We all love to be surrounded by amazing girlfriends, yet it’s easy to forget how much effort strong friendships demand. Now that you’re back in homeroom with your best gals, think about truly being there for them. To discover the secrets of being a great friend, niNe. caught up with Catherine Dee, award-winning author of The Girl’s Book of Friendship. While we realize there’s no magic formula to maintaining a strong bond, here are four keys you can do to lock in the friendship:
A great friend has mastered the fine art of listening. Catherine explains: “Good listeners are truly interested in other people and what they have to say. You’ll learn a lot by tuning in and really hearing others’ stories.” Since you care about her, you’ll want to know what’s going on in her life, and how she’s dealing.
Friendship is a two-way street both of you must choose to travel. Even though it’s scary to be vulnerable, especially if you’ve been betrayed in the past, your friends can’t be there for you if you refuse to let them in. Follow Catherine’s advice and don’t bare your soul to a friend until you’ve truly established a strong trust. Reveal small things instead, and see how she respects your confidence.
In order to grow, a friendship must be cultivated by investing in each others’ lives. This requires action! Show up at her playoff field hockey game just to be there for her. Follow Catherine’s golden rule of respect and treat your friend as you expect her to behave towards you. If you promised to attend her next choir concert, keep your word. Remember to give her opportunities to support you too.
Keep in Touch
Disconnects in friendships are often caused by a failure to carve time out for the other person. This final key encompasses all the others and communication is essential! Seek her out. Even if you have all the same classes, spend time keeping updated on not only the current events, but her feelings. Don’t just connect via social media messages, spend time with her face-to-face, embracing her true character and nature.