Apart from love, perhaps no other subject has aroused as much interest and sparked off countless debates and discussions as friendship has. A stable friendship between two individuals can overcome all the odds and endures for almost a lifetime. The camaraderie between two people that is indeed profound comes unstuck only with the demise of one of the persons.
A relationship between two individuals irrespective of whether they’re men or women, develops when they discover that they have like-minded interests and disinterests. Now that does not imply that you can’t get close and become friends with people who’re diametrically opposite to you as far as likes and dislikes are concerned but there is the likelihood that comradeship with such individuals might peter out. Coming across someone with whom we can bond and make it steadfast is also more often than not, a matter of luck as we often find ourselves getting stuck in an awful relationship.
Finding a reliable friend sometimes becomes a journey of self-discovery. Close friends make us realize our true selves and help us in setting our emotional, intellectual and spiritual keel. Friends make us aware of the significance of socialization. It is almost impossible to evolve as a complete being and become conscious of your true worth in isolation, for no man is an island. There is some exclusivity in a good friendship that sets it apart from other associations and connections that are mundane and characterized by mediocrity.
Judging from one perspective it can be said that the sort of men and women we meet in our lives and get acquainted with are pre-ordained, and built into our fate. Our lives are inexplicably and inextricably intertwined with the existence of countless other men and women many of whom we may not even chance across in our lifetime. Of these innumerable men and women, we inevitably end up coming close to some, and towards whom we feel a certain affinity, and are able to form a spontaneous relationship.
Since we have so much in common with these individuals we’re able to feel for them instinctively. Because of this commonality, we’re able to see a reflection of ourselves in them. Above all, long lasting relationships make our lives more meaningful and fulfilling. So, when we’re on the verge of building a friendship where we innately feel that it is going to stand the test of time, we should do everything possible to cement it.
Following are some guidelines on How to Build Friendships that Last a Lifetime.
1. Find Your Common Interest Areas and Build on Them
You never know when you can come across someone who might end up fancying you because he or she feels connected to you in a certain way that you may find hard to figure out. You can never be prepared to become good friends with a person, it just happens.
It’s not as if you know that a dependable person who can become a good buddy is waiting for you round the corner. Putting this generalization in a better way, it can be said that you rather stumble across such an individual instead of getting ready to meet him or her. You might bump into that special person in the unlikeliest of places.
But once you do, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find yourself discussing your (and his as well) areas of interest on your first encounter itself. And chances are that some of your tastes and preferences are going to correspond with his. If it does, then be sure to make a mental note of it so that you can discuss on your common areas of interest every next time you meet and take your liaison to the next level.
2. See What You Can Offer To the Friendship and Bolster Them
Just as you can’t construct a house without bricks and mortar, you won’t be able to build a relationship out of thin air. You’d have to bring something to the table of friendship. You’d have to make your contribution so that the association keeps growing and becomes stable. You can help your close friend become more aware about himself or herself as an individual.
3. Allow Your Friendship to Evolve
You should take care to nurture and nourish a camaraderie you strongly feel about, that eventually it’ll become long lasting in due course of time. Firstly, set limits or boundaries that neither of you will overstep nor transgress. This should be settled right at the outset when the relationship is beginning to take roots. Discuss clearly with your soul-mate on the subjects and issues you can talk about freely and what’d be off-limits.
The next step you can take for the advancement of your association would be take a selfless stance instead of connecting and relating in a selfish manner and with an attitude of self-centeredness. It doesn’t take much to cultivate an altruistic approach. Just ask your friend about how her day was at the office or if she is a stay-at-home mother, then what meals did she prepare for her kids and similar other down-to-earth everyday issues.
As human beings, it is within our nature to look for the positive aspect behind everything and everybody including of course a relationship. So, when we develop a close rapport with someone, we look for the positive aspects in that association that might help both of us to grow.
You know your friendship is evolving when you feel a heightened sense of zest, and vitality everytime you’re on your way to meet your pal. You know that your friendship is coming of age when you have a feeling of goodness that overpowers your senses. You know your amity is progressing when you feel optimistic about everything and have an insatiable urge to connect with more and more people.
4. Be All Ears
The importance of listening in a conversation has always been stressed. Therefore it does not need to be exaggerated that you should have the patience to lend your ears when your friend wants to relate to you about an event or incident in which he or she was involved and is agog with excitement.
Personally you’ll be too eager to talk (and that holds true for anybody) about yourself or about issues concerning you when you see your friend. But you should rein in your temptation to go overboard with your stories and give your friend the opportunity to speak up and speak out first. If you can cultivate the habit of listening (more than talking), it’ll go a long way in strengthening the linkage.
5. Schedule Events and Occasions Together
Plan and schedule events that’d reinforce bonding amongst selves, for instance, leave for a cross-country hiking trip or buy tickets for a music concert. There are so many outdoor leisure and entertainment activities you can program together like a fishing trip, rock climbing, mountaineering, cycling, and bungee jumping and so on.
6. Document Your Camaraderie
Being on good terms with some of your acquaintances would mean that you more often go to the movies, leave on a weekend jaunt or make out together in an all night party. There would be moments when you’d get nostalgic thinking about special moments spent together as a close-knit group.
These days with easy availability of smartphones, digital cameras and other hi-tech gadgets, you can take high quality snaps of important occasions and group photos. You can also record any worthwhile conversation or animated debate that you all had as a group for the sake of posterity.
Maintain a photo album where you can paste all your snaps as well as a scrapbook where you can stick movie ticket counterparts, receipts of dinners or lunches you’ve had together. You can pass on these dossiers to your friends so that they too can chip in. You can gloss over the pages in your leisure time and relive the memories.
7. Learn to Respect Individuality
Each one of your dear friends is an individual with a distinct personality. No two persons are alike. It is quite possible that you may not see eye to eye on every issue or aspect with your companions. There is bound to be a difference of opinion on almost any subject matter and it is this distinction that segregates you from them or anybody for that matter. If you find your friends or yourself agreeing on nearly everything, then all the individuals in your group would be nothing short of clones.
Your friends may not agree or have a consensus with everything you share and interact about but learn to respect the fact that they have a right to their opinions. Most human beings are orthodox by nature, and nurse a set of beliefs that might be realistic or unfounded and abstract.
Once these ideas are formed in one’s mind it becomes quite difficult to change their opinions as most of us take a very rigid stand in such situations. So if you cannot reason with your friend to modify or alter his approach about somebody or something, don’t force him to. Learn to respect individuality.
8. Assuage Hurt Feelings Almost Instantly
To err is human. It is quite natural on your part to lose your temper and end up abusing or behaving in a manner that is unbecoming of you during a heated verbal exchange. Instead of leaving the scene in a huff and going to bed with malice in your heart, the best strategy would be to own up to your fault and make peace there and then.
9. No Gossiping or Backbiting at Someone’s Back
If you truly revere your association with your close friends and appreciate the fact that you’re close to them, then the worst thing you could do to undermine the relationship is to speak ill of someone the moment his or her back is turned. Speaking critically or gossiping about your friends in their absence to strangers would put you in a bad light.
Respect each other’s private space and never ever share confidential information with others that might damage your friend’s reputation.
There are many other aspects that you’d need to take stock of to bolster your association with your friends and always keep this adage in your mind-A friend in need is a friend indeed.