By Olivia Burgess

Blog : How to Have and Maintain Healthy Friendships

7 tips for keeping your friendships strong throughout the years:
1. Think about being the type of friend that you want your friends to be to you! Aka “The Golden Rule”
2. Be Honest with your friends without being mean
3. Self-Correct Quickly to repair Mis-understandings
4. Make Time to Show Appreciation to each other
5. Alter Your Expectations and Don’t Make Assumptions
6. Choose Compassion Over Cynicism
7. Learn your friends love language

    “What does it mean to be a good friend to someone? Do you consider yourself a good friend? Do you have high expectations when you consider someone to be your friend? Have you ever had a difficult friendship with someone (i.e. someone was being rude and didn’t apologize to you)?”

If you answered some of these questions aloud or in your head, I have a few tips for you. First off you have to remember this rule always, “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you”, what this means is that you have to think to yourself “Am I the kind of friend that I want my friends to be friends with?”. Self-reflection for this tip is good and helpful because it will help you re-adjust the things you need to correct for your pre-existing friendships and future ones. We all have been in situations with our friends when we just need some advice or need to vent and in that time we expect our friend(s) to be completely honest with us, but with that honesty you feel that your friend is just being rude or mean when you ask them “What do you think?”. If you have been the friend that has been mean when you try to “keep it real” you need to realize that you may never be the friend that your friends want to open up to about anything in their private or personal life ever again. So then you lose that trust and the comfort feeling your friends get from you, so the true respect in the friendship is gone and that can lead to a lot of misunderstandings and problems; Self correct those hiccups in the friendship so everyone can move forward. Another thing to keep in mind is remember everyone needs a little boost in their lives so making time to show true appreciation to the ones close to you is good. We can sometimes feel neglected or left out so take some time to show love to your friends. With this in mind know that you can’t set your expectations to high either due to the simple fact that we all have our own agendas in our lives and we get busy but don’t make assumptions that your friends don’t care about you, because they do. Lastly, whether you realize it or not we are in serious intimate relationships with our friends. Just because we are not sexually physical with them we are spiritually and emotionally connected. Gary Chapman the author of the book “The 5 Love Languages”, gives a free online questionnaire to see what your love language is; so next time when your are with your friends try it out together to see what everyone’s love language is so you can maintain and keep the friendship fresh.