Developing Lifelong Friendships
It is probably safe to say that we have all had at least one failed friendship in our past. Friendships fail for many different reasons, but usually results in some type of misunderstanding.
This occurs at different levels or in different situations during the friendship. There are a few things we should do to foster more meaningful and lifelong friendships for the future.
Honesty and Truthfulness
This is probably a “no-brainer” for most of us when developing lifelong friendships. In the day-to-day business of living, we become lax and stressed and begin cutting corners to get things done quickly. In haste, we sometimes forget our manners and morals and end up saying or doing something we later regret.
It is always better to stop and really think about what we are doing or saying that may have an adverse effect on our friendships. If you are having trouble with this, try monitoring yourself when interacting with others. This helps you identify any trouble areas you can correct so you have the proper tools for keeping valuable friendships intact.
Honesty and truthfulness is paramount to the quality of our friendships. A really good friend is always truthful and honest whether good or bad. A true friend has a moral character and treats you like they want you to treat them.
Remember, it is not the quantity of relationships we have that is most important, but the quality of those relationships that we should concentrate on the most. Honesty and truthfulness should be part of the initial discussion when creating and keeping long-term friendships.
Likenesses and Differences
This is another no-brainer. It is human nature for us to attract others who share the same likenesses and differences that you have. Normally, this is the first thing that becomes apparent regarding the potential for a joint friendship. When a person has some of the same likenesses that we have you want to share and enjoy those things together.
In the end, some people agree to disagree. As long as each person completely understands the changes, the relationship will have the opportunity of advancing to a deep life-long friendship.
Just as important are the differences between two people when a friendship begins. There is always a difference in opinion between two people, but if the likenesses outweigh the differences most individuals respect those differences in favor of the friendship.
It is important to discuss these differences at the beginning of every friendship. This ensures each person is totally understood. Also, keep in mind that as a friendship grows opinions are going to change. As time goes on, people sometimes change their point of view or opinion about things which could change the dynamics of the relationship.
Respect and Integrity
Respect and integrity in any relationship or friendship is mandatory if you wish to develop lifelong friendships. Most of us do not automatically respect someone unless that person has earned your respect. We gain respect through continued interactions with another person. As the interactions continue, our respect for the other person continues to grow – especially if the interactions are positive and meaningful.
Integrity is the value you place on your friendships. As you begin to build a relationship, the value of that relationship will increase. As the integrity of the relationship grows, you begin to see increased value in that relationship thus increasing the depth and meaningfulness of the friendship.
If you feel that you are losing respect in any relationship, it is mandatory that a discussion take place to clear up any issues that may have been misunderstood.
Intentions and Expectations
In the early stages of any relationship, you r intentions and expectations for the relationship should be discussed. Both individuals should express their intentions and expectations completely.
You should never enter any relationship with ulterior motives in mind. This will just set you up for a failed friendship in the end. Intentions include positive things that both persons will contribute to and gain from the relationship.
Expectations are what your goals are for entering into any friendship. This is discussed between two individuals who plan on entering into a life-long friendship. Sometimes this may start with one individual helping another individual solve a problem or it may develop out of another person just being at the right place at the right time.
A person should never enter into any relationship just to benefit themselves. This sets the relationship up for failure right from the start.
Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication
Communication in any friendship is essential. When we interact with others, we always exhibit verbal and non-verbal forms of communication. It is extremely important to understand these verbal and non-verbal cues when communicating with others. These cues help us to understand the meaning of what is said.
Knowing the difference between the two is very important and will make or break a relationship. We should practice communicating properly to assure the best possible outcome of any relationship.
Verbal communication involves the tone of voice and the inflection on speech. Inflection is a cue that identifies what comes next. This can be the end of a sentence or pause before speaking again. In addition to tone and inflection is the choice of words. The tone of voice involves the emotion expressed into what you are saying, which might manifest as anger, sarcasm, happiness, or sadness.
Non-verbal communication has to do with hidden messages that your body mannerisms bring to the conversation. There are many different ways to non-verbally communicate with others, which are both positive and negative. One example of negative non-verbal communication is rolling of the eyes. Others include tapping a finger on the table, shaking a crossed leg, looking in the other direction, and/or walking away from someone who is speaking to you.
Our hands and arms says volumes about what we are thinking or feeling when interacting with another individual. Putting a hand over certain areas of your face could mean you are trying to hide something. Crossing your arms in front of you means that you are not open or willing to be approachable to what the other person is saying, or you are not interested in what they have to say.
These tips are essential for developing lifelong friendships and making life more enjoyable. We find that one tips is not greater than any other. Instead these tips should all be developed as a part of your life and the end results in more meaningful relationships.