How to build healthy friendships
Friendships are an important part of our lives. We share a lot with our friends - from challenges, to milestones and embarrassing moments. Sadly, we may not put as much effort into our friendships as we do in our romantic relationships. To feel balanced and supported, it’s important to invest in healthy friendships. Here’s how.
Support your friends
Offering support to friends isn’t just something we should do during the tough times. It’s important to show up for your friends even during the good moments. Get in the habit of asking your friends what support or showing up looks like to them so that you can have a better understanding of their needs. Remember to also communicate your own needs to them so that they can show up for you in a more meaningful way.
Build healthy communication
Good communication habits are as important in friendships as they are in romantic relationships, Choma. Building healthy communication with your friends means talking openly and respectfully about your feelings while listening actively to theirs. Although it’s good to iron out issues and talk to your friends about things that hurt or offend you, try to do this in a way that doesn’t place blame or accusation.
Don’t judge each other’s choices
Sometimes your friend might do something that you don’t fully agree with and you may need to talk to them about it. Good friends don’t shame or judge each other when something like this happens. They talk about it with intention of understanding each other’s points of view and offering sound advice and support.
Avoid gossiping about one another
One thing that can completely violate someone’s trust in a friendship is engaging in rumours and gossip. Avoid getting caught up in gossip, especially if it concerns your friend. Rather address an issue directly with them if the need arises.
Respect each other
Respect is important in any relationship. You should feel safe and accepted around your friend, while knowing that your boundaries won’t be overstepped and your personal space won’t be invaded. Remember to show your friends the same respect that you expect from them.
Building healthy friendships requires effort and communication, so you and your friend need to be clear on your needs and intentions. Friendships are just like any other relationship, in the sense that they have their challenges and sometimes they break if they’re toxic.
If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).
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