“Friends are relatives you make for yourself.” – Eustache Deschamps
It’s been said that blood is thicker than water but when family can’t help, we turn to our friends. They also sustain our emotional needs to be loved, recognized and understood.. . Good friendships can help fight off depression, isolation and despair…
I share here some pointers I gathered from my readings on how to grow beautiful friendships:
- Make friends a priority – Exert the effort needed to sustain a long and fruitful relationship. No matter how busy your schedule maybe, try to spend some quality time with friends
- Be selective – If the other person is not worth the time and effort, drop him. No matter how painful it may seem, learn to let go if people start to drain you spiritually, emotionally, financially. “Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.” – Kahlil Gibran
- Keep communication lines open – Enrich your lives by sending your friend personal messages or by calling them not only when you need them. Call them just because… nothing can beat a real conversation… sharing your thought, your ideas, your dreams. If you have a crowded timetable, make use of your common social networking sites.. Drop a note or two on your friends’ Multiply, Friendster or Facebook account.
- Praise generously – “Praising others is very important for deepening relationships. When you practice it you are weaving a little invisible web of communication and caring between yourself and another. “- Norman Vincent Peale
- Be cautious with criticism – Don’t make enemies with your friends by criticizing them like there is no tomorrow, magnifying their flaws and ignoring their good qualities
- Practice loyalty – Be loyal to your friend not only during the best of times but most especially during the hard times.
- Show your love – Show him some random acts of kindness, consideration and understanding. Real friends know us, supports us, and understands us.
When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares. – Henri Nouwen