Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we explored the benefits of having strong, long lasting friendships. This week we discover the first three key behaviors that develop strong and deep rooted friendships.

 

1. Regular contact

 

Although I have an extremely busy schedule I make time to contact my friends regularly. I often text them to let them know I am thinking of them. I communicate with them on social media. I call them if circumstances dictate that I won’t see them for a while. When I do see them I make sure the time we spend together is quality time, connecting with them on a deeper level by listening intently and sharing openly.

 

2. Take interest and ask questions

 

We are naturally drawn to those who are interested in us. Show you are listening and empathise by repeating what they have said and placing yourself in their position. For example, ‘it must have been quite daunting to tell her you thought she was mistaken’. Ask open questions which will inspire more than a simple yes or no response and ask revealing follow up questions like ‘why did you think that?

 

3. Actively Listen

 

I always strive to give my undivided attention to my friends. I try to listen to not only what they say, but also what their body language is conveying. I pay attention to their tone and inflection and the meaning behind their words. We honour our friends by giving them our undivided attention, making them feel valued.

 

Stay tuned – next week we examine the importance of empathy, supportiveness, thoughtfulness and expressing your feelings in friendships.

 

Do you have regular contact with your friends? Would you like to see them more? Do you take an active interest in your friends, asking them open questions? How did it make you feel when a friend has actively listened to you in the past? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community.

 

Exercises:

 

  1. Write down the ways you can keep regular contact with your friends even if meeting them in person isn’t possible and commit to keeping more regular contact with them.
  2. Think about questions you could ask your friends when you next make contact and resolve to asking your friends more questions.