April 21, 2024

Friendships play a vital role in our lives, providing us with a sense of connection, support, and happiness. In order to experience the full benefits of friendship, it’s important to build relationships that are based on mutual respect, trust, and shared values. Such friendships can help us to feel understood and accepted, while also encouraging us to become the best version of ourselves. 

Building healthy friendships that support your personal growth is essential if you are intentional about your inner circle. To do so, you need to choose your friends and not let your friends choose you.  You should also consider making  friends with people who share the same interest, values, ambition, and ideology as you. That way, you can easily align with them.  

If you want to build healthy friendships here are a few tips for you to try. 

1. Choose Friends Who Have Similar Values and Interests to You 

The best way to build quality friendships is to find friends who have similar values to you. It doesn’t matter if you both do not come from the same background so long as you both share the same values, and interests chances are that the relationship will grow even stronger and better.  This is something you need to be intentional about when choosing your friends.  

The reason is that, if your friends share similar values to you, it could be easier to connect with them on a deeper level, and you are more likely to feel a sense of trust and understanding. For example, let’s say you value honesty, you might choose friends who are always truthful and straightforward. Or if you value loyalty, you might seek to find friends who are always there for you.  

2. Communicate Openly and Honestly with Your Friends 

Communication is the bedrock of any relationship. If you must make your friendship work you need to learn how to incorporate honesty and openness in your relationship with your friends. These attributes can build strong bonds of trust and understanding in friendships. If you are uncomfortable with anything, share them with your friends with an open mind.  

Being secretive is not ideal if you must build healthy friendships. You should also learn to listen to the other person when they speak and be respectful of their feelings, and decisions. Be a shoulder for your friends to lean on when they feel vulnerable. For instance, if you find your friend sitting calmly or worried, you can ask him/her what the matter is and offer a helping hand to work things out. 

3. Be Supportive of Your Friends’ Goals and Interests 

This is one thing that makes you a true friend. Your friends need to know that you are always on their side and will support them when they call on you.  It doesn’t matter if what your friend is pursuing only needs to be accomplish by them, being there for them can bring about a new level of motivation and we all need that in our lives especially from those closest to us.  

More so, you can offer sound advice to your friend and be part of their journey be it in their career or profession. Be supportive of their goals, interests and visions and if you notice any form of apathy or lack of enthusiasm in what they are doing, you can encourage them and be a source of hope and strength as they forge ahead to be the best version of themselves.  

4. Set Boundaries and Respect Each other’s Time and Space 

No matter how close you think you are with your friends you need to set boundaries if you must build healthy relationships. This is were privacy comes in. Of course, you would not want your best friend to accompany you on your romantic date, or would you? Now, you see –that is what setting boundaries actually means. Knowing when to draw the line is the ideal friendship.  

It will create a personal space for yourself, where no one would disturb you. You may sometimes need a space and a little time for yourself, where you can talk, judge, criticize and think of becoming a better ‘YOU.’ It will allow you to be more mature and provide you the opportunity to make decisions without having to rely solely on friends and family.  

P.S – While it is important to seek help or advice from friends when necessary, you shouldn’t wholly depend on them. You should learn to carve out boundaries, create some time for yourself without allowing anyone to intrude in your business or private affairs.  

5. Be Willing to Give as Well as Receive Support 

Friendship is supposed to be mutual. It mustn’t be about you all the time or about your friends all the time. Having friends that are willing to support you as well as you will support them when they are in need is bliss. Friendship works perfectly well when both parties can get out of their way for the other. Hence, it is important that you know who you call your friends.  

Knowing who your friends are makes it easy for you to lean on them at any time and vice versa. For instance, you can’t expect to be supported when you are in need if you don’t do the same for your friends when they are in need. It is important to have friends who make you feel important, loved and are willing to help you even at the darkest hours of your life. 

Good friends are rare, but if you have such a person in your life, hold him/her tight. To further buttress, a friend that doesn’t find joy in your success and comfort during your pains is not worth keeping. Do you agree?

6. Stay Positive and Look for the Good in Your Friends 

Staying positive is about focusing on the positive aspects of your friends, rather than dwelling on their flaws and imperfections. Just like you wouldn’t want others rubbing your mistakes and errors on your face you should learn to do the same. We all have flaws, however, the best way to keep your friendship grounded is to show gratitude rather than complaining.  

If they make a mistake, politely correct them and don’t try to judge or criticize anyone as you too can err someday. If there’s anything you don’t like about your friends, you can let them know and you can give them the benefit of the doubt and believe they will work on improving. And if you’re on the receiving end of such criticism, try to take it constructively rather than personally. 

At the end of the day, having positive, supportive friends can make all the difference in your life. 

7. Make Time to Connect with Your Friends Regularly 

This should come voluntarily if your friends really do matter to you and you value the friendship, then you should spend some time with them. By making time to connect with your friends not only do you get to know each other better but you also let them know that you care and this can further strengthen the bond that exists between you and your friends.  

If they live near your house, you can visit them or invite them to your house once or twice a week. However, if you are the type with a busy schedule, that’s fine! But, make sure you talk to them and maintain the same level of friendship. If it is a long distance friendship, you can call them or send messages from time to time to show how much they mean to you. These little things do count! 

Who is a true friend? 

A true friend is one who opposes you in a manner of supporting you and supports you always when someone is opposing you. A true friend is one who is always there for you no matter the situation. Someone who never gives up on you no matter how tough the situation gets. 

A true friend encourages you to move forward when everything in life seems unbearable. Someone who scolds you when you are wrong but is also the one who is ready to fight with the world for you if you are right. A true friend might be far away in terms of distance yet too close.

Which quality of friendship is important to your personal development?

There are many qualities of friendship that can contribute to personal development, but if I had to choose one, I’d say it’s acceptance. When you have friends who accept you for who you are, it can boost your self-esteem and give you the confidence to be yourself. 

It can also help you feel more comfortable expressing your opinions and ideas, and you may feel less afraid to take risks. Feeling accepted can give you the freedom to explore who you are and who you want to be, and this can lead to amazing personal growth. 

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