6 Meaningful Ways To Nurture Your Friendships

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6 Meaningful Ways To Nurture Your Friendships

By Shante Grossett

I recently read an article from The Guardian that says in a crisis, we can typically only count on four friends. Wow. So, whether you’re the popular one in your circle or you only have a few friends to begin with, it’s pretty important to nurture your close friendships. Let’s face it, we need relationships in our lives, and no matter how self-sufficient we are, we cannot do life alone. But, I get it. Life is busy, work is tiring, and it’s a struggle to coordinate over incompatible schedules. There is a way to maintain your close friendships but you will have to put in a little work.

Here are 6 meaningful ways to nurture your friendships. 

1. Don’t Take Your Friendship For Granted

Sure, you might have known your bff Sally since the third grade but you should never take her for granted. She chose to be your friend in the beginning and has continued to choose you despite your short-comings and mistakes. Don’t take her for granted. Show her the same amount of respect that you would show a new friend or acquaintance. This leads me to my next point.

2. Remain true to your word

Remain true to your promises. If you said you would do something for your friend, follow through. It’s so easy to be “flaky” in today’s society, only making choices that benefit ourselves. But true friendship is reciprocal. It’s important to give as much as you take. Remember, your friend should be able to depend on you just as you can depend on her. Of course, if something serious comes up and you can’t keep your word, she will understand. But don’t abandon your promises out of selfish motives. 

3. Communicate regularly

The most important part of friendship is communication. If you don’t communicate regularly, you aren’t really friends, just acquaintances. Make an effort to call, text, and meet up in person with your friend. Don’t just wait until it’s convenient, be intentional about it. In fact, in a recent article, psychologist Robin Dunbar says that close friendships can only truly be maintained in person. If you and your close friend are long distance meet ups may be less frequent, but you should still schedule time to see her face to face. 

4. Be a good listener

The Bible constantly reminds us about how important it is to be slow to speak and quick to listen. If you want to nurture your friendships, you need to practice the art of being a good listener. Resist the urge to constantly speak about yourself in conversations. Ask your friend how she’s doing and be willing to listen when she shares. 

5. Be supportive

Finally, be supportive of your friend’s dreams, goals, and aspirations. Listen to her vision and do what you can to help her make it a reality. Be an accountability partner to help her stay on track. Make yourself available for her during moments in need. There will be days your friend may need you in the middle of the night, be willing to pray for her and pour into her even if you’d rather just go to bed. 

Please remember that friendship is a two way street. Your close friend should be willing to do these same things for you. If you notice that you are giving and giving, and your friend isn’t reciprocating, then your friendship may not be healthy. At this point, you may want to consider pulling back from the friendship. 

Friendships are extremely important for our well-being. We need each other. Is there a friend you haven’t called in a while? Why not give her a call and begin nurturing that friendship again?