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Healthy Friendships

28 SAVED IDEAS

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.

@jojo_the2nd

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Self Improvement

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. 

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.

Why you need friends

Friendship helps protect the brain and body from stress, anxiety and depression. Being around trusted others, in essence, signals safety and security,

Research suggests that you only need between four and five close pals. Close friends should be someone you can talk to, someone you can depend upon and someone you can enjoy.

Friendships are always about common passions. Whatever you’re into, someone else is too. Let your passion guide you toward people. Volunteer, for example, take a new course or join a committee at your local religious center. If you like yoga, start going to classes regularly.

Once you meet a potential future friend, invite them to do something. You have to put yourself out there.

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. 

A Definition of Friendship

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

In order for a relationship to be satisfying, it must have a foundation of positivity.

Positive feelings are paramount to our friendships because these are the relationships we are entering by choice. We all want our friendships to add more joy, peace, and support to our lives.

In order for a relationship to be safe, it must develop consistency.

Consistency is the action of repeating our time together which in turn develops our trust as we begin to create and modify expectations of each other. It’s what builds a shared history and increases our commitment and feeling of support in each other.

In order for a relationship where both people feel seen, it must develop vulnerability.

As we spend more consistent time together, we are also incrementally revealing and sharing more of who we are with each other.  The more we let someone see us (always increasing our positivity with responses such as affirmation, acceptance, and empathy) then the more loved we’ll feel for who we are.

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.

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.

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.

Understanding friendships

Understand why some friends stay for years, while others fade away after a few months, or weeks. 

If you understand the nature of the friendship you have with a person, you can better predict where it’s heading, and better understand why this friend behaves the way they do.

  • Associate:  The relationship revolves around that specific thing, and you barely ever talk about anything else.
  • Useful Contact: With this type of friend, you exchange useful information, job opportunities, industry news, you introduce each other to people, exchange tips on good deals, etc. But, you don’t discuss personal matters with each other.
  • Favor Friend: This the type of friendship you could have with a nice colleague or neighbor. You help each other with the simple stuff.
  • Fun Friend: This is the type of friend that makes you take yourself less seriously. The friendship doesn’t require a lot of investment from you; it’s just about relaxing, having a drink, partying, laughing, etc. 
  • This is like having two simple friendships in one; you socialize with this person, and you help each other as well. 

    This one you can ask for lifts to the airport, and call during emergencies like car accidents. You don’t rely on your helpmate for emotional support.

    Comforter

    You socialize, help each other, and provide emotional support for each other. 

    This kind of friend is generally present in case of the loss of a family member, a breakup, loss of a job, or similar. You trust each other enough to talk about fears, frustrations, and insecurities; you look to lift each other’s spirit.

    With this kind of friend, you can support each other emotionally, and you also enjoy each other’s company when you meet. He or she doesn’t necessarily live near you. 

    With this friend, you can confide in each other about anything, and not just when something bad happens. You talk about your goals, your secret opinions, but also your general life challenges.

    With a soulmate, you enjoy each other’s company, you help each other, you provide emotional support, you confide in each other, and you share a similar outlook on life.

    You’re committed to being each other’s friends, even without realizing it. Moving away or not meeting for a year won’t change this friendship that much.

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