A Friend for Keeps: Ways to Nurture Good Friendship

“A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be. -Douglas Pagels”

No one goes through life without a friend. As a social being, it is our innate nature to love and be loved in return, to have someone to talk to in good times and in bad and share our hope and dreams with. Without a friend, life is really boring.

To have a friend is to be one. In other words, you have to be a friend first in order to have friends. Even when we were little, we have someone to laugh and play with. Friends are truly a gift that you give yourself. There is no doubt why I love this quote by Douglas Pagels that says “A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.”

We always have the desire to make new friends, but keeping and sharing a lasting friendship with them is the real challenge.

How to strengthen and nurture good friendship ? Here are some tips on how you can nurture your relationship with your friend:

  1. Remain connected to each other. There is real power in connection. Every relationship grows when both parties connect often and communicate with one another. Spend time with your friend, especially if the relationship only starts to flourish. This is the best time to know his/her character and personality. Remember, proximity leads to liking and every good relationship needs time and attention. Thus, it is very important to remain connected no matter the time and distance.
  1. Always have a listening ear. When a friend shares something to you, lend your ear and listen to what he/she says instead of thinking what you’re going to say. In other words, empathize and don’t over-sympathize. It’s always an advantage when you know your friend deeply and empathize with them. Time and attention is the most valuable gift you can ever give to a friend and that’s what will also teach you on how to nurture good and lasting friendships that are for keeps.
  1. Be quick to forgive. Forgive and forget and never hold grudges. When there is a misunderstanding, openly talk to your friend and be honest about your feelings. There is no perfect relationship, but through apology and forgiveness many are able to iron things out and move on with their lives. Letting go is a very important step after forgiveness. If the pain is too deep, time can heal your wounds, but may take a long time. The power is your hands and when you are ready make sure to let go of those bitterness.
  1. Be real. Friends should wear no masks. You need to accept both the good and the bad about each other. During the most difficult time, friendship is best tested. You know the real person when you are faced with a tragedy or when you’re at the lowest time of your life. Either they are there to support you and encourage you or they will just desert you. As a good friend, be there when he or she needs you the most. Be true to yourself as well as this attracts more friends into your life.

Read more: Red Flags to Avoid on Making New Friends

Just like a plant, every relationship needs to be nurtured. It will not sustain and survive through a storm if it is not properly nourished. It is a must to know what to avoid in meeting new friends and learn what to do to keep them for a lifetime. Trust, love, time, and communication are important to nurture good friendship and strengthen the bond between you and your friend and gets stronger as time goes by. Best of all, having a friend who is there for you through thick and thin is indeed one of life’s rarest treasures and is worth to keep for life.

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