By Michael Oriedo

We all make friends. It is an exciting and natural thing for us to do because as human beings, we need love and companionship.

Friends make us feel accepted and valued. We share with them our bad and good feelings. We rely on them whenever we want someone to talk to or we need help. We relate to them our experiences and share our plans with them. Friends help to make life worthwhile.

However, whereas many of us strive to make new friends and keep the old ones, for some of us, our friendships do not last.

must nurture relationship

We lose friends more easily than we make them. We make friends and expect things will work out automatically to enable the relationship grow. The truth is, you must nurture the relationship.

Some of us therefore have become disheartened believing that people do not appreciate our company. Consequently, we have chosen to keep fewer or no friends, thinking that we are better off this way.

Yes, we may not be responsible for losing our friends but on the contrary, we may not be doing much to keep them.

Like a car, friendship needs constant repair for it to work properly. Being in a friendship is similar to going for an endless journey.

You cannot travel safely on such a journey if you do not service your car and keep on checking to ensure it is in good condition.

Perhaps you have once taken a ride in a car hoping that it will take you to your destination safely. Then, in the middle of the journey, somewhere in the jungle, the car broke down when you least expected.

How did it feel?

Often feelings of anger, disappointment and helplessness engulf us. When caught in such a situation, most of us blame the car forgetting that we had not taken time to service it.

Similarly, we also become aggrieved and disconsolate when our friends desert us especially during our hour of need.

"How can you do this to me?" We ask forlornly hoping that our words will change their minds.

Just like a car, you do not have to wait until when it has broken down for you to repair it. Constantly mend your friendship when the sun is still shining. Do not wait until when you are on the verge of breaking up.

Having a mutual friendship depends on how we treat and relate with each other.

It begins with the small things we do. Always be calm and courteous to your friends. Good friends treat each other with respect regardless of their backgrounds and successes.

Desire each other’s company

This is because they value their friendship more than the differences that exist between them. They do not allow feelings of pride overcome them. This makes them desire each other’s company, renewing commitment to their friendship.

When you are on the wrong, do not defend yourself or strive to show that your friend is partly responsible for the mistake. Apologise and make your friends understand that you did not intend to hurt them.

Another important thing is that friends communicate openly. Do not go around telling other people about what your friends are doing or not doing. What you say will certainly reach them.

I have seen many friendships crumble because of this. It shows that you do not trust and believe each other. In such a case, the friendship is not worth keeping. Keep repairing your friendship by being open to each other.

However, sometimes it becomes inevitable that a friendship has to end. When this happens, strive to part amicably. Admit the friendship has ended and move on without harbouring any anger.

You do not have to stay miserable or tell everyone what has happened as you absolve yourself from blame.

Friendships usually bring happiness and sense of belonging only when we build on them. Do not allow your friendships to lose their sheen. Maintain them so that you can have people to share life with.

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