How to Create Close Friendships in Your Life, Part 1
By Vic LeBouthillier
“Regardless of where we are now, we can all improve our friendship skills.”
Each of us may be at a different place in terms of our skill level and the value we put on friendship. Regardless of where we are now, we can all improve our friendship skills. In one of our previous blogs, you first saw a list that reflected behaviors that are characteristic of close friendships. Here, we offer tips on how to introduce those behaviors into your life:
- You are willing and eager to initiate activities, even when the other person is not as proactive as you.
- TIPS TO SUCCEED: Reach out to your friend in various ways - call, text, email, social media, etc. Come up with some creative ideas for hangout time. Emotional intelligence plays a role here, because there will be times that a friend may be unavailable and we must be willing to accept that.
- You are able to listen to and understand one another in a way that makes the other person feel understood.
- TIPS TO SUCCEED: Learn to reflect their thoughts and feelings without criticism or judgement. Simply act as a mirror that reflects what they are sending out. No “you should” or advice allowed.
- You are free to be your authentic self instead of your fabricated self.
- TIPS TO SUCCEED: We all have a fake/authentic scale we live with, depending on our situation. Dial yourself up one more notch toward authentic and see what your friend does. Let them know who the authentic you is.
- You set boundaries and know when to ask for things that are important to you.
- TIPS TO SUCCEED: Boundaries are like a little picket fence surrounding you: you determine who gets through and how they will treat you.
- You share a desire to creatively and intuitively serve and perform random acts of kindness for one another.
- TIPS TO SUCCEED: Discover which love language fills your friend up the most - healthy touch, words of encouragement, acts of kindness, gifts, quality time, etc. Then give some thought as to how you can creatively communicate love.
- You like to play and laugh on a regular basis.
- TIPS TO SUCCEED: Humor flourishes in the freedom and confidence that comes with close friendship. Take a risk and say the funny thing that comes to mind – even if it’s silly. Play games together.
- You are able to grieve with each other when hurtful things happen, without always trying to fix the problem.
- TIPS TO SUCCEED: This is when silence is golden. Just be near and take your cues from what your friend is feeling. Don’t try to move them to what you think they should be feeling.
- You strive to find similar values, yet you can both accept differing values.
- TIPS TO SUCCEED: It’s important to understand what your values are first. Which are primary and non-negotiable? Which are secondary and negotiable? Then, you must also understand the other person’s values.
Don’t miss our next blog for even more tips on how to introduce these behaviors that are characteristic of close friendships into your life!