Keeping the friend you make
Once friendships are formed, they should not be neglected if the people involved want them to last. Contact, flexibility, and conflict resolution are three elements that are needed for friendships to continue. Friendships can be maintained by the pleasure that people get from spending time together.
Busy lives make it difficult for some to spend much time together, but it is important to maintain contact if the relationship is to continue. Some ways to keep in touch might be:
- Call often. Telephone calls don't have to take long but allow you to keep in touch.
- If you use e-mail, send frequent messages.
- Send occasional special cards or notes.
- Send photographs to each other.
- Spend time doing activities you both enjoy.
- Go to lunch together. Set a designated day of the month to meet even if it is fast food or brown bag.
Flexibility is important in maintaining relationships. Be understanding when plans have to change and be willing to see things from the other person's point of view. When resolving conflict, honesty and open communication are important.
Some hints for keeping friends include:
- Be a good listener. Don't be judgmental and don't offer advice unless asked.
- Respect the other person's point of view. You don't have to agree, but respect the right of each person to offer an opinion.
- Never betray a trust. Violating confidences can ruin a relationship.
- Support and praise your friends; love them in spite of their faults.