Friendships are a significant part of our lives through managing stress and adding meaning. Our friends are the first ones we run to when we have good news or need a shoulder to cry on. At the same time, they’re also some of the people we take for granted.
In this hi-tech day and age, we’re all busy doing our thing and living our lives. But that shouldn’t mean you leave your friendships behind. You can do many things to stay close to your friends despite your busy work/family schedule. After all, it was Honest Abe who said, “The better part of one’s life consists of his friendships.”
If we’ve learned anything this past year, it’s the importance of friendships. So, here are five simple ways to improve your relationships with friends. Use this free worksheet to discover new friendships.
1. Keep in Touch
Every friendship is different. Some friends you can see every week, while you can only catch up with other friends every other month.
Nothing is quite as great as spending some quality time with your friends. However, it’s not always easy to schedule frequent get-togethers. Luckily, there are ways to keep the friendship strong in the meantime.
Simple things like dropping a text with a ‘how’s your day going?’ or a smiley emoji. Then, several days later, write out an email telling them about their week when you have time. Ask them to do the same.
Technology may have its drawbacks. But when it comes to keeping people connecting, it does a pretty good job.
2. Remember Important Dates
This should be a no-brainer even if your friend doesn’t make a big deal about their birthday. You must send a gift, a card, or even a funny GIF. People appreciate it when their friends take a little time out of their day to acknowledge them.
Again, technology helps out in this department as well. You can use Google Calendar to add in all the birthday dates. Then, to be extra vigilant, set a reminder a week in advance, so you have time to organize a gift.
3. Be a Good Listener
We get caught up in our world. We’re used to expressing our point of view and feelings that we often neglect the feelings of others.
To establish enduring friendships, you have to listen to your friends and respect their opinions. Ask open-ended questions and pay attention to what your friends are saying. This is one of the best ways you can build a lasting bond between yourself and your friends.
Equally important is maintaining eye contact. Avoid holding your phone and nodding your head the whole time they’re talking.
You also need to acknowledge your friends’ feelings and needs. Be open to their suggestions and be willing to compromise at times.
4. Open Up
Sharing good news with your friends boosts the value of these events in your life. Having special people support you enriches your life and makes it more special. It also promotes trust and gratitude.
You should also share with your friends when you have a problem. Everyone likes having a support system, and your friendships will grow stronger because of it.
There’s no doubt your friends will appreciate your willingness to open up and share. They’ll be happy that you put your trust in them, just like they did when they needed a shoulder to cry on and you were there for them.
5. Do Nice Things for Your Friends
One way to show your appreciation and love for your friends is to do something nice for them. It’s a great way to show how much you value their friendship.
Helping your friends out is a great way to strengthen your friendship. Plus, we guarantee you’ll have a great time and make great memories in the meantime. Then, whenever you need some help, you’ll find your friends there for you.
Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
- Compliment their skills or judgment
- Throw them a celebratory party if they get a raise or a promotion
- Help them set up a bookshelf
- Fix a leaky faucet
The Takeaway on Improving Friendships
Personal relationships are vital for our happiness and health. Any person who’s happy and successful in their lives has several meaningful friendships in their lives.
Yet, because we’re so busy, we can sometimes take our friendships for granted. These five simple ways to improve your relationships with friends will guarantee that that never happens—no matter how hectic your schedule is.
Friends are a precious gift. So, make the most of even the smallest moments and show some gratitude for having them in your life.
Need help finding the right friends? Check out our free worksheet to help you identify supportive friendships.