4 Ways To Maintain Lifelong Relationships
We all have that one friend (or few) that we have let slip away from us; although there was no feuding or destruction of relationship, the two of you have both fallen out of comfortability with one another. What once was a vibrant, warm friendship has reverted itself to the formal (and somewhat awkward) sharing of condolences and congratulations that you conduct as you would with your business friends and acquaintances.
This feeling of tension that one perceives when talking to a long last friend persists the longer that relationship is left to die. With the constant maintenance of a healthy relationship, this never happens. Through relationship maintenance, your interactions with all your friends will be much more full, which will leave you feeling fulfilled; by letting a relationship sit to die because you have priorities and it’s more convenient, you will only be left more lonely and wishing you had kept up the interaction.
Here’s some advice to keep those relationships happy and lifelong, so that you can enjoy the benefits of friendship for the rest of your years:
1. Be Honest
To maintain a solid friendship, you have to be honest with each other. Being able to offer and receive feedback from someone you trust is a gift that can easily be overlooked. Setting aside your ego and being willing to let someone know you and ask questions of you is invaluable. With some friends, once the trust is lost it will never be recovered; so be honest, your friends wouldn't want to hang out with the fake you anyway.
2. Don’t Let the Bad Words Linger
When you know someone well, you’re familiar with their strengths as well as with their weaknesses. Just as you know how to cheer them up, you know exactly how to tear them down. In moments of tension, we can let things slip out that are far more hurtful to our closest friends because they come from us. No one is perfect. We are all sure to mess up at times, but when we do, we have to set pride aside and repair the situation.
3. Never Assume
In most of or regular relationships, we can start to impose certain expectations on others that set us up to feel hurt or disappointed.. Accept that everyone is human and that they will make mistakes. We may show our friendship in one way, whether through affection, favors, or gifts, but we shouldn’t necessarily expect the same from them. Don’t assume what your friends are thinking; check it out instead. And accept that you could be wrong about their viewpoint—every individual possesses a sovereign mind and their own perceptions of the world.
4. Be the Bigger Man (or Woman)
A good rule of thumb when it comes to our relationships is to care more about doing what’s right than being right. When you get to know a person, you get to know their worst traits, and it’s easy to become cynical toward those negative aspects of their personality. It’s far more preferable to be compassionate. It’s easy to get worked up at something small and then at everyone or everything. Everyone has their bad days, and everyone has things that when said rub them the wrong way. Be the bigger man, realize your differences in perspective, and apologize.