Choose your friends wisely. You are not called to be everybody’s close friend. That is not how life works. But true friends, who love, support, and accept us for who we are, enhance our lives and benefit us in so many special ways. Some ways are tangible and others not so much. These tried and true relationships can as valuable as great wealth and can bring us so much joy.
If you are one to work on your money mindset and spend time planning your financial future. You would be wise to also access the value of your friendships.
This concept is not often taught, but when you have true long-lasting friendships you may be wealthier than you think.
Do you remember the classic holiday film, “It’s a Wonderful Life”?
This film provides a great example of the power of true friendships. In this film, the main character spent his life doing good deeds for others, while postponing his personal success. Years later, he was hit by great financial trauma that had the potential to end his life. At the end, surrounded by his wife and children, the townsfolk came from everywhere to support dear old George Bailey. To his utter amazement, he received financial gifts well over and greatly beyond what he could have imagined.
Even his guardian angel sent him a message saying: Remember no man is a failure who has friends! No wonder, I get sentimental and teary-eyed every time I watch this movie that’s filled with so many life lessons.
Our friends are the first ones we run to when we have good news or need a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes, we can unconsciously take them for granted. If your friendships seem like they’re in trouble, I am here to help.
In this hi-tech day and age, we’re all busy doing our own thing and living our best lives. I get it. But should you leave your friendships behind?
There are many things you can do to stay close to your friends despite your busy work/family schedule. Even Honest Abe knew, “The better part of one’s life consists of his friendships.”
ًI know how much your true friendships mean to you. So, I’ve come up five simple ways to fan the flames and improve your relationships with friends.
Let’s get started.
1. Keep in Touch
Every friendship is different. Some friends you might see every week, while you can only catch up with other friends every other month.
It’s amazing to spend quality time with your friends. However, it’s not always easy to schedule frequent get-togethers, especially these days. However, there are a few clever ways to keep the friendship strong in the meantime.
Simple gestures like sending a text with a ‘how’s your day going?’ or a smiley emoji. Then, several days later, when you have more time, schedule a catch up chat.
Technology may have its drawbacks. But it can keep you connected to the ones you love.
2. Remember Meaningful Dates
This should be a no-brainer. Even if your friend doesn’t make a big deal about their birthday. It’s important that you send a gift, a card, or even a funny GIF. People appreciate it when their friends take a little time out of their day to acknowledge them. Be thoughtful, the day that they were born is a huge case for celebration.
Again, technology can help with this. You can use Google Calendar to add in all the birthday dates. Then, to be extra vigilant, set a reminder a week in advance so you have time to organize a gift.
3. Be a Good Listener
We get caught up in our own world. We’re used to expressing our point of view and feelings that we often neglect the feelings of others.
To establish enduring friendships, you have to listen to your friends and respect their opinions. Ask open-ended questions and pay attention to what your friends are saying. This is one of the best ways you can build a lasting bond between you and your friends.
Equally important is maintaining eye contact. Avoid holding your phone and nodding your head the whole time they’re talking.
You also need to acknowledge your friends’ feelings and needs. Be open to their suggestions and be willing to mmet them half way at times.
4. Don’t be Afraid to Open Up
Sharing good news with your friends boosts the value of these events in your life. Having special people support you enriches your life and makes it more special. It also promotes trust and gratitude.
You should also share with your friends when you have a problem. Everyone likes having a support system, and your friendships will grow stronger because of it.
There’s no doubt your friends will appreciate your willingness to open up and share. They’ll be happy that you put your trust in them, just like they did when they needed a shoulder to cry on and you were there for them.
5. Do Nice Things for Your Friends
One way to show your appreciation and love for your friends is to do something nice for them. It’s a great way to show how much you value their friendship.
Helping your friends is a great way to strengthen your friendship. Plus, you’ll have a fun and make great memories. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
- Compliment their skills or judgment
- Celebrate their accomplishments.
- Send a meal to their home
- Help them with a household chore
- Watch their kids while they take time for themselves
- Send them an unexpected gift
As a society, we are taught to place a huge emphasis on romantic relationships and rightfully so. However, no relationship is meant to tick off all the boxes. Research shows that friends are actually more important to our mental wellness. Good friends boost happiness, relieve stress, and most importantly they decrease the feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Personal friendships are vital for our overall happiness, health and wealth. People who are happy and successful usually have meaningful friendships.
Yet, because we’re so busy, we can sometimes take our friendships for granted. These five simple ways to improve your relationships with friends will help you maintain those precious relationships—no matter how hectic your schedule is.
Friends are a precious gift. So, make the most of even the smallest moments and show some gratitude for having them in your life.
Be well + prosper,