Next week is International Friendship Week and as this article from Psychology Today says – friendship is the best medicine. We find as we get older that friends will come and go throughout the various stages of our life and that are friendships are important for many reasons, not least the fact that they help us define our priorities and steer our thoughts and behaviours in a positive direction.
Another article from Psychology Today outlines 15 reasons why we need solid friendships and how they can help shape our lives and we’ve also compiled a list that will help you build friendships that will last the course of time.
Be yourselfTrue friends can see through the facade to get to the authentic person that lies beneath. Rather than try and be someone that you're not in order to make friends, concentrate on being true to yourself so that you will attract the right kind of friends that will stick with you no matter what.
Put others firstLasting friendships are based on give and take. In order to build strong friendships you need to be a good friend yourself. Think about what you can do to be a better friend to others and explore the ways in which you could make their lives easier.
Ask yourself what you look for in a friendWords such as loyal, kind, understanding, dependable will probably feature. The reality is that the qualities you’re looking for in a friend are the same qualities that they will be looking for too, so try and be the kind of friend you seek.
Spend time togetherIt’s difficult sometimes to find the time needed to nurture friendships – maybe due to work pressures or stresses at home – it’s easy for us to take friends for granted or neglect them. Like all relationships, friendships take effort, so make sure you carve out time in your schedule to spend with your friends.
Don’t be one of those friendsYou know the ones? They only contact us if they want something... Keep the lines of communication open and be available for your friends, all the time, not just when it suits you. It’s fine to call upon our friends for things we need from time to time – and them us – but make sure it’s not all the time!
Keep it positiveWe rely on our friends to pick us up when we’re feeling down. They should lift our spirits and guide us to make positive decisions. Try not to burden your friendships with too much negativity or stress. If you are facing challenges do so together, but try and do so from a positive viewpoint.
Honesty is always the best policyFriendships falter if based on anything less than complete honesty. If misunderstandings arise, tackle them head-on and never let disagreements damage a friendship, try and sort it out. Being open, honest and kind - it's central to building long-lasting friendships.
Have fun!The friends that laugh together, stay together. Keep your friendships fresh by having fun together. Try new things and visit new places. Connections built on shared experiences are the ones that will stand the test of time.
For some tips on how to find new friends in a digital world, read our previous blog post.