Making and maintaining friendships gets harder as we get older. Here are some tips on how to maintain friendships as an adult that will help you build up old and new friendships.
It seems like such a simple thing. For most people, friendships naturally form and take on their own meanings. There are private jokes between the two of you, happy and sad times shared, and lots of stuff in common. The thing is, many people aren’t sure how to be a great friend or they don’t know how to make friends, especially as an adult. It is so easy to get lost in our separate lives that we forget to spend time with others. If you struggle with knowing how to be a great friend or want to make sure you don’t lose touch with those that mean the world to you, here are some tips on how to maintain friendships as an adult.
How to Maintain Friendships as an Adult
Make sure your relationship is even and equal – One surefire way to ruin any friendship is to have one person be the taker and the other only being the giver. This goes for almost every aspect of the friendship including money (someone is always lending money or paying for lunch dates), time spent listening and supporting (one person is always the one venting and the other is always the listener) and even picking what you do when together. Make sure you are giving as much as taking to prevent anyone from feeling used.
Understand their boundaries and respect them – Most of us have boundaries in many aspects of our life. Whether they are subjects we prefer not to discuss or things we don’t want to do, such as ride that huge roller coaster at the theme park, boundaries make us feel safe. A good friend knows what boundaries not to try to break and which need a bit of coaxing in order to help your friend overcome things they may be scared of. If your friend is set on a boundary, don’t to push it.
Be okay with not seeing them regularly, but also make time for them – As adults, we are often busy with work, kids, and those darn responsibilities. This can make spending time with friends and socializing seem impossible. Try to find a balance between your responsibilities and fun to keep up with your friends. On the other hand, don’t feel offended if your friend is too busy to spend time with you. Be okay with occasional breaks in time with them and try not to take it personally.
Learn how to apologize – This is a big one. Not apologizing can lead to the downfall of even really great friendships. If you’re wrong, admit it. Your friend is likely to forgive you in most cases but just needs to know you recognize your mistake. Not apologizing can lead to distrust too.
Cheer them on in their endeavors – A great friend will be there to cheer you on in your goals. Good friends are happy when others succeed, even if you were going after a similar goal and didn’t achieve it.