We all have the habit of falling into the cycle of work and sleep and forgetting to respond to a friend’s text or missing an important date in their lives. But it’s important to maintain the friendships we have; after all, there’s no shortage of studies that suggest that friendship is good for our well-being and might even extend our life expectancy. Given just how hard it is to make new friends as an adult, here’s are a few tips that will help you strengthen the friendships you already have.
First tip: initiate plans. If you’re the kind of person who is constantly unwilling to commit to things—it’s time you change that. The simplest way to do that is to be the one initiating plans. That way, your friend doesn’t get the impression that you’re avoiding them. You should initiate specific plans—a time, a date, and a place—so you’re not just sending vague smoke signals that you want to meet up. Better yet, make it a regular weekly or monthly hangout if you can, so you’ll it becomes part of your regular routine.
Second tip: make plans on their terms. Be willing to make plans that don’t accommodate your needs only. When you meet a friend, decide on a time and a place that’s convenient for them (and not around the block from your apartment). It’s a simple gesture that shows you care for their needs, too.
Third tip: remember important dates. This tip is simultaneously the easiest and the hardest one to follow. It’s easy to simply send a message on the day of their birthday, but it can also slip your mind without you realizing it for a second. To avoid missing the important dates and looking like a lousy friend, mark them down on a calendar or in your phone where you can be alerted on the day itself.
Fourth tip: put down the phone. If you want to be a better friend, you’ll have to learn how to listen better, too. And the first step to being a good listener these days is to ignore the phone and give undivided attention to your friend. READ MORE
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