Friendship is commonly defined as “a relationship between two or more friends”. The direction that the friendship takes really depends on the parties involved and how much they value the relationship. Over the years, I have seen friendships develop and strengthen, and yet others start and evaporate.
When two or more people become friends and take time to learn and appreciate one another as they are, this is friendship. However, one that continuously points out the other person’s weaknesses and does not seek to improve on those weaknesses is one to flee from.
Below are my top 7 thoughts on nurturing and keeping a friend:
1. Be yourself
Do not try to be like someone else, you are special just as you are. Each person on this earth is God’s unique workmanship. If someone accepts this and does not try to change you into what he or she wants, that is a friend.
2. Be honest
Honesty in a relationship builds trust and confidence between the parties involved. One will know from the onset that the person he/she is dealing with can be trusted. In this way, the relationship will grow stronger without any hidden fears of whether or not one’s innermost secrets are safe.
3. Be open
The earlier you let known your values and attributes, the better. This will ensure minimal misunderstandings along the way and ultimately, respect is gained and maintained. Each person will respect the other and keep it that way.
4. Be thankful
It is important that you don’t take anything for granted; be grateful for the friend that you have and show it too. The little things like receiving a phone call should be appreciated because one has gone out of his/her way to keep the connection.
5. Give time
Invest time in the relationship because this propels it to a higher level. The element of time shows that you value the relationship and want to keep it. A relationship that is given time, grows into a healthy one because time allows the parties involved to learn more about each other or one another.
Have a listening ear because this enables the other party open up and feel comfortable talking. It becomes a balanced relationship where there is sharing and not only one party doing the talking and wanting to be listened to. Listening is therapy to the person talking especially if it is about a difficult situation.
It is good to show the value you attach to a relationship by returning a favor. It should not always be the other party to initiate the phone calls or the meetings or the gift giving. This is not to say it is a must to do this; it just shows that you care as much for this relationship and wish for it grow on a strong foundation.
The above thoughts are captured from the heart and they are based on personal experiences.