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  • Paula Thompson
    Paula Thompson

    Building and Maintaining Close Friendships: 7 Steps

    It is easy to build a few friends, but to form and maintain close friendships can take time and effort. Creating real and lasting connections that can last a lifetime, here are some steps to help you foster those unique friendships and make sure that they stay strong.

    1. Talk: Keep an open dialogue with people you want to become closer friends with. Share your thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams, and ambitions. Ask them about their day and listen carefully about whatever it is that has happened for them. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and be fully transparent with what you’re feeling – if it’s trust and honesty you’re after, then that’s exactly what needs to be given back.

    2. Show Your Interest: People love to see and feel appreciated, so show your friendship interest in the small things. Support them in their successes, lift them up when they’re faced with adversity, and show up when they need a shoulder to lean on. Also, show appreciation for the little things that they do and acknowledge the joy that you get by being around them. There is no ‘one size fits all’ way to show interest; it may vary depending on the type of person that your new friend is.

    3. Hang Out: Spend time together outside of work or school. Set aside some time each week specifically for your friendship, and try jam-packing it with fun and exciting activities. Laugh, mess around, and share new experiences. Enjoying one another’s company and creating memories through various adventures will be integral for strengthening your bond.

    4. Be Thoughtful: Remember the special occasions in your friend’s life- like birthdays and anniversaries, or whatever small milestones that are important to them. It doesn’t have to be over the top – it could be as simple as sending a text reminding them that you’re thinking of them. Being thoughtful lets them know that you’re reliable and supporitve, and that you’ve had their best interests at heart.

    5. Talk It Through: Openly discuss anything that may lead to complications. Conflict doesn’t have to mean the end of a friendship. If a misunderstanding arises between you both, talk it out to find a resolution. Get to the root of the problem and determine how to best move forward past it.

    6. Have Fun: This can kind of go without saying. It’s easy to take friendships seriously, but don’t forget to have fun! Do activities that you both love and let go and enjoy being together. Don’t forget to mix things up too – preventing yourself from getting stuck in the same routine and instead make it an aim to experience new thrills.

    7. Love On The Daily: Remember to remind each other out of love. This is your opportunity to grow and nurture your friendship so let that be an empowering aspect of your relationship. It doesn’t take much - it could literally be just a few words or a smile. Reaffirming that you’re there for each other and that you care deeply is pivotal for having strong and close relationships.

    Having close friends that you can lean on when times get tough is incredibly important. Following these 7 steps can help make it much easier for forming meaningful relationships. With dedication, attention and care, you can create the fulfilling friendships that last for years.

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