Our friendships are fragile, and keeping them strong and successful is part of what relationships are all about. It is not uncommon to take our friends for granted, and when we don’t nurture our friendships, they can sadly fall apart.
Putting forth a conscious effort to maintain close connections is something we should value, particularly when we want to ensure our relationships last a long time. This means paying attention to the details, being attentive always, and weathering the ups and downs that will test your bonds and beliefs.
I love my close friends as though they are family. We share secrets and stories and have been one another’s rock when times have been tough. Through good times and bad, we have had each other’s backs, been the shoulder to cry on, and the sounding board for unforeseen scenarios and life’s struggles. We have also celebrated the milestones, major life events, and miracles.
In order to keep these friendships solid, I make it a point to evaluate the status of our relationship from time to time. I make sure I do my part to prove I’m a true friend – I put their needs high on my list, I make time to talk, and I give them space when they need some solitude. I never judge or criticize, and I’m patient and protective.
Here are two ways you can nurture your friendships, so they don’t get damaged beyond repair. Good friends are hard to come by, so cherish yours and hold them close to your heart.
Generosity goes a long way. This doesn’t mean you have to spend lots of money or make your friends feel less-than due to your good deeds. What you can do is think of your friends, what they may want or need, and give without them having to ask. It’s all about consideration.
For example, when you are out running errands one day, pick up a friend’s favorite cupcakes and bring it by their house. Sit down and enjoy the cupcakes with them while you chit chat about your day and what’s going on in your lives. It’s a simple (and sweet) gesture and gives you an hour or so to connect.
Perhaps your friend is out of work. You can’t be expected to pay their bills, but you can help contribute where you can. Offer to pay for their gas when they pick you up or grab the bill when you go for lunch. Things add up, and your kindness will go a long way as they get back on their feet.
You can also lend a hand in terms of giving a friend some extra time to tend to their to-dos. Pick up their kids from soccer practice or babysit so they can run errands without the hassle. Your help will be appreciated and enjoyed. Don’t expect anything in return, but a good friend will be the first to do you a favor when you need them too.
We can’t always see our friends regularly. With busy lives, time flies and it could be weeks or months before getting together in person. Especially now, many friends are socially distant, and the time apart can cause friendships to crumble.
A quick phone call, a FaceTime or Zoom session, or even texting every few days is important for keeping the relationship steady. You surely have a few minutes to connect, have a laugh or two, and hear about each other’s lives. Without this check-in, you can lose the momentum and fall off the radar. Don’t let too much time pass or else you’ll start to slip away. We need our friends now more than ever, so make the move and catch up.
If you haven’t heard from a friend in a while, be sure to circle back. They may be in a dark place, and your friendly voice is sure to lift their spirits.
Remember, your friendships are precious. Treat them like gold and they’ll continue to sparkle!