sharing the nectar of this beautiful relationship called “Friendship”. Take care.