Friendship maintenance "who would've "thunk it." You would think that friendships would just take care of themselves. After all a "friend is a friend" and if you have to work at keeping a friendship is it really worth it. I must admit that I do have some friendships that seem to require little or no maintenance. There are a couple of friends that I have played music with over the years and we don't have the privilege of seeing each other very often. We can go for months without contact and out of the blue we have a reason to be together and we just continue on where we left off. However, that is not the case with most relationships. Good, strong, solid friendships are formed over time with lots of unconditional love and care.
Perhaps a better word than "maintenance" would be friendship "building." The great thing about friendship building is that it benefits both parties at once. I have found, that the effort I put into friendship building not only adds value to the life of my friends, but it helps me to continue to grow into the person I want to be. Here are just a few things I like to do that builds good friendships.
•1. Frequent contact is a major key. Stay connected! With cell phones, email, text messaging, and the many other forms of easy communication staying in contact is very easy.
•2. Little things mean a lot. Simply remembering birthdays, anniversaries, and special occasions set you apart from nominal friends.
•3. Become a good listener. All of us like to talk and be heard. If that weren't true, AR wouldn't be full of blogs everyday with all of us putting on material that we think everybody should read.
•a. Whether you're a Bible reader or not use the Bible principle, "Be swift to hear, and slow to speak.
•b. Listen carefully and pay attention. I'm sure you've had the experience of talking with someone and you knew they were looking at you but weren't hearing a word you word saying.
•c. Don't be judgmental. Sometimes a friend just needs a place to vent.
•d. You don't have to have all the answers. Just listen!
•4. Speak the truth in love. If you have to have a conversation with a friend that you don't want to have, be sure you know that you have their best interest at heart.
•5. Find out what you can do to help your friends reach their potential. Give encouragement, be a motivator, do whatever you can to help your friends be successful, it will bring success to you.
These are just a few and there are plenty more ways to continue building good friendships and strong relationships.