Friendships are a top priority for most of us. Think about it: your friends matter a lot to you and you sincerely love them. However, you might be making some mistakes knowingly and even unknowingly with your friendships.
Should these mistakes carry on, your friendship could be dented or worse, collapse.
- You’re Not Listening To Your Friends Enough
Yes, you always talk to your friends when they need a listening ear but ask yourself this: do I listen enough? Do you actually listen to your friends when they talk about the things going on in their lives? Or are you quick to offer them advice?
The art of listening is beyond listening to speak. It’s paying attention to your friends and then responding appropriately. Sometimes, you may not need to offer advice. Sometimes you may. Other times, you may only need to show your friend that you’ll be right there for them. Or even comfort them.
Try this exercise of listening attentively to your friends with a blank, open mind. Listen not to speak back, but listen and you’ll discover that your reaction will be a response to what they need at the moment.
- You’re Not There When They Need You The Most
You may also pride yourself in always being there for your friends and this might be true. But are you always there when your friends need you? Or are you always there when you can?
And please do not be pressured because we understand that factors can be beyond our control most of the time. Work and a host of other responsibilities can hinder us from being there for our friends every single time.
But pay close attention to your friends’ needs and try to be there for them. If for any reason you can’t be there, also explain to them and find ways to make it up to them rather than assume they’ll get it.
- You Do Not Apologise To Them Officially
We’ll fall out with our friends now and then and that’s quite normal. However, one mistake we make sometimes is not officially apologising to our friends when we hurt them. We just hug and pick up the relationship as nothing happened without saying to each other, ” I’m sorry”.
Of course, we move on but doing this over and over again could reduce the quality of communication in our relationship.
Try practising mindful apologies with your friends. No matter how little the misunderstanding is, always call your friends aside and apologise to them plainly.
- You’re Not Spending Quality Time With Them
The love language of some of your friends is quality time. For those that do not know, a love language is the manner in which an individual likes to receive love. This could be in touch, gifts, words of affirmation, acts of service, and quality time as mentioned previously. But spending quality time doesn’t just affect friends whose love language is quality time.
Spending quality time with friends is super important for many reasons. One of them is bonding. It will be quite difficult to bond without spending some quality time together and it is through bonding that friendships are made stronger.
Please note that spending quality time with friends doesn’t mean you should be in each other’s face all the time. This could go wrong. However, making out time to spend with your friends is one sure way of spending quality time.
- You Do Not Give More Than You Receive
Yes, you’re not rich. But giving has nothing to do with being rich or having money. The most important thing in giving is the thought behind it. If you’re not giving your friends more than you receive from them, your friendship could spiral downward if you do not change.
It really is true that ” it is blessed to give than to receive”. So practice giving.
Now, most people confuse giving with the monetary value alone and this isn’t true.
Your time, resources, skills, advice, network, connections, are a few other valuable things you can give your friends. For instance, calling your friends every week to check in on them is a simple, yet effective way to give your time to them.
- You’re Not Truthful With Your Friends
If you’re truthful with your friends whether it’s about a relationship they’re in, financial decision, habit, etc their about to make or already making, you might.be ruining your friendship.
It’s understandable that you do not want to poke your nose into their business but think about this: if you cannot tell your friends the truth, you’re probably not in a healthy friendship to start with.
Practise telling your friends the truth from an objective point of view and not criticize or hurt them (that’s a low blow).
Some of your friends might not appreciate your honesty now, but in future, they’d be grateful you did.
Which of these tips would you be practising with your friends today. I’d love to hear from you. The comment section is open for this convo.
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