Friendships are vitally important for our happiness and good health. It has been shown that those with the deepest friendships live longer, happier, healthier lives.
The key is deep friendships not acquaintances. so what makes a good friendship and how do you grow a friendship into a great friendship?
(1) Common Ground:
All friendships are based on you having similar interests. You don't have to like all the same things but you do have to have a range of things that you both feel passionately about.
One of my dear friends is a vegan and even though I am a happy meat eater we share the same beliefs about the treatment of animals - she just takes it a few steps further than me.
Great friends are always loyal. They always have your back if you are in an argument with someone else. They are always on your side through thick and thin - they may not agree with your position 100% but they are your friend and will defend your right to be wrong against someone else wholeheartedly.
(3) Tell the truth:
Great friends will always tell you the truth -when you ask them. They don't judge you but let you know when perhaps you haven't made the right decision.
How to grow a friendship:
(1) Do what you say you are going to
A good friend will say they are going to help you shift. A great friend will be there, on the day, with a trailer, food and won't go home until the job is done.
If you want to be a great friend show up.
(2) Keep in touch.
A good friend might know that you are going for a job interview. A great friend texts in the morning to wish you luck and again later in the day to see how it went. They celebrate with you if you get the job and commiserate with you if you didn't.
If you want to be a great friend text, call, and stay in touch especially for the big moments.
(3) Be there.
If your friend is going through a rough patch be there. You don't need to fix anything. You don't need to say anything. Just be there.
Growing a friendship is just like growing a plant ; it requires regular tending, pulling the weeds of judgment and gossip, fertilizing with regular catch ups and keeping in touch. In order for a friendship to grow and flourish it requires maintenance BUT that can not all be a ones way street. If you are the one doing all the keeping in touch and taking care then it is not a great friendship and the other party is taking advantage of your good nature.
Ask yourself why you are continuing to invest so much time and effort for someone who isn't doing the same for you. sometimes you may need to prune some friendships out of your life or merely step back and see what happens.