The importance of having positive friendships in your life cannot be overstated. Healthy friendships can help you feel happier and more self-confident, reduce your stress levels, and prevent you from feeling lonely or isolated. When times are good, friends can help you celebrate. And when times are bad, they can help pick you up and provide a kind shoulder to lean on.
Unfortunately, for many adults, it can be tough to make new friends and even more difficult to ensure that those friendships enhance their lives. With that in mind, here are some tips for how to build healthy relationships with friends:
- Be an active listener. Communication is key to a positive friendship, but many of us aren’t great at listening, which can leave our friends feeling ignored and unvalued. When talking with friends, make an effort to face them, focus on what they’re saying, and ask follow-up questions. You should also avoid interrupting them and zoning out as you plan what to say next.
- Offer advice without judgment. At some point throughout the course of your relationship, your friend will likely come to you for help with a problem. While you should be honest about how you feel, you should also try to empathize with them and respect that that might have a different opinion.
- Make time for each other. In today’s busy world, it can often be difficult to schedule time with friends, but getting together is crucial. If you live near each other, pencil in a weekly dinner or even a monthly coffee date. Or, if you live far apart, plan a time to talk on the phone or, better yet, videochat.
Start Building Healthy Relationships With Friends
If you struggle to maintain positive friendships, you’ve come to the right place. We have extensive experience helping patients nurture healthy relationships with friends, and we’d love to do the same for you. Contact us today to schedule a therapy session.