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How to be best friends for ever: don't cancel, fight like siblings and make new memories

Nostalgia is overrated

If you start every conversation with, “Hey, remember that time when… ?” you and your friend will die of boredom.

You need new things, new memories, rather than using nostalgia as the glue holding a friendship together. Living in the past can make you both feel emotionally stunted and a bit stale.

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How to be best friends for ever: don't cancel, fight like siblings and make new memories

How to be best friends for ever: don't cancel, fight like siblings and make new memories

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/apr/27/how-to-be-best-friends-for-ever-dont-cancel-make-new-memories

theguardian.com

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Key Ideas

Nostalgia is overrated

If you start every conversation with, “Hey, remember that time when… ?” you and your friend will die of boredom.

You need new things, new memories, rather than using nostalgia as the glue holding a friendship together. Living in the past can make you both feel emotionally stunted and a bit stale.

It’s good to have “your thing”

People get busy and life has dramatic ups and downs, but if you watch Drag Race every Friday together or bake Betty Crocker cookies every month, you have something to anchor you through the chaos of life.

“Best friend” is a tier, not a person

Friendship is not a monogamous relationship; there is room for more than one. When you’ve known someone for years, try to be confident in the bond you’ve got. 

Fight like siblings

Unless something truly terrible happens, there’s no room for grudges.
You will annoy each other, of course, but it’s always better to get over it quickly.

Commitment

It is key to maintaining real relationships. 

Turn up, because you know they would do the same for you in a heartbeat.

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Be a regular

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Look for activities where the same core people show up. Keep showing up yourself. 

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Share some details of your life more freely so that your conversation partner doesn't have to interrogate you. If you feel uncomfortable talking too much, give yourself permission to stretch and grow.

Be the conversation starter

Most people are secretly scared of getting rejected.  Assume that people like you and act in kind.

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It takes time

The process takes time, and you may experience false starts. Not everyone will want to put in the effort necessary to be a good friend.

Which is reason enough to nurture the friendships you already have–even those than span many miles. Start by scheduling a weekly phone call. 

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“We think about relationships as things that happen to us, but the truth is that we make them happen.”

“We think about relationships as things that happen to us, but the truth is that we make them happen.”

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    Do it rarely

    If you choose to use strategies for conscientiously flaking, try to do it rarely. 

    If you have to do it often, it’s probably because you’re saying yes to too many things and

    'Not feeling so well'

    This approach is fine, as long as it's true. It’s always good to give a reason why you’re bailing, especially when that reason is truthful and specific. Also, deliver your excuse over the phone or in person, so there’s less room for it to get lost in translation.

    For example, “I’m not feeling up for it tonight” may not sound ok in your head, but it’s definitely more effective than “something came up.”

    Think a few steps ahead
    • If a last-minute emergency prevents you from missing a moderately important gathering, be sure to still send a gift and a handwritten note.
    • Be sure to mention you're sorry for not making it and don't put the person that invited you.
    • Don't fish for validation, but validate them. Reiterate the fact that you value your relationship and that you are not rejecting them permanently.

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