Friendship Day: How to Maintain Lifelong Friendships

Friendship matters. Beyond a certain age, you realize that it’s not about having a huge circle of friends. All that matters is that you are happy with your friends, no matter how many. But it’s no piece of cake. It takes work. On Friendship Day 2023, let us tell you howmaintain friendships.

Health Shots reached out to psychotherapist, life and business coach Dr. Chandni Tugnait for some tips on keeping friendships strong.

Friendship Day takes place on August 6 this year. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Reasons why you find it difficult to maintain friendships

Do you sometimes ask yourself, “Why am I having trouble maintaining friendships?” »
Well, friendship is about mutual understanding, caring, and commitment. But sometimes maintaining long-term friendships becomes difficult. Here are some reasons why this can happen:

1. Social anxiety or low self-esteem

You may feel insecure around others or fear being judged, which causes you to withdraw socially, says Dr. Tugnait. You may frequently isolate or cancel plans, which will eventually end the relationship.

2. Difficulty of vulnerability

You might struggle to emotionally open up to others or resist the vulnerability necessary for closeness. Past betrayals or disappointments can lead to fear of opening up.

3. Intense emotional reactions

You may have intense emotional reactions that strain bonds or cause dramatic mood swings that confuse your friends. Mood swings, temper tantrums, hypersensitivity can drive your friends away.

4. Lack of reciprocity

You may be too self-centered or demanding in your relationships and fail to show interest in your friends’ lives in return.

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5. Competition or jealousy

Comparisons and envy of friends’ successes can lead to resentment and distance.

Ways to Maintain Lifelong Friendships
Sometimes jealousy gets in the way of a lasting friendship. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

6. Poor communication skills

Defensiveness in conflict, inability to express feelings constructively, and failure to listen impede resolution. You may lack the skills to manage conflict, listen with empathy, or express your feelings, which hampers problem solving.

7. Low Commitment

You may be reluctant to invest time and effort in nurturing consistent friendships. You could operate with an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality, says the expert.

8. Lifestyle Differences

Differing paths and mismatched interests, priorities, or values ​​over time can cause friendships to fade.

Also Read: 5 Ways To Help Every Introvert Build Lasting Bonds

Tips for Maintaining Friendships

If you want to nurture strong friendships as an adult, follow these steps.

1. Make time for each other

Schedule regular catch-up sessions, whether virtually or in person, to spend quality time actively nurturing the friendship. Don’t always wait for the right moment, says Dr. Tugnait.

2. Communicate openly

Openly discuss the joys and frustrations in the relationship. Don’t let the little annoyances pile up and listen.

3. Show your appreciation

Regularly express how much friendship means. Send thoughtful gifts or messages. It doesn’t have to be just birthdays or any other special occasion.

4. Keep promises

Do not engage in projects or favors that you cannot achieve. Honor your word to deepen trust, suggests the expert.

5. Allow friendships to evolve

Accept that interests or priorities may change as you and your friends change. Adapt to the new phases of life together.

6. Give yourself space

Respect each other’s boundaries and your need for alone time or space away from friendship from time to time. Time spent apart can surprisingly strengthen bonds.

7. Put distractions away

Avoid using the phone or multitasking when you’re together. Be fully present and engaged in everything you do with your friends.

8. Celebrate milestones

Make occasions like birthdays, achievements, or holidays special. Share and support major life events.

Nurturing a lasting friendship takes a little effort, but you can get so much out of it, especially in times of stress.

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