If you can count the number of good friends you have in one hand, you can most certainly count yourself lucky.
Now to keep those five good friends in your life, there needs to be a level of commitment or ‘return of investment’ on your part as well. At the very least, you need to try to be a good friend yourself. Keep your friendship strong with these friendly reminders in mind.
Nothing makes the bond you have created fade away faster than never talking or seeing each other. Unless you know you can always pick up where you left off (i.e. with your childhood/best friend), most friendships can’t survive the span of long silences. Like all relationships, you need to make time for him or her, whether it’s just the occasional phone call, email or monthly get-together.
A true friend, as they say, will always be there through all the ups and downs. That means you don’t take flight when big life changes occur – marriage, parenthood, new jobs, deaths, losses. Just because the situation may have changed and you two have taken a different path, it doesn’t mean your friend has. Circumstances change all the time but the bonds last forever if you are smart about it.
Be A Good Listener
This is probably the hardest thing to do, listen and not just merely hear what he or she has to say. When in the presence of your friend, always maintain eye contact, minimise distractions and don’t finish off his or her sentences. Even when you’re on the phone with them, always “be there”. A lack of interest in your responses will indicate that their time is not worth it.
Don’t Take Advantage
Friendships quickly crash when there isn’t a balance between the give and take. Yes you may have formed a bond but that means you need to be sensitive to how much your friend can and can’t offer you, be it time, energy or help. This applies both ways; if the friendship is draining you, take the civilised approach and talk it out but if it’s not changing, you need to reconsider this “friend”.
There’s nothing more disheartening than to learn of a friend’s betrayal. Never join in the gossip or criticism, always be on your friend’s side when he or she is not there to defend him or herself. You’ll never know when news will travel back to your friend and cause irreparable damage, or there might even be a time when you are subjected to the same backstabbing treatment as well and no one is there to defend you.