Guide to Maintaining Friendships
How to Form Lasting Friendships
Good friendships are a highlight in anyone's life. Friends can be great sources of support during tough times and can make great moments even greater. However, like most good things in life, friendships require regular maintenance. It can take some work to create and build a lasting friendship. Thankfully, there are some simple steps that you can take to help create and maintain long lasting friendships.
Starting Up a Friendship
Find a new friend.Knowing where to look for like minded people and new friends can be a challenge. Despite this challenge, there are many places you can go to make new friends. Keep some of these tips in mind when considering where you might be most likely to meet interesting new people and make lasting friendships:
- You could join a group that is centered around one of your interests.
- For example, if you are into table top gaming, you might head down to your local game store and start playing with the people there.
- If you attend a university, there should be many different groups open for you to join.
- Attending conventions that cater to your interests can be a good place to meet new people.
- If there are no interesting groups in your area, you might form one of your own.
- Go to public places. Avoid cinemas and theaters as well as malls. In such areas, people are usually occupied in their own tasks and have a single focus. They might/will not be too interested in making friends at the moment.
Smile and offer compliments.Although it may be standard practice when meeting new people, smiling and offering compliments have both been demonstrated to cause others to be more drawn to you. Make sure you are showing your appreciation of others and demonstrating that you have a friendly personality to help you make new friends. Don't offer this many compliments that the person you are conversing to finds it awkward. Make sudden and flying compliments that flow with the discussion.
- Smiling will generally cause others to perceive you as being friendly and open.
- People often apply your comments about others back onto you. Saying nice things about those around you will help you present yourself as having those qualities yourself.
Spend time together with your new friends.When you are building a new friendship, it's important that you spend time together with your friend. Ideally, you'll be able to spend time together face-to-face, as more frequent exposure to one another can build a stronger bond between you. Try to make plenty of time for you and your new friend to hang out and to help lay the foundation for a lasting friendship.
- Spending time together online can be helpful, but it's not a replacement for meeting up in person.
- Always try to make it to events that your new friend has invited you to.
- Avoid turning down invitations to meet up with your new friend, as this may send a message that you are not interested in them.
Cementing Your Friendship
If your friend has a big event coming up, check in with them afterwards to show your support.Contacting your friend after an important meeting, test or other event can show that you care and were thinking about them. Always reach out to your friend after they've gone through something big to help make your bond a lasting one.
- For example, if your friend had an important exam that day, calling them and asking how it went would be a good idea.
- Your friend may have had an important business meeting. Texting them to see how it went would be a good way to show that you were thinking of them.
- Maybe your friend had a performance that they were nervous about. Asking the how it was can be a great way to show that you care.
Be open with your emotions, feelings and thoughts.Sharing your genuine feelings with your friend can demonstrate that you trust them enough to open up. Listening to your friend's feelings and concerns can demonstrate that you are a trustworthy person. Always try to facilitate an open and honest sharing of your thoughts, feelings and personalities to help create a long lasting friendship.
- You may be going through a tough time in a romantic relationship. Talking about it with your friend can help you both feel more connected.
- Always actively listen to your friend whenever they are sharing something important and personal.
- Don't be afraid to tell your friend something that you think they might not want to hear. For example, if they are considering buying something they can't afford, you might try telling them why it's a bad idea.
Help your friend out with practical things.Being there to help your friend out with practical issues can help create a stronger bond between the two of you. Although studies have shown these practical shows of support aren't as bonding as emotional support, helping your friend out can still make your friendship stronger. If your friend needs help with a challenge, task or other practical issue, offering your help can be a good way to make your relationship a lasting one.
- For example, you could help your friend move some new furniture into their house.
- If your friend's car broke down, you could try giving them a ride.
- Loaning your friend a couple of dollars can be a good way to show your support.
- You might try throwing your friend a birthday party.
Boost your friend's self esteem.Research has shown that the longest lasting friendships are based on how well they reinforce a person's sense of self and identity. Because of this, you'll want to show your friend that you are aware of how they identify themselves and support them in these roles. By showing your friend that you understand and support them, your friendship can be a lasting one.
- For example, you might say something like “You are such a good mom!” to help boost your friend's self esteem.
- You could try offering your friend praise for their professional lives. For example, you could say "I don't know how you landed that deal. I'm really impressed that you pulled that off."
- Maybe your friend is a musician and has written a new song. Telling them how much you enjoyed it could be a great way to strengthen your friendship.
Maintaining Your Friendship Over Time
Don't let distance break your friendship apart.It may have once been the case that moving away from a friend would make for a challenging relationship. However, thanks to modern technology, you can easily stay in touch with your good friends no matter where you are located. No matter the distance between you and your friend, you should still be able to stay in contact and keep the friendship alive. ]
- Make sure you keep your friends contact information up to date.
- Try to find a method that makes it easy for you both to stay in contact. For example, you both might find it easy to keep in regular contact through email.
- There are many video based chat programs that can make it easy to connect with a friend.
- You might find a game to play online with your friend for a fun way to spend time together.
Reach out to your friend.It's important that you make a real effort to reach out and contact your friend regularly. If your friend is the one who is always making plans or making contact with you, they may begin to feel the friendship is unfairly balanced. If you want to maintain a long term friendship, make sure you are making an effort to contact your friend on a regular basis.
- If you think your friendship is in danger, reaching out should become a priority.
- If you are the one who is always making contact, you might want to ask your friend if they could try reaching out to you a bit more often.
- Don't be overbearing. You'll need to learn how much contact is appropriate for you and your friend.
Keep your relationship positive.Although it can be fun to vent or complain to a friend, doing so too often can damage a relationship. Too much negativity during your conversations can leave your friend feeling drained or worn out after meeting with you. Try to keep time spent with your friends positive and energizing in order to maintain a long lasting friendship.
Make sure you spend time together.If you live far away from your friend or it's become difficult to find free time to meet up, you'll want to make time to spend together. It's easy to let life cause you and your friend to drift apart over time or distance. You'll want to actively make time for you and your friend to meet up in person every so often and keep your friendship alive.
- Meeting in person is the best way to keep your bond strong.
- Although it may not feel spontaneous, scheduling time together can help keep your friendship going.
- If you live far away from your friend, you'll want to plan a trip to meet up. One of you may travel to meet the other or you may want to meet somewhere in the middle.
Understand where your friend is at in their life.As time goes on, your friend may move into different phases of their life. These life changes can affect how much free time they have to spend with you. Understanding your friend's needs and mindset can help you engage with them in a way that will keep your friendship going strong.
- Your friend may have had children and now spends more time with their family. You'll need to give your friend the time and space to enjoy their new role in life. You will also want to offer support to your friend as a new parent.
- Marriage can cause a change in your friendship as your friend begins spending more time with their spouse. You'll still want to make sure you and your friend have time to hang out, while giving your friend the time they need for their new relationship as well.
QuestionMy friends are ignoring me because of my short height. What can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf they are ignoring you, you might want to rethink whether or not they are your real friends. If they were, they wouldn't judge you on your height.Thanks!
QuestionWhy do I get along with women better than men, even though I'm a man?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYour biological sex doesn't dictate who you should be friends with. Your personality and interests will lead the way on finding those you get along with. If they happen to be mostly women, that's just fine!Thanks!
QuestionWhy do I get along better with men than woman?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt's hard to say because it depends on the individual, but if you're a man, it's likely because you have more in common with other men. If you're a woman, it's possible that you aren't attracted to the things women tend to do with their female friends. You might even prefer "drama free" friendships.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I persuade my strict parents into letting me hang out with my guy friend?Emily HeisnerCommunity AnswerBring a friend who is super innocent and who your parents love. If that person can go along, it is likely you will be able to as well.Thanks!
QuestionWhy does everyone I want to be friend with say I am a very irritating person and stop talking to me?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMaybe there is a certain quality about you that people dislike. For example, do you always try to get in others' business? Think about your actions, and think about how they may affect other people.Thanks!
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