When you are young, friendships are sooo easy. Simple play dates, similar interests, same after-school activities, ect., but the older you get, the harder they get. Specially in female to female relationships.
I listened to a podcast today (Unlady Like) and it talked about the difficulty in female friendships and why so many of them don’t work. It discussed how it’s sometimes hard to be honest about how we’re feeling in friendships and comparison to relationships. It’s easier to tell your partner: “you hurt my feelings because you did (blank)” but harder to tell a friend this. Here are a few things I’ve found that have worked when building strong and long lasting friendships.
- Communication is key. In all relationships, communication is a major factor. You could simply be on different pages on something, or be reading entirely different books. It’s fine to take time and space from a friend to process emotions or feelings, but as soon as you’re ready and able to articulate your feelings, do so. This is the be all, end all of a friendship. You need to learn how to express what you’re going through, without attacking the other person. This is the best way to save or continue to grow a friendship.
- Allow your friend to win. Sometimes your friend is going to be more successful than you in life and you need to learn that that’s okay. It’s okay to celebrate them. It’s okay to be the ‘cheerleader’. Everyone has their own time to shine.
- Know when to just listen. A lot of the time, a friend’s job is to just listen. Listen without judgement and without the desire to need to give your two cents. Sometimes a friend doesn’t need to be told what to do, they just simply need someone to be there and listen.
- Be loyal. No matter the circumstance or the current situation between you and your friend, always be on their side. Speak positively about them in their absence and always have their back.
- Always make time. Time is such a precious thing and should never be taken for granted. If you truly cherish a friend, make sure you are making them a priority in your life.