Build Solid Friendships that Last
If you have too many good friends, it is possible you cannot really be a good friend to any of them because deep friendships take time. Good friends make time to spend together during hard times, during times of celebration, and during ordinary days. This is a challenge for some.
During hard times, some of us keep more to ourselves, not asking our friends for help, or even letting them know what's going on. During times of high stress, we particularly need our friends to help us destress and sometimes to come alongside us and ease our burden by lending a hand. Allow your friends into your life.
Good friends are also there during regular daily life. We are part of each other's daily/weekly/monthly routine. We aren't just there for emergencies or celebrations. Good friends are there for the normal and help us live better when things are just coasting along. Time with friends can be one on one, face to face in person or online, voice to voice, or in groups. Intentional time means making the time.
As we get older, demands on our time increase and get more intense. Very rarely do we have extra free time that perfectly matches our friend's extra free time. We have to plan time to see each other or talk.
As you move into and out of different life stages, it is easy to become distant from friends who were once close. Maintaining friendships over physical distance requires intentionality. It is essential that you make time for each other. Talking regularly voice to voice, face to face online, texting, and through email or social media helps keep up the relationship. Nothing, however, replaces the gift of presence. Sometimes you just need to be with people.
A good friend makes time and provides space for friends. Good friends enjoy their time together and experience meaningful connection and rejuvenation together. If a friendship is consistently draining you of energy instead of adding energy to your life, examine why that is happening. Being proactive to address problems with friends can save a friendship. Too often we neglect friendships by not making time for our friends or by going the opposite direction and smothering them. We compound the problems when we don't address issues soon enough.
For more on addressing difficult issues with friends, check out our blog post Three Tips for Addressing Difficult Issues with Friends.