Like seasons of life, friendships can blossom and wane. And as you get older, you might find it harder to make new adult friends. Unlike during the years of school, there simply is less opportunity to do so. Yet, this doesn’t mean it's impossible!
At the same time, maybe it’s worthwhile nurturing your existing friendships. Long-term friendships can enhance your life like no other, offering you a sense of belonging, support, and loads of reasons for happiness and joy.
So… if you’re feeling as though you’re drifting away from your friends or you’re struggling to reconnect, don’t worry. We have got you covered.
Below, we explore all the ways you can foster deeper relationships in your life (and what it means to do so!). So let’s dig in. How can you nurture your friendships and create greater happiness in your life?
When you nurture your friendships, your friends become like family. You can rely on one another. You “get” each other. You lean on one another. And it goes two ways.
Yet, fostering a friendship requires some effort, on both parts. You have to check in on each other. You have to boost each other up. There are a variety of qualities that equate to good friends. So, let’s take a look at a few of these!
When you think of a good friend, a few qualities might come to mind. Yet, inevitably, some of these are more important than others, including honesty, trustworthiness, and kindness.
Being a good friend isn’t that hard. In many ways, you just have to maintain the basics of any relationship, which also includes communication!
With that in mind, let’s help you foster a friendship forever, so that you can build your “tribe” and start making or maintaining those undeniably important connections and bonds.
Related Article: 4 Things Real Friends Won’t Do
There are a billion ways you can nurture friendships and make lasting connections. Yet, for the sake of this article, we’re going to look at eight ways you can foster those bonds. Keep reading to find out!
Active listening is one of the best interpersonal skills you can master. This means listening to understand, not respond. It means really thinking about what the other person is saying and taking it in, without making side comments or judgments.
Sometimes, people just need someone there to listen and understand. While many of us love to jump into solution-mode, this isn’t always suitable. In your friendships, ensure you listen and understand first, then maybe ask if they want to solve the problem or just need a shoulder to lean on.
Maybe you had a nice dinner and are still thinking about it the next day. Let the other person know! This is a great way to let friends know you’re still thinking about the wonderful time you had with them and how much you enjoyed and appreciated it.
Also, when it comes to making plans, it can pay off to follow up days prior to ensure these plans actually happen.
While toxic positivity doesn’t do anyone any good, remaining a positive force in your friends' lives can count for leaps and bounds. Inevitably, there are times when just being there counts a lot, but we could all use our own cheerleaders to root for us as we go after what we want in life. Friends can help provide this!
Today, there are so many ways to stay connected. In other words, if you want to stay connected, you will. Pick up the phone. Plan a Facetime. Or start a tradition with a regular hangout with your pals. Staying connected is so much easier to do today than ever before.
We go to our friends for compassion and empathy. If you become that judgy friend, no one is going to want to come to you when they need it nor will they be there for you. Avoid judgment. Again, seek to understand!
Having a good laugh is an easy way to bring people together. Watch a comedy. Be goofy together! Sharing a laugh is an easy and fun bonding experience for all.
Some are worth it. Some aren’t. For instance, if your friend just had a baby and is running late, it’s probably a good idea to cut her some slack.
On the flip side, if your friend is often late for no real reason and it gets under your skin, it might be a good idea to politely bring it up. Pick your battles. Sometimes, it’s really not worth it.
When someone messages you, answer! Waiting days or weeks to get back to them shows you don’t care or prioritize them. And no, you don’t need to answer ultra-quickly. Rather, within the day is perfectly fine.
After all, we have busy lives! People get that. But there is something to a prompt and timely reply that communicates respect.
A famous quote from Winnie the Pooh is,
“A friend is someone who helps you up when you’re down, and if they can’t, they lay down beside you and listen.”
Find those friends that do that for you and vice versa. When you do, your life takes on a whole other meaning.
May 25, 2022