5 Tips to Strengthen Your Friendships
Saturday, July 27, 2022, is celebrated as the International Day of Friendship! Friendships are valuable to use at every point in our lives. The CDC states that socialization is a significant part of healthy living as friends have a big impact on our mental wellbeing and happiness. They are often the first people we turn to when we need help and the first people we contact if we’re looking to get out of the house and have some fun. Friends make life more enjoyable.
It's important that we work to maintain healthy and happy friendships. We all may think we are a “good” friend, but there are always ways to strengthen your relationships with others.
How can you strengthen your friendships?
1. Be Present and Participate
When you are with your friends, try to put away your phone while eating out, help them pick out the most vibrant flowers for their kitchen window, and laugh at jokes. Spend quality time together by focusing on the moment and putting distractions away.
2. Engage in Active Listening
When talking to a friend, try to listen with the goal of understanding what it is your friend is saying. Listening to understand will help you get to know your friend better.
3. Be Mindful of Your Communication
The tone of voice you use to talk can be the difference between someone having a good experience with you or a bad one. Be aware of how you may sound when you speak. Offer opinions and criticism thoughtfully, making sure to use kind words.
4. Ask Questions
Show interest in your friends’ lives by asking questions. Call them to ask how their week is going. If you know they are having a hard time, ask if you can help by bringing them dinner or running an errand for them. You can ask about work, their hobbies, or their families. Asking questions shows your friends that you care and are interested.
5. Express Appreciation
Everyone likes to feel appreciated. Showing or telling your friends that you appreciate them makes them feel valued. It shows that you are grateful for their friendship.
Friends help celebrate good times and give us support through bad times. Friends often prevent isolation and loneliness by offering companionship. Friends are an invaluable part of our lives, so let’s treat them the best we can.
"The greatest gift of life is friendship." - Hubert H. Humphrey