Maintaining friendship is crucial and best friends take time.
Best friends require one-on-one contact to survive. Telephone calls and getting together are musts for best friends to continue. In fact, probably the quickest way to end a friendship is to neglect it and sever contact.
Yet it is hard to make time in a busy day and busy life to maintain our friends. But you don’t have to have hours to spare to maintain a friendship.
Instead try the following to keep from neglecting your friends:
- Send frequent email. Email is a boon for a quick note.
- Call once a week. Telephone calls do not take long.
- Keep in touch through brief messages left on answering machines.
- Send an occasional card. Funny and/or appropriate cards take minutes to choose and address.
- Exercise together. We all have to exercise. It is more fun with a friend, plus, there is no better place for talking than a walk in the park.
- Clean house together. This is another must do and two makes cleaning fun instead of boring.
- Send pictures. A picture is still worth a thousand words.
- Go to lunch at least once a month. More often would be better.
Friends must be flexible. Conflict must be resolved for friendships to continue. Friendships require maintenance.
Follow the advice of Victoria Rayner, author of The Survival Guide for Today’s Career Woman:
- Be a good listener; refrain from offering advice or moralizing.
- Respect your friend’s point of view. Different personalities can complement each other; it isn’t always necessary to see eye to eye.
- Never betray a trust. Trust, when violated, can ruin even the best friendship.
- Support and praise your friends; ignore their failures and imperfections.
- Never resent a friend’s success. Instead, strive to admire her achievements.
- Flexibility is always important for maintaining friendships. Be understanding when your friend has a last minute change in plans. Learn to accept “I’m sorry to cancel, but we will have another time together Sunday.”
When paths begin to separate (you are married; he isn’t or you have a baby; she is still childless) at forks in the road of life, that is the most important time of all to stay in touch with friends.
When there is conflict, it must be resolved for friendship to continue. Confrontation is one way to resolve conflict. Talking it out is another.
A cooling-off period is sometimes necessary when conflict has occurred. Once you re-initiate contact, it may not even be necessary to discuss the conflict.