Listen to your friends

Friendships require attention and tending — if we don’t truly know what a friend needs, and if we don’t clearly state what we’re feeling or needing ourselves, friendships just won’t survive.

Jenna Sanderson (@jenna94) - Profile Photo

@jenna94

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Self Improvement

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Support, trust, and honesty

Friendships are built on mutuality and reciprocity — be there for her, so that she will be there for you.

If you can’t be straight with her or feel the need to hide your actions or tell untruths, the relationship is being built on shifting sand and won’t be able to withstand any real challenges.

Assume the best and give your friend the benefit of the doubt. If you’re quick to assume the worst and ready to lay down blame, you’re not going to be the kind of friend that anyone wants for the long haul. 

There’s no rule that says you have to love what your friend is wearing, who your friend is dating, how your friend is raising her kids or any other choices your friend is making. 

There is an unspoken rule that you don’t bash your friend’s choices to others behind her back. Gossip damage reputation.

Respect your friends’ boundaries as well as their stories. Some friends may have a difficult time letting people get close to them for fear of being hurt. 

Don’t crowd your friends — give them the space they need to feel comfortable, and let the relationship deepen over time.

No one promises to bring perfection to a relationship. 

If you’re able to admit when you’ve failed to hold up your end of the relationship, it’s a lot more likely that a friend will be able to forgive and move forward.

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A Definition of Friendship

A friendship is a mutual relationship between two people that is satisfying, safe, and where both people feel seen.

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Friendships change

If our friendships are going to last a long time, we will have to accept that change will happen, and it won't always be comfortable.

If a friendship is feeling weird, use the concept called the "friendship triangle." The triangle base is positivity, and the two sides are consistency and vulnerability. Look at your friendship through this triangle to see what's off-balance.

Build deeper friendships
  • Evaluate your relationships and find out which friendships need a deeper connection.
  • Make plans that encourage conversation like going to an art exhibit, taking a class, or cooking together.
  • Don't shy away from difficult emotional subjects.
  • Create time to be supportive of them. Deeper relationships take more time and effort to maintain.

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