Making friends is hard, but maintaining them can be even more challenging. Adults have work and family responsibilities, making prioritizing friendships tough. Nonetheless, quality relationships are important and can be really beneficial to your life. Here are some tips for maintaining meaningful friendships.
You’re probably thinking, “friendship shouldn’t be that hard.” But the fact of the matter is, anything worth having is worth working for. That includes maintaining strong relationships. These tips will help you do your part to keep those great friendships intact.
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Why is it important to have meaningful friendships?
Life is hard. And while it is helpful to have the love and support of family members, sometimes you just need your friends. The “benefits of friendships” list grows longer and longer the more you have good people in your life. To sum it up, good friends provide support when life is tough and help you celebrate when life is good. There is no feeling like having the right friends surrounding you. In fact, PsychCentral calls meaningful friendships, “the spice of life.”
How can I nurture friendships as an adult?
Here are some tips to help you keep your friendships strong when you’re booked and busy:
- Make time for your friends
- communicate honestly
- be supportive
- respect boundaries
- show appreciation
These five tips can help you develop lasting friendships.
Make time for friends.
You’re probably rolling your eyes at me because I know we all have so much to do, right? But, hear me out. Being intentional about carving out time with your friends is essential.
Whether it’s getting together for a FaceTime chat, meeting for a cup of coffee, or scheduling a weekend trip, make sure to make time for your friends.
If you can’t communicate honestly with your friends, it’s probably time to find new friends. You should be comfortable being vulnerable and able to share your true thoughts and feelings with your friends.
Honest communication goes both ways. Not only should you be able to be your true self with your friends, but you should also provide a safe space for them to be their true selves.
Friendships should be mutually supportive. Be there for your friends when they need you most. Offer you help, advice, or a listening ear when they need it.
Supportive friends know when to be there, even when the person doesn’t know they need you there. Maintaining friendships requires support from all parties involved.
Good friends know how and when to respect boundaries. Be considerate when your friend has established boundaries, but be aware enough to know when you need to toe the line.
If you have set boundaries, enforce those with your friend. You deserve to be respected just as much as your friend does.
Everyone likes to feel appreciated sometimes. Be sure to show your friends how much they mean to you from time to time. A simple thank-you note or an unexpected gesture of kindness can go a long way. A small care package to say, “I’m thinking of you” is a great token of appreciation, too.
Don’t take your friendship for granted. Let people know how much they mean to you.
Family is important, but it’s important to have good friends in your life, too. Maintaining meaningful friendships can be challenging, but good friends are worth the work. Follow these tips to do your part in nurturing quality relationships.