There is no doubt that as we age, friendships get harder. We have less free time, more stressors at home and in the workplace and frankly just less time to hang out.
But friendships are important for many reasons and add so much value to our lives with support, companionship and even just someone to have a giggle and be light-hearted with.
But friendships do require some work to maintain, and one of the ways to have good friends is to be one.
So, here are our top tips for friendships.
People are turned off by those who are constantly trying to be someone they are not.
We are most comfortable around others who are comfortable in their own skin. So just be yourself. The right people will gravitate towards you and will be on the same wavelength.
Time is one of the most valuable gifts we can give our friends, make time to spend with them doing something you both enjoy.
Listen and engage with your friends when you are with them. Keep your phone in your handbag/pocket or on silent and immerse yourself in the friendship.
Encourage your friend
Everyone needs encouragement. Find specific ways to encourage your friends, show them what you see is special about them and be willing to pick them up when they are depressed or feel like life is pressing in on them from all sides.
Be there for them
We all go through hard times and being there for your friends not only at their best but at their lowest points is a really important aspect of ongoing friendship.
It may not be comfortable to sit with someone through a hard time like a breakup or in their grief, but it will solidify the friendship and make your bond that much stronger.
You’ve got to give to get, but don’t become a doormat
You do need to put in the effort with friendships to have good friends who are there for you when you need them, but if you constantly feel like a doormat or that the relationship has become a bit one-sided you need to know when the friendship is no longer a fair one.
If you come out of encounters with a friend feeling worse than you did before, maybe, it's time to look at spending less energy on that one person and focusing it elsewhere.
Friendships are the sunshine of life