Cultivating Lasting, Loving Friendships

Cultivating lasting, loving friendships takes time and effort; however, I cannot impress on you how important the investment in friends is, in both good times and bad. Here are some ways to create and cultivate lasting friendships:

  1. Be you. The greatest gift you can give to others is you—the real you. So, pull off your mask and be authentic! To read more go to TinyBuddha
  2. Be friendly. Mother was right; you have to be a friend to have a friend.
  3. Be giving. What can you do for another that will make their life better?
  4. Be encouraging. The kind words you have for others are a balm for their soul. Spread them liberally.
  5. Be interesting. Cultivate yourself so you have something to share with others. Read. Travel. Learn.
  6. Be loyal. Through thick and thin, be loyal to your friend. From their best moments to their worst, stick by your friend’s side.
  7. Be enriching. A true friend adds value to others by having a lifestyle of value.
  8. Be understanding. Seek first to understand your friend. Then you can help them understand you.
  9. Be direct. If misunderstandings arise, tackle them head-on with gentle honesty. Never let a disagreement fester and damage a friendship.
  10. Be accepting. Just because someone is different from you doesn’t mean you can’t find common ground on which to build a firm friendship. Go outside your “zone” to find friends.
  11. Be flexible. People’s lives ebb and flow. So do friendships. Let it be okay to have changing degrees of closeness with your friends.
  12. Be available. Our busy lives make time a very precious commodity. Schedule regular time with friends and stay in contact via email, text, or phone calls.
  13. Be a listener. Truly listen to your friend. Don’t spend their talking time framing what you’re going to say next.
  14. Be fun. The more fun you share with others, the more fun you have.
  15. Be positive. People like to be around someone who makes them feel better, not someone who poisons their time together with toxic negativity.
  16. Be honest. When a friend’s actions or decisions scare you, share your heart in a non-judgmental way. If not you, then who?
  17. Be dependable. Don’t let your friends down—ever.
  18. Be appreciative. Tell your friends how much they mean to you. You may think they already know this, but a verbal affirmation every so often makes sure they do.
  19. Be respectful. You and your friends may not have the same likes and dislikes in people, politics, or passions. Be respectful of these differences.
  20. Be considerate. Give your friends space and be accepting of their time with family and other friends.
  21. Be supportive. Cheer friends on when they “win,” cry with them when they “lose,” and laugh with them when either of you do something stupid.

Building a lasting friendship is not easy. If you are authentic and are willing to open yourself up to others, you will find that there are many people who are looking for a good friend. So, if you haven’t already, take the time to invest in friendships. They may be your lifelines one day, and you may be one for them