With the approach of July 30th, otherwise known as International Friendship Day, we want to take some time and share the secrets of being a great friend. Scrolling through our Facebook newsfeed or the Discover page on Instagram, we are bombarded with faces of potential followers. Sending a friend request is an easy way to initiate a relationship, but how do we develop those into lasting friendships? How do we deepen the ones we already have?
Find out your friendship strengths and weaknesses with this friendship quiz...
Fundamentals of Friendships
Shasta Nelson, M.Div, founder of Girl Friend Circles, established the Frientimacy Triangle which includes positivity, vulnerability, and consistency. Appearing on the Today Show and writer for the Huffington Post, Nelson is an expert on the methods for building fulfilling and long-lasting friendships.
The goal of friendship is to contribute positively to each other’s lives. Leave that person feeling happy, uplifted, and grateful. By providing a positive force in someone’s life, we bring them pleasure and fulfillment.
By revealing a piece of our self to a friend, the relationship can grow. However, there are many types of vulnerability (emotional, physical, etc.). For example, ask a new friend to go rock climbing; a fun experience that exposes two types of vulnerability. This new experience will ultimately strengthen the relationship.
The key to any meaningful friendship is showing up, whether that is staying in touch, or seeing each other regularly. By making time for one another, we show that person that their friendship is meaningful. Nelson advised to create a consistent plan, a phone call every Monday morning, or maybe lunch every Thursday. The more consistent your plan, the more dependable we will be.
© Shasta Nelson
Further your Friendship
Looking for tips to strengthen your friendships? Follow these practices to help you form deeper connections.
Phone Free Fun
Next time you’re out for coffee, put the phones away! Research reveals that “Real-life interactions are dulled when a person feels the urge to check their phone, and the distraction a phone affords one partner doesn’t make the other person feel good.” In other words, we demonstrate that our Instagram feed is more important than talking to our friend (how sad!?). By putting our phones away, we will exchange ideas and share stories that will make the experience more meaningful, allowing us to form a deeper connection and experience greater emotional fulfillment and presence of mind.
When was the last time we sent friend flowers? Or maybe a sweet text? Random acts of kindness are a great way to show appreciation. Guaranteed to brighten their day and it’s so easy! Take five minutes after your morning meditation, or post work-out sweat to show those in our lives some much deserved attention.
Share a unique experience
Nothing like a change of scenery to get the friendship flowing. Try an activity never done before to create a new, one-of-a-kind experience. Do something out of the ordinary, something memorable. Try Paddle Board Yoga, or maybe a new hiking trail. When we look back on those special memories together, we will associate those emotions with our friend. Switch it up to keep the relationship growing.