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They say your friends are the family you choose. You have the freedom to decide who you want to be part of your tribe, who you want to call “your people.” Your choice of friends have an immense impact on your life. The best ones help you to be the person you want to be. They hear your unspoken words. They love you, flaws and all.

In this time and age when everything moves and shifts at a fast pace, friendships are sometimes taken for granted. Saying “they’ll understand I’m just busy right now” is slowly becoming a lame excuse that, quite honestly, sucks.

Everyone is busy. Everyone has things they need to prioritize. But you should never be too busy for friends the same way they should never be too preoccupied for you. Remember, even the strongest and longest friendships require sustenance.

Here are ways to strengthen your relationship with your friends further.

 

Be conscious of your friendships.

4 Skateboarder Friends Walking into the Sunset.jpg

It happens. You get so busy with your personal and professional life, and you forget you have friends.

It’s okay if your besties get bumped down on your list of priorities. However, it’s never okay to treat them as nuisances when you’re busy and they seek you out. Keep in mind that it’s not only you who are juggling multiple responsibilities at the same time.

You can’t be too busy to return a phone call or to send a reply in your group chat. Sometimes, an emoji is enough to convey to them that even with your tight schedule, you’re still aware of what’s happening in and out of your lives.

 

Learn to listen to unspoken words.

When your friends have a problem, you don’t necessarily have to be the problem-solver. More often than not, they only need a shoulder to lean on or someone they can temporarily depend on to pick up the slack while they fix the problem.

This is quite easy if your friends straight away tell you about their hardships. However, some people hesitate reaching out to their friends because they don’t want to impose. As such, you have to learn to listen to an unspoken plea for help.

Look for telltale signs like mood swings and restlessness. Also, don’t hesitate to directly ask your friends what’s bothering them. Sometimes, that’s the only opening your pals need to unburden their troubles.

 

Help as much as you can.

Four girl friends walking together and laughing

Being available for your friends doesn’t only count during times of hardships. The little things matter a lot as well. Find ways to help them breathe easier, especially when you know they are knee-deep with responsibilities and obligations.

For example, if you have some spare time and your friends need to work long hours, you can babysit their children or pick them up from school. Or if they are sick, you can run errands for them or bring them a home-cooked meal.

 

Have open communication all the time.

Lack of communication can affect friendships, especially these days when there are tons of ways to instantly reach out to them.

If you all can’t hang out face-to-face, do it virtually. Send an email. Initiate a conference call. Start a group chat. The point is to actively keep in touch with everyone even if it’s just to say hello.

 

Be a voice of reason.

Group of Friends playing ice hockey on a cold winter day in canada

There’s a line between supporting and indulging your friends. Encourage them to follow their dreams. Push them to get the job done.

Giving them your support is vital because it’s a scary thing to put yourself out there. Having said that, it’s equally important to be a voice of reason when you think they’re making a mistake. Just make sure you’re giving them valuable and constructive advice rather than justtelling them they’re wrong without any further explanation.

 

Accept their flaws.

As the adage says, nobody’s perfect. For sure, you have mannerisms or characteristics that annoy other people. Your friends have flaws, too. If their flaw is more of a quirk and not a bad attitude, then don’t fret about it.

It can be annoying, but it’s part of the package. You wouldn’t want someone to tell you to change your personality just because of your annoying trait, right? It’s the same thing with your friends. You can’t expect and have them change their personality just to suit your needs.

 

Be realistic.

Two friends hanging out at the pool during a hot summer day

A lot of times, conflicts between friends happen because of unrealistic expectations. While it’s heartwarming to be appreciated for your kind gestures, you shouldn’t expect your friends to always thank you for all the things you do for them.

In the first place, if you only do good things just to get rewarded, then you’re doing them for the wrong reasons.

In the real world, people forget important events. They miss dates and celebrations.  They make mistakes and don’t always do what you wish and think they should do. And that should be okay. You need to stop expecting people to act the way you expect.

Friendships make the world a great place to live in. Here are beautiful quotes about friendships you can share with your besties.

 

40 Truthful Quotes about Friendship

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Posted by Igor Ovsyannykov

I'm a digital nomad and entrepreneur bouncing around South East Asia. When I'm not working here, I'm out taking photos. Follow me on Instagram: @igorovsyannykov

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