No friendship is perfect and most of us can attest to that. We go through hard times with our friends and mistakes are made. At the same time, you have the chance to improve the quality of your friendships especially when you’re aware that you could do better. As you grow older, you might realise that maintaining good friendships requires alot of effort and understanding from both parties.
Good news is that there are measures you can take to get things back on track to ensure you don’t break the bond with some of the most genuine people in your life.
Below are six tips that you can use to maintain a healthy balance within your friendships.
Get to know them
This might sound a little unreal but, many of us don’t really know our friends properly. Especially as we mature, our friends also mature into new interests and goals. Unfortunately, technology has replaced the need for human interactions so while many of us ‘hang out’, in reality we’re basically sitting in a room, glued to our phones.
It's important to spend quality time with your friends and conciously learn about their hopes, dreams, or issues they are struggling with. Paying keen attention also allows you to notice some warning signs especially when it comes to depression and suicidal signs in your friends.
Honesty in a friendship is one of the qualities that people value. You can count on them to tell you the truth about certain things because you know they’re being genuine.
Although telling people the truth can be awkward, it’s very necessary. A culture of honesty will foster real conversations among friends and also improve each other's goals.
Avoid holding grudges
Friendships can teach you very valuable lessons about forgiveness. In many relationships disagreements and mistakes are bound to happen. However if the relationship means alot to you, do not shy away from raising the issue with your friend, pointing out why you were offended. Should the friend own up to the mistake, the you can move one without resentment. However do not allow toxic friends who will repeatedly offend without any remorse or feel the need to cultivate the friendship. Maturity and mutual respect is key in this area.
Show some appreciation
Going that extra mile to appreciate your friends means a lot. It can be anything from buying them gifts once in a while or sending them a random message to show that you appreciate them. This automatically sends the signal that they’re not just a fly on the wall in your life. It’s a true expression of authentic love from one friend to another.
Be there for them
Everyone has their own anxieties and issues so it’s all about lifting each other up. That’s what friends are for right? There are times when you will need to stop focusing on yourself for the sake of someone else. For example, when your friend is going through grief, which is a huge deal, it’s not the right time to start complaining about your problems in a self-centered way.
Learn to be there for your friends in any way you can. Sometimes it can be financial, physically or spiritually.
Protect them even in their absence
Do not be afraid to stand up for your friend if you hear them being badmouthed in your presence. Even when you are not sure of the narrative being peddled, the least you can do is not take part in the mud smearing campaign against your friend.