Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one. ~C. S. Lewis
Do you ever meet someone and things just instantly click? How about over time, you come to realize someone you weren’t quite sure about at first, has crept into your heart and you realize that you would miss them if they weren’t in your life? However your friendship starts, it takes lots and lots of nourishment to keep it going. Just like any relationship worth having.
One of the hardest things when you get older, is to keep friendships alive that might seem to be dying off. I know that when I was growing up, we’d call each other on the phone and make plans all the time. But once you are not in close proximity anymore, it really takes a more proactive approach that some people just don’t seem to have time for. The truth is, we are all busy so that’s just an excuse…it’s time to call friends, on the phone, and not just message or text them. I know that seems quick and easy, but there’s something about hearing your friend’s voice even a few times a month that can really make a difference.
3 ways to build strong..er friendships
- Talk it out. Even if you don’t always agree, arguments can be a sign that you still care enough about the other person to be concerned about a certain behavior. If you didn’t care, you might not bring it up. If they care about you, they will make time to listen to what you have to say and hear you out. Not just jumping to the worst conclusion. If they do that, well, it might be a sign that even when you talk, they only hear what they want to hear.
- They make time for you…face time. I know that we have all had those friends who couldn’t get together unless they needed something. If you want to get together, they have x, y, and z to do. But if the latest band is in town and they want to go, they text you. That’s not what I’m talking about. Proactive friendships are different. You enjoy spending time together and there doesn’t have to be an event, reason, or purpose. As a matter of fact, before you leave that outing/meeting/movie or whatever, you make time in your calendar right then for the next meeting. You are truly glad to get together…and it doesn’t feel like the other person is hiding anything or just making excuses when you ask what they are doing on a certain night.
- Seek balance in the friendship. Sometimes, it seems you are the only one putting in all the effort. At other times, you might be the only one making all the plans…asking when you can get together or even being the first one to text…without much response if any. During those times, it can be easy to assume that perhaps the friendship is not working out. Maybe the other person is truly not aware they are constantly giving you the brush off, or maybe they are. But at a certain point, it’s time to realize that you are carrying the friendship alone. There is no balance. A proactive friendship is one that really makes you feel good about your friend. You get together, you call, you actually carry out plans that you make. You don’t feel let down by constant broken plans, or empty promises. A balanced friendship makes you feel great. You have someone who you can count on no matter what.
I saw something on Facebook last week that made me think of writing this post. A person said she knew her “friends” had read the message she sent them as it said so, and they just didn’t respond. Not only that, but she was liking and commenting on things her “friends” did, but no one seemed to do the same for her. I understand how once in a while, messages can get missed. But if you rely solely on messages as a form of communication with a friend, well, that might be a problem as well. It’s time to look at your friendships closely. Are you being proactive and sharing the responsibilities or are you just too “busy” to keep up? Want more tips that you can use and a real support group? Read more here >> The Club with Soul <<