A friendship is a relationship between two people who share similar interests and values. Friendships are one of the most important things in life. We are social beings, and without others to share our lives, we would feel lonely. Like any other relationship, friendship needs to be nurtured or it will die. Sometimes a friend can become so involved with his or her personal life that after awhile you wonder why you haven’t heard from your friend. When too much time has passed, the relationship eventually diminishes. In some cases, one friend in the relationship makes the greatest effort to keep the friendship going but eventually gives up because the other person appears not as interested. For example, I once had a friend with whom I enjoyed going to the movies and out to eat. Then, a year later, I noticed a change in her. She didn’t call or get together with me as much as she used to. The amount of time we spent together slowly decreased over time. I didn’t feel the same about our friendship. I became tired of putting forth all the effort in making the relationship continue. One day I decided I would stop making that effort. I realized from that experience that a friendship isn’t a friendship without the efforts of two people working at it.
Changes are an ongoing part of our lives. However, we can continue nurturing our friendships if we have the desire to do so. Before I got married, my good friend told me that she was going to miss being friends. I asked her, “What do you mean by that?” She told me, “Once you get married, we won’t really see each other as often.” I told her that was foolish and that our friendship will continue the way it has been. After talking to her some more, I realized the reason she felt the way she did was because of her past experiences. She had always lost contact with friends who got married. I made sure that I would not be one of those friends and I would continue to nurture our friendship. Three years later, she and I are still the closest of friends.
You can have a hundred genuine friends if you take the time to nurture each one. Most of us don’t have that kind of time or energy, though! Focus on nurturing the friendships you currently do have. Like everything else in life, we shouldn’t take on more than we can handle. Taking a friendship for granted can make another person feel sad, disappointed, and hurt. So you need to ask yourself soon after you meet someone if you are going to be a quality friend or just an acquaintance. When you do decide to pursue a friendship, there are specific things you can do to nurture it. The following are some suggestions:
Keep things your friend tells you confidential.
Tell others only good things about your friend.
Share your hobbies with your friend.
Make something for your friend.
Tell your friend a joke.
Laugh at your friend’s jokes.
Tell your friend you love them and mean it.
Send your friend a greeting card.
Leave your friend a treat on his or her front door.
Invite your friend to a family dinner.
Give your friend a copy of your favorite song or poem.
Offer to help your friend with a project or a problem.
Take a walk with your friend.
Listen to your friend.
Have a surprise party with your friend’s closest friends.
Pray for your friend’s success and happiness.
Have a picnic in the park.
When your friend is sick, bring them some chicken soup.
Tell your friend the things you like about them.
Kidnap your friend and take them out for ice cream.
Be a positive role model by making good choices.
Give your friend a loaf of freshly baked bread and a jar of grape jelly.
Call your friend for no reason, except to let them know you care.
Wash your friend’s car.
Tell your friend they’re WONDERFUL!