Making friends and keeping them is not as straightforward as it sounds. In the course of one's life friendship means different things. But the underlying qualities remain unchanged despite challenges and level of growth.
How to be a good friend for lasting friendships
Read on to find out how to cultivate strong friendships.
Friendships are important to one's well-being. They reduce stress, give a sense of belonging, boost your confidence and give you support through tough times and make it easier to maintain healthy lifestyles.
According to science, adults with great friend networks have fewer health issues and problems with their sense of self. They are also likely to live longer than those without friends.
But they don't come on a silver platter. Here are some qualities of good friends who cultivate long-lasting friendships.
Make your friends feel good
Friendship is not just about feeling good, it is about making the other party feel good as well. Investing in emotional wellness looks like compliments, supporting each other when and uplifting each other.
Love the differences
Your friends will not be similar to you in interests or hobbies or even beliefs. It is important to accept them and remain open to them. You may even try out their interests and see if they feel good for you. Good friends encourage each other's individuality.
Practice being a good listener. Avoid interrupting your friend and let them complete their emotional or thought processes. Take interest in what they have to say and get the same treatment in return.
It doesn't cost a thing to be trustworthy. Be your friends' confidant and withhold judgement. Keep private information private.
Respect and boundaries
As friendships grow, certain issues can arise that require setting respectful boundaries. In healthy friendships, you need to be able to talk about any problems or hurt and find solutions. Being a good friend doesn't mean keeping your hurt to yourself to protect your friend, it means talking about issues, getting or giving forgiveness, and being on the same page without resentment.
At first, it may be awkward, but as you keep at it, it will feel natural and easier. Building close connections takes time and effort. It may require regular check-ins and conversations to warm your way into each other's lives.
Being a good friend means getting the same treatment as you give. There are no dominant parties and passive ones. Both should be able to do the same thing for one another.
Have a community
It is great and healthy to have more than one friend. There are best friends and then there are communities of like-minded people. Having a few good friends can give you a wide perspective on life and increase your support.
Pick quality over quantity
Being a good friend means knowing how to pick a few good people over having many superficial friendships. The quality of your close connections can be affected by having many friends so know your limits and who is your friend.
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