Guide to Cultivating Fabulous Friendships!

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A good friend is a connection to life – a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world. – Lois Wys

Few people would dispute the benefits of friendship. Friendship cannot be created once. It must be created over and over again. People and priorities change. What worked yesterday may not work today. We must nurture our friendships so they may flourish with us through our changing lives, and that’s where this guide comes in. The problem seems to be how to fit our friends into an already overcrowded life.

Choose friends wisely. Focus your energy on people who make you feel good.
We all know the saying, “you can’t choose your family”. So, make sure you’re smart and choose friends who are worthy of your valuable time and attention. It sounds harsh, but you cannot keep every friend you have ever made. No one has the time and energy for that. If you don’t consciously choose which relationships to focus on, you’ll spread yourself too thin and you’ll have less to give to those who deserve it most.

Do not be fooled by glamour and street cred. A person’s behavior is much more important than their words or how they represent themselves. Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be. Choose friends you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you. People who make your day a little sunnier, simply by being in it.

Make time. Prioritize Relationships.
If you have to really think about the last time you were in contact with a friend, then it was too long ago. Life can run at a crazy pace. We may think of people, then something comes up and we never call them. The month ends, another comes along, and again that call is never made. This is how relationships peter out. It starts to feel easier to walk away than struggle back through the neglect.

Don’t fall into the habit of thinking I’ll “try and find the time”. It’s a cop-out. You cannot find time. You make time. Every day you decide where to put your attention, and those activities will in turn create your day, your week and eventually your life. Be mindful of where you focus your time and energy. Does this match your values and how you want your life to be? There’s no use saying “my family and friends are the most important thing” if you work 80 hours a week and never see them. Be conscious of how you spend your time and choose to prioritize the people in your life.

The easiest way to make time for friends is to organize future gatherings while you are all together. Make time for that first meeting, and then work out the timing of the next one. That way you’ll manage to regularly see each other and there is less stress all round. The reality is most of our relationships need work. Make the time to send an email or give a quick phone call to show your friends they matter. Otherwise how will they know?

Treat others how you want to be treated.
This is one of the first lessons my mother taught me, and it is probably the most important. You may have heard of the law of attraction, which states that what we project to the world will be sent right back to us. This means you must decide what qualities are important to you, because you cannot receive what you do not give.

Personally, I don’t think you can go past honesty, loyalty and integrity as a foundation for choosing friends. Be considerate. Don’t make plans you won’t keep. Be a safe haven for your friends, someone they can rely on. What qualities rank highly for you? Do you just want some laughs every now and then, or people who will be there for you when life throws you a curve ball?

Have fun. Share rituals. Laugh Often.
Any long term relationship, friendships included, can fall into a rut. Take the time to have fun, maybe do the activities you loved when you were young. If life isn’t fun, then what’s the point? Misery shared is still… well, misery. Focus on joy and laughter and your friendships will stay a positive presence in your life.

Hold onto rituals. They connect you with your friends and your youth. Shared memories help define our life and how we see ourselves. Don’t throw them away just because they’re getting harder to manage. The key is to negotiate. Maybe you used to have weekly poker games, but now you have three kids, so what do you do? Have the poker games once a month, and let your partner also have a night out to re-connect with their friends. You’ll both benefit.

Accept people the way they are. Suspend judgment.
Some people are good with phone calls, others are not. Some people always know the right thing to say, others seem to have a knack for getting it all wrong. The key with managing friendships and reducing conflict is to accept people the way they are. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. Fighting your friends’ natural personality is a losing battle. We cannot control other people, and frankly, we have no right to try. The sooner we accept this, the easier all our relationships become.

Respect boundaries.
Don’t criticize your friend’s partner, children, parenting style or family. This is always a no, no. We may all like to rant about our loved ones, but we do not want to hear anyone else do it. This is a golden rule. Stencil it on your forehead if you must.

There will be disagreements. Stay calm. Don’t make mountains out of molehills.
Drama is a part of life, but we don’t have to wallow in it. Things happen, ugly words can be exchanged. This is the nature of human relationships. Before you react to a hurtful situation with a friend, always stop and breathe. Try not to react in anger. Express your feelings honestly, but calmly. I’m not saying that it’s easy, but it is the best way to minimize conflict and angst in life. And bottling up feelings doesn’t help either. They just fester and we stay angry and are unable to move on.

Accept that friendships change and sometimes end.
Although I’ve had the majority of my friendships since I was a teenager, there are times in life when people change enough as to have nothing in common anymore. Sometimes this is temporary, other times it’s not. Either way, the best thing you can do when a relationship falters is to let it go. That doesn’t mean immediately deciding not to see each other anymore. Letting go means choosing to see the friendship as it is now, and releasing the need for it to be something else. Relationships have an energy of their own. They can ebb and flow. Sometimes you’re not quite clicking, other times you are. Petering out friendships can be very stressful, but change is a part of life and relationships which do end can still be treasured for what they brought before. They don’t have to be a mistake. And every time a gap appears, life will usually move in to fill it. Maybe this will be in the form of a new friend, or a even better relationship with yourself. Keep an open mind and an open heart, and wait and see

Treat yourself with kindness and respect, and others will do the same.
This is probably the most important point. You cannot be a friend to others, if you are not a friend to yourself. Have you ever noticed that some people are taken advantage of by everyone. They attract users and frauds like honey. This is not a coincidence. If you want other people to treat you with respect, then you need to be the first person in line to respect yourself. Being a good friend does not mean being a doormat. The kinder you are to yourself the happier you will be. The happier you are, the more you have to give to others. It is one big merry-go-round of happiness. Join the ride.

Comments
  • Well, here is an opportunity to get sincere help in meeting YOUR KIND of friends!! Back up above sense and wisdom with real life people.

  • Dilip:

    EXCELLENT. WHEN WE ARE YOUNG, WE HAVE FRIENDS AND AS WE GROW OLD , THE NAMES AND LIST OF FRIENDS CHANGES AS THE OLD FRIENDS GET BUSY WITH THEIR OWN LIVES. A STAGE COMES (PARTICULARLY WHEN ONE GETS OLDER) WE ARE LEFT WITH FEW FRIENDS – SO IT IS ADVISABLE TO CULTIVATE FRIENDSHIP WITH NEW PEOPLE – THIS WAY THE LONGEVITY OF LIFE IS INCREASED. HEY – EVEN DOGS AND CATS CAN BE VERY FRIENDLY. BASICALLY EVERY ONE NEEDS ATTENTION, AFFECTION AND LOVE THROUGHOUT LIFE.

  • hiren patel:

    good thought

  • ASHOK WADHWA:

    HI,ITS V.V.GOOD FOR BOOST UP,SEND ME ALWAYS U R IDEA,MAY GOD BLESS YOU,ITS A V.GOOD THING TO BOOST UP OTHER AND U R SELF ALSO LAGE RAHO MUNNA BHAI……………………….

  • kalpana:

    its wonderful. nw a days we need to share this vth ppl bcz nobdy knows wtz frndship. keep it up.

  • veeru:

    A nice notes, all should be aware of…. thanks for a nice and wonderful posting!

  • Hi
    I am 30th year old free mind young man
    so I same

  • Although I’ve had the majority of my friendships since I was a teenager, there are times in life when people change enough as to have nothing in common anymore. Sometimes this is temporary, other times it’s not. Either way, the best thing you can do when a relationship falters is to let it go. That doesn’t mean immediately deciding not to see each other anymore. Letting go means choosing to see the friendship as it is now, and releasing the need for it to be something else. Relationships have an energy of their own. They can ebb and flow. Sometimes you’re not quite clicking, other times you are. Petering out friendships can be very stressful, but change is a part of life and relationships which do end can still be treasured for what they brought before. They don’t have to be a mistake. And every time a gap appears, life will usually move in to fill it. Maybe this will be in the form of a new friend, or a even better relationship with yourself. Keep an open mind and an open heart, and wait and see

  • Cindy:

    Hey thanks for sharing this here. I find comfort in reading it and I hope to make good use of some of the advise. I had lots of friends growing up and once I got married and moved with my husband it seem my world only evolves around my husband and I. Most of my friends call to say hi which makes me guilty but I am going back to visit so we can reconnect and keep in touch from there. Thanks again.

  • kartar ahuja:

    It is beautiful. It is difficult to build frienship so try to preserve it with patience, sharing,carin & with love & regards.

  • Seetharama Hebbar:

    Very good article. People need to be reminded with sane advice like this some times even though they are aware of it.

    Thanks

  • Ice:

    TQ for such kind pointers – they do indeed inject some sanity into this totally insane world.

  • MAJOKA:

    THERE ARE FEW BASIC CONSIDERATIONS OF FRIENDSHIP!
    1.TRUST
    2.MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING
    3.CLEAR THOUGHTS FOR YOUR FRIEND
    4.HONESTY
    5.LOVE
    6.SINCERETY.
    AMONG ALL THESE TRUST HAS PRIME IMPORTANCE.

  • sailesh parmar:

    hi
    this ie sailesh

    this is the verry good thought ,

  • subbarao:

    GOOD ARTICLE

  • Sunil Kumar Asthana:

    Friendship is golden chair, Costly – Rich & Rare,
    Once can be mended but the crack is always there

    ASK Me

  • ajayan:

    very nice thoughts…..thank u.

  • Friendship is based on mutual love,not logic.To have real friends one needs to be as innocent as a child.

  • Hello?
    yeah it is really meant for those who love true friends.

  • Nandkishor:

    Hi very good thoughts, keep it up

  • manojkumar:

    Nice aticle.this kind of article provides gud advice to people

  • lina:

    hello
    i am 30th year old female free mind youg women so i am very cool .

  • chandrashekhar sonar:

    Thanks for sharing the article.

  • hussein:

    i would like to know more informations about the ilfe

  • swarnalatha:

    EXCELLENT, Very good article.

    F aithfull
    R eliable
    I nteresting
    E verlasting
    N ice
    D ifferent
    S haring
    H elpfull
    I ncredible
    D atient

  • Nirav:

    Some of it really makes sense!

  • PUTTAVEERARAJ URS H V:

    ‘Perfect Description of TRUST’ :-
    ” Trusting a person is giving someone the ability to destroy you completely but at the same time confident he (she) won’t ” . This was sent to me by a very close friend.

    Friendship which stands through the various facets of Life is true friendship.

    My missing pet Bhagira (since 24-10-2008) , a friend and companion of 9 yrs 6 months, for whom I have hit the Hyderabad roads; searching for him day and night.

    Respect boundaries: Well said and to be appreciated.

  • amar kavia:

    there is also need to sacrifice each other .

  • THE NEW DIMENSIONS FOR MAKING AND PRESERVING FRIENDS.

  • H. V. Puttaveeraraj Urs:

    ‘Perfect description of TRUST’ : Trusting a Person is giving someone the ability to destroy you completely but at the same time confident he (she) won’t.
    Lois Wys has rightly described what friendship is all about. “A good friend is a connection to ones Soul”

  • rajusarin:

    love and friendship dont mix

  • Thanks a million for posting such a wonderful article — which you continue to send and inspire with your thought provoking articles.
    I do not have a single friend at the age of 48 years. It’s a good lesson for me.

    Affectionate regards,

    Mahendra

  • sameena:

    EXCELLENT, Very good article.

    F aithfull
    R eliable
    I nteresting
    E verlasting
    N ice
    D ifferent
    S haring
    H elpfull
    I ncredible
    D atient

  • navin:

    life mins
    L : Love
    I : Incidents
    F : Friends
    E : Emotions
    If F miss in the life then LIFE becams LIE

  • Amruta:

    Friendship is the most beautiful rythm of life,without which life will b boring.but some people thinks it is a part of love,that is completely wrong.In frndship,there is no expectations,while in love,there are lot of expactations

  • nita:

    wowwwwwwwwwwww what amazing ‘mantras’ for life !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    lookg frwd to readg more n more
    thnx so much for puttg them together.
    love
    nita

  • Vicky:

    If had read this 2 years back, i wont be in this state.
    well im gud now.thanks anyways

    and hundred abuses and curse to the Gross losers.

  • syed:

    All my life i have been looking for a “FRIEND”. Didnt find one. Where are they?

  • People might not understand the words of friendships as sometimes they aren’t really together.

    The reasons of us, is that we are unable to measure the true sincerity in our life. we can be friends on alots of things, such as wealth, beauty, intelligence………….etc

    But the truth of friendships isn’t all that bur they come from in depth of our tiny heart. We will be friends for life as whatsoever condition should be of us, but friendships will never break till we die.

    Thanks for sharing yours great ideas.
    Mohd Singapore

  • it is fine know in love and freinf ship

  • pushpak:

    good ……….it really touched my heart

  • umuhoza clovis:

    how can i get a big friend please help me

  • hicham:

    goooood ; very very good

  • arti:

    lovely thoughts. v all know this but still a nice one to remind us of all wat we know but forget at times

  • a good friend always good things to his friend and he know what he want to his friends if anybody ask what is mean of good frien i say a good friend like a god

  • Chirag:

    very nice.
    i will try this to maintain my frndship
    tnxs
    🙂

  • Balaji:

    Very very nice work. I will follow these tips from this very second.

  • a good friends must be on time of sunny and rainy days of our life.
    thank you guys for sharing your good ideas… may god bless us all.

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