How to Build Strong Friendships

How to Build Strong Friendships

Friendships are so important to have in our lives. Not only of course, because it is fun to meet up with your friends, share hobbies, catch up over coffees, and have someone in our lives that we can share our good and bad times with. But also, because the lack of friendship can actually be detrimental to our health - loneliness can be as detrimental as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and even more of a threat than obesity.

This shows why knowing how to build strong friendships—and keep them going—is really important for a happy, long life. By the time we're 25, most of us have made the most friends we're going to make. As we get older, start working, find partners, and have families, our friendships tend to become less of a priority and it becomes more difficult to meet new people and make new friends. 

Be the Friend You Want to Have

We all have ideas of what the ideal friend should look like (uhhmm… maybe a copy of ourselves would come in handy sometimes! ;) The ideal friend know’s exactly when to call you, or give you some space, she always makes cool plans, and is attentive. But sometimes we forget to do all these little things ourselves too. So lead by example, and first be the friend you want to have. 

Our friends are not mind-readers, although sometimes it might look like it! So it is important that we let our friends know if we might need something from them at a particular moment. Be open and honest with your friends when you are looking for some extra support. This gives a sense of closeness and comfort in our friendships. It is the kind of vulnerability that helps us build trust.  

Set the Right Expectations

For a successful and healthy friendship, it is important to have the same expectations from it. Now, of course this doesn’t mean you have to sit down with a list and check some boxes… but it is good to reflect on the type of friend they can be to you, and you to them. Now not every friend we have in our lives will be our best friend, nor do they have to be. It is perfectly healthy and, it can also be a great friendship, if you just see each other once every few months. But it is important to have the same expectations from it. 

Enrich your friendships

There might be some bumby roads along the way, you might grow a bit apart for a while and find each other later again. The thing is, like all relationships, a friendship needs work, nurturing, love, and care.

So it is important we take the time to invest in our friendships and our common interests. Taking a yoga class together, or sharing hobbies is what strengthens our friendships.

The friendship formula. 

Did you know that psychologist say there is a formula for friendship? Now, of course, we are humans and not a mathematical equation, so it is a lot more complex indeed.We have to take this with a grain of salt.  But the friendship formula goes like this: Friendship = Proximity x (Frequency + Duration) x Intensity.
Basically  we need to be close to our friends, see them, and see them often, and intensity means how often we can share what we like. So if you were wondering why a friendship is not quite working out, maybe one of these  elements is missing.  

You Decide

In the end of course, you decide what is a good friendship, if you want to keep it, if you’re happy with the amount of friendships you have, or if you want to enrich your life with new friendships. Trust your gut

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