Friendships (Series)

Why Building Strong Friendships is Important for Our Health Part Four

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Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we explored the importance of empathy, support, thoughtfulness and expressing your feelings in developing strong friendships. This week we explore some tough but nevertheless important key behaviors in friendships; apologizing, forgiving and being inclusive.

 

8. Be quick to apologize

 

When you have caused one of your friends hurt, be quick to accept responsibility and sincerely apologize. This will limit resentment and minimize damage to the friendship.

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Why Building Strong Friendships is Important for Our Health Part Three

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we looked at the importance of regular contact with our friends, asking questions and listening intently. This week we explore what role empathy, support, thoughtfulness and expressing your feelings play in developing strong friendships.

 

4. Empathise

 

It’s important that our friends feel understood. Actively listening improves our understanding of our friends reasoning but we also need to imagine how we would feel if we were in their situation, we need to see things from their perspective.

 

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Why Building Strong Friendships is Important for Our Health Part Two

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.

 

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Why Building Strong Friendships is Important for Our Health Part One

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Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

 

I didn’t have many real friends when I was four. Most of the kids I met in play group were mean towards me and quite spiteful. I remember praying and pleading with my parents to give me a little brother or sister, a play mate who loved and accepted me. I now realise that my idea of siblings was quite romantic when I was young, after all, not all brothers and sisters get along.

 

I’m now happy to be an only child and in all honesty, I think I would have been quite jealous if my parents attention had been divided when I was so young. Perhaps because I am an only child, I have come to view my friends as my extended family (I call one of my best friends my surrogate sister).

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