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What About Your Friends: Tips on how to maintain healthy friendships.

Updated: Jul 10, 2023

Making friends is one of the easiest things for me. It honestly happens so effortlessly. I am not aware of what’s going on until I realize that I have this new person in my life. Friendships are one of God’s most beautiful gifts. It provides so many good benefits in my life. My friendships give me emotional support. My girls are great at listening to my over dramatic stories and they bring me back to reality.

Another great thing about friendships is that they provide personal development. My friends are some of my best accountability partners. We keep it real with each other and if there are areas in our lives that need tweaking, we support each other in our attempts to grow.

“Making friends is easy, maintaining those friendships is

hard work.”

Like everything good in the world, friendships take a lot of work to maintain. I have learned that as we get older, we change and our friends change too. What once was a common interest, may have now grown into something different. My once youthful, single friends are now mommies, wives, business women, world travelers, and etc. Although our lifestyles are different, the foundation of our friendships remains the same.

If you feel like the foundation of your friendships is still the same, but your lifestyles have shifted a little, no worries I got you! Here are some tips to help you maintain your healthy friendships.

“Although our lifestyles are different, the foundation of our friendships remains the same.”

Tip #1: Open Communication (Talk It Out)

Sis, communication is key! I repeat communication is key! Without communication, you might as well throw the whole friendship away (Lol! Don’t do that!). As friendships shift, communication needs to be consistent. Lack of communication is one of the main reasons why arguments start and how friendships fall apart. Healthy communication can get rid of hurt feelings, clear up misunderstandings, and end petty arguments. I try to be an active listener with my friends. It is important to fully concentrate and understand what your friends are saying to you. I have found this to help my friends feel that they are being heard.

Honesty is a necessity for healthy communication to take place in a conversation. When something feels off or when my friends say something that hurts my feelings, I let them know and vice versa. This helps better our communication. Along with being honest, we must be able to adjust when our friend’s personality changes. When friends change, it’s important to be conscious of their new communication style. They might be a little blunter or a little more sensitive. Whatever the change is, make an effort to learn and adjust.

Tip #2: Know When to Put Personal Feelings to the Side (Leave The Attitude At The Door)

When it’s been a while since I’ve seen my girls, we always make an attempt to meetup. We reconnect, catch up, and laugh until we start crying! But, there have been times at these meetups when drama from the outside world tried to sneak in and ruin the moment. During these times, I allowed somebody or something to get in my head and put me in a bad mood. After allowing this mood change, I become unpleasant to be around and our meetup becomes the “all about me show” where I vent and have a disgusting attitude. Although my friends are sweet enough to allow me to vent, every time we meet up shouldn’t be about me and my drama. I had to realize that this time of friendship bonding is also a time for my friends who should not be bogged down by my alter egos, Ms. Downer, and Ms. Angry.

I had to learn the appropriate times to have a vent fest. It had to register with me that most of the time these meetups were outings that my friends didn’t get often and that they might need a peaceful meeting more than I needed to vent. Even though we have rotated in sharing emotional moments with each other, some of these meetups need to be a time for my friends and me to have a good time. I have learned over the years that in order to maintain a positive friendship, I have to practice leaving my attitude at the door.

Tip #3: Respect Each Other Boundaries and Space (R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Find Out What It Means To Me)

As an adult, it is normal for friendships to shift. Lifestyles change and friends start to grow up and sometimes apart. They start to build new interest, new goals, and new standards. As a friend, it’s important to support your friends when life starts to change. Whether you agree with them or not, (as long as they are not harming themselves or others) you have to respect their choices. I know my friends who have kids live a completely different lifestyle than I do. I know they can’t go and do everything my “single behind’ does. They have a greater responsibility, and as their friend, I had to learn to respect their boundaries. As we grow up there are some things we are not tolerating in our lives anymore and therefore we have certain boundaries that are created. As friends, we should honor all of our friends’ wishes and try to understand the boundaries!

The second part about respecting each other's boundaries and space is being ok with your friends having other friends. When you and your friend live different lifestyles, there are going to be things you just understand or relate to. That is why it is important to give your friends space to meet other like-minded individuals. When you allow yourself and your friends to meet new people, it can sometimes improve your relationship. I have two best friends, one is my childhood best friend and the other is my college best friend. Both are completely different, but they each provide something different to our friendship. My College BFF and I have been able to grow through college troubles, post-grad, and the first years of adulting. We were able to be there for each other because we were going through a lot of the same issues. My childhood BFF and I have been through every stage together since middle school. We both know the history of our growth as individuals. In both friendships, we might not talk everyday but when we do talk, we pick back up like we never stopped.

Tip #4: Call Your Friends (Sis, Pick Up Phone)

Although I can’t physically see my friends every day, I try to have some type of communication with them whether it’s through text messages or on social media. These methods are good when we are on the go and we don’t have time to talk regularly. But I must admit that picking up the phone is always a better method of staying in touch. Hearing my friends’ voices literally makes my day. My spirits are lifted and I always feel less stress after a phone call. I know life can get busy but set an appointment with your girls and just talk! You never know, your call might make their day.

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