”Top Tips For Growing Stronger Friendships” is a collaborative post and includes affiliate links. Please see the disclosure page for more information. Disclaimer – always verify medical information with your doctor or a professional and follow all laws for your location.
Friendship is essential for all of us. We all need meaningful relationships and regular contact in our lives. Growing stronger friendships is vital for good mental health. In fact, there is even evidence that friendship has an effect on your physical health as well. The global Covid-19 pandemic with all it’s social distancing requirements has really given a lot of us a hard lesson in being thankful for friends.
Sometimes, with everything going on in modern life, it can feel hard to find the time to prioritize these friendships, especially with work and family obligations. We think deepening the bonds of our friendships will be impossibly time consuming. However, it’s really the little things that cement a bond and keep friendship flowing. Simple efforts on a regular basis can actually have a huge impact.
Keep A Memory In Mind
Having shared memories is a wonderful thing, and the unexpected humour they can bring is just the thing to brighten up a challenging day. It reinforces a common history and makes you feel less alone. So think of a time you did something special with your friend, or something funny happened, and give them a call or send them a message to remind them. Chances are it will brighten up both your days and make you feel closer.
Helping someone out with a significant issue in their life not only forges a deep connection, but it also gives you a feel-good buzz. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated – simply offering a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear can be everything to someone going through a tough time. Knowing when to sympathize and when to steer people right. Sometimes by giving them hard advice that they may not be ready to hear is the difference between an acquaintance and a true, trusted friend. That can also mean recognizing when a situation is beyond your help and you need to sign post your friend to professional support, such as a trained counsellor or a trusted provider of outpatient substance abuse treatment for specific help.
Do Something Personal To Celebrate
In this day and age, it’s too easy to throw out a casual ‘happy birthday’ on social media. Doing something personal to mark a special occasion in your friend’s life can have real impact. It could be passing an important exam, their wedding anniversary or even a date that marks the loss of a loved one for them. Letting your friend know that you’re thinking of them and putting together a personal note or some thoughtful gifts, will really stand out.
Plan Regular Catch Ups
Everything about modern life feels like a rush sometimes, and it’s easy to tell yourself that you’ll catch up soon with someone and then have months go back. Schedule regular time with friends into your calendar, like you would any other important appointment, so it has more chance of happening. Plan Zoom calls, gatherings or even trips away, depending on what you’re allowed to do. Having things to look forward to is a great payoff for a little forwards planning.
Friendship is one of the best things that have ever happened in my life. Being a friend takes effort but is one of the most rewarding things you can ever have in life.
If you are feeling down or depressed for more days than not, please seek medical attention. If you are feeling like you cannot go on, please call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or chat here>>> https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/ Or visit the suicide prevention lifeline at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/