My 10-year-old self always imagined friendships in my 20s being this never-ending sleep over and back-to-back vacations with my uber cool friends. Help me laugh. Well, turns out making or keeping friends isn’t always that easy.
Truth is, as we get older, life can become this way and that way, so we really want to figure it out for ourselves. In doing that most times, a lot of us seem to lose sight of a very important part of what makes us who we are. And that is friendship.
Oftentimes, we are well aware that we need to constantly work on our romantic relationships, marriages and maybe even familial relationships. But maybe our friends are just too constantly there that we forget to actually work on our connection with them.
When I was little, I used to be very open, loudly opinionated and wanted everyone to be friends with me, which usually did happen. As I grew and moved around though, my circle got increasingly smaller and making friends got a lot harder, until I could count the number of friends, I had in two hands. I’m being very literal.
Because of this fact, I am gradually more aware that to keep a friend, you have to constantly try to be there. I am 100% guilty of not being the best friend sometimes and I am always trying to work on it.
Here are a few pointers that I am using to try to become a better friend especially in this new year.
Stay in touch and be there for each other
This is of course the first thing to do, and honestly the most difficult. Our lives are evolving so much as adults and I don’t see my friends as much as I used to, but a text here and there, a Facetime call and getting back to someone is really important.
It’s both easy and hard to stay in touch in this digital age of ours. You could quickly send a meme to your friends for them to “lol” to. But we should realise that does not make up for an occasional or routine chat about life and happenings. This year, I’m making it a point to add video and audio calls to my texts. Taking time out to call and share news, have actual conversations and just gist is really key.
Now that we are in 2021, a year after the onset of a global pandemic, we may not be able to hang out or travel together as much, but we can still make sure we are as present in our friendship online as we are offline. We have virtual ‘friendscations,’ games and just share each other’s time. Be there for your friends in these abnormal times.
Let go of expectations and judgement
The best friendships are unconditional. Knowing and understanding that your friends may not always have the time to do things together is also key. I also have to remind myself that being a good friend means not being judgemental but finding ways to tell the person if there’s something you think they should or should not be doing. At the end, no one wants a friend that constantly picks at them.
Be reliable and trustworthy
They would not be your friends if they didn’t already think you are reliable and trustworthy right? Yes. And you should continue showing them that. To me, this does not only make you a better friend, but it also makes you a better person in general. Being able to keep commitments and not break trust especially in this world of millennials and genZers constantly spilling the tea on each other.
Know yourself and don’t be afraid to show that
We usually hear this in romantic relationships that to love someone is to love yourself first. This also applies in friendships. In 2021, I am learning to be happy and complete in my individuality so that I can be even happier with friends. This also removes jealousy amongst us because we are content and confident in our strengths and abilities enough to bring it to the table for our friendships.
I hope we all work on all our relationships with people this year, because if 2020 taught us anything, it’s that family, friendships and genuine relationships are what matters.