5 Ways To Maintain Healthy Friendships As An Adult
Published on 29th March, 2023
A stark difference exists between knowing how to make friends and maintaining long-lasting and healthy friendships, even as an adult. Maintaining healthy friendships during adulthood might be challenging at times. With your friends having their own personal lives, jobs, and families, even a short meet-up might require several weeks' notice.
Although we must accept that things come and go in our lives, it does not always have to be that way, especially with the best friendships that we have built. Friendship is the best medicine for our mental and physical health, which is why friendships are worth taking care of and maintaining. But how do you maintain lasting friendships as a busy adult? And how can you be sure that you are a good friend?
Read on to learn the five ways to maintain healthy and meaningful friendships as an adult.
1. Share your interests
Take an interest in what your friends do and share your interests. If your friend picks up a new hobby or interest, show them your genuine support and encouragement.
Additionally, you can also encourage your friend to try new things together. Finding a hobby that you and your friend enjoy is an excellent way to maintain your friendship. Through engaging in a common hobby, meaningful conversations and interactions can be cultivated.
2. Lift each other up
One of the most important aspects of being a caring friend is to be a good listener and communicator. In times of need, human beings tend to lean on each other for support, which is why you might need to remind yourself that others are there for you through the good times and bad (Muinos, 2021).
To be a good friend, showing that you are emotionally available is crucial. For example, you can support and lift your friends by reminding them of their positive qualities, validating their feelings, and getting them to laugh and have fun when they need a break. Of course, providing support within a friendship should not be one-sided. When you are feeling down or have low capacity, it is alright to accept support from a friend as well.
3. Express gratitude
Gratitude is a mindfulness practice that can enhance your mood, sense of self, and capacity for empathy. This also applies to strengthening friendships. Try to convey appreciation for a friend's kindness and consideration when they go above and beyond. This reassures them that you are aware of how they enrich your friendship. Additionally, it might also improve how they feel about your bond.
Some examples of showing gratitude are sending them a text or calling them, having their favourite meal delivered, and occasionally checking in on how they feel.
4. Be honest with each other
Friendships that are built upon facades and lies are only as good as their foundation. Superficial friendships do not last long and are unhealthy to keep. Being honest with each other is important in achieving a solid friendship. One of the most valuable gifts you can give and receive is feedback from someone you can trust.
Opening yourself up to someone is essential when building a connection. Friends are likely to ask you tough questions when you confide in them about your problems. While it may not be easy, being openly vulnerable can aid in developing trust and emotional intimacy. Being truthful also helps your friend in sharing their honest opinion, which can in turn lead you to understand yourself better (Firestone, 2013).
5. Resolve conflicts
In any relationship, there are bound to be conflicts. Your friends have their own thoughts, opinions, feelings, and personality. Occasionally, this can naturally lead to disagreement and conflict. For friendships to survive, resolving conflicts is crucial, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable. If a conflict is left unresolved, it may lead to an abrupt end of a friendship.
When you communicate to your friend that you wish to resolve the conflict and offer possible solutions, you show that you value friendship and want it restored. Remember that maintaining friendships is an act of love that sometimes requires stepping into uncomfortable circumstances.
Feeling loved, supported, and part of a community are some benefits of friendship. However, maintaining meaningful connections can be difficult as an adult. You can strengthen your friendships by reaching out, showing gratitude, and being emotionally available. It may take a lot of work and effort, but the rewards will be well worth it.
If you struggle to maintain relationships in your life, consider seeking professional help, such as adult counselling in Singapore, to guide you on your thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. Couple counselling in Singapore also effectively focuses on the dynamics between couples to maintain a long-lasting and healthy relationship.relationship.
Muinos, L. (2021). 6 Tips to Maintain Lasting and Meaningful Friendships https://psychcentral.com/lib/friendship-maintenance-tips
Firestone, L. (2013). 5 Ways to Maintain Lifelong Friendships https://www.psychologytoday.com/sg/blog/compassion-matters/201301/5-ways-maintain-lifelong-friendships