We have a tendency to call everyone we meet a “friend”. There are people who would claim to have a lot of friends.
Some of them may actually have a lot of friends, but many people have an inflated idea of what a ‘friend’ is.
Many people believe that they have become friends with someone only after a few minutes of talking.
Nowadays, many of us consider ourselves friends with others just because we have become connected on social media websites.
We know a lot of people, but how close are they? Do we need just acquaintances or meaningful relationships?
I say we need meaningful relationships in our lives because they make us feel more connected to the people around us. And that’s something we all want.
Your heart and intentions can make all the difference. It’s the little things that matter.
Let’s start with the why part, why one wants to build closer friendships.
Why We Need to Build Closer Friendships or Relationships
In today’s society, it can sometimes feel like we’re more connected to our phones and computers than to the people around us. We need friends!
We, humans, are social creatures by nature, and friendships are an integral part of that nature. In fact, research shows that friendships make us happier, healthier, and even wealthier!
Relationships are vital for everyone. They are what make up our lives.
Close friendships are rare but we need them. Having a close friend will help you through tough times.
Having good friends to bring happiness to your life and to satisfy your needs as a social creature is very important to your health.
Have a good friend that you can trust? You’ll be able to bravely fight the challenges life throws on.
When we have strong relationships, it can make us feel more secure and like we are a part of something bigger.
And that’s something everyone would want to feel.
A friend can be someone who understands what you are going through and can tell you when they see something wrong with you.
Having a good friend can make your life better and can bring you joy.
When you have a close friend to lean to, you’re less likely to feel alone. Your life could be much happier if you did have friends.
5 Proven Ways to Build Closer Friendships
We struggle to have closer relationships. Does that mean we’re not good at making them? No, it’s more than that.
Over time, I have learned that these five things make a relationship better. Don’t treat them as cliche advice, but try to self-reflect to understand their true meaning.
1. Staying Genuine
In order to have real and authentic friendships, you must be genuine and honest.
No matter how cliche it sounds, being true is crucial to forming a strong relationship.
If you are being honest, you will feel more comfortable in your relationship. Honesty brings trust. You must be honest with yourself first.
Then, you should also be honest with your friend/ partner. That way, you’ll feel closer to them.
Do not pretend to have a connection with someone.
For example, if your friend is asking for your opinion on something, it’s best, to be honest, and give them your true opinion.
When a friend asks for relationship advice or for guidance with a job, they are counting on and hoping for an honest answer and authentic support.
If you share exactly what you would do in their situation, you’ll be giving them unadulterated support.
2. Being Vulnerable
The best way to show a person you care is by showing that you can be honest with them about your emotions.
That’s why it’s so important to share your inner thoughts and feelings. Not just with loved ones, but with those who are important in your life.
When you reveal what you’re thinking and feeling to others, it lets them know that you trust them and that you trust yourself.
Emotions are powerful. They can move mountains.
But if you don’t share them, they can destroy relationships.
Your emotions can open up your heart, or close it completely.
You’ll never know what the truth really is until you reveal your true emotions.
Revealing what you’re thinking, what you feel, and even what you want, opens the door to intimacy.
When we share our real thoughts and emotions with others, we give them a window into our inner world. But sharing those things without the safety of friendship first can be destructive.
Sharing your vulnerabilities and fears is a good thing.
When you share that vulnerability, you’re showing others that you trust them, but only if you’re willing to let them in.
If you’re still guarded with others, they won’t be able to see your true feelings, and will probably think you’re hiding something. That’s not true.
It’s only when you show your vulnerability, do you have the opportunity to let someone know you.
We all know people who never reveal their true feelings.
They remain guarded, and their distance makes them seem cold. But a good friend has the capacity to be completely honest with you.
He shares his feelings with you. He lets you see how he feels. If you’re really a friend, you’ll accept his emotional vulnerability.
It’s not a sign of weakness to be open with people. It’s strength.
3. Keeping Promises
We all make promises every day. Some of us make too many and some of us make none. But only a few of us keep them.
It’s easy to make promises; it’s hard to keep them. In fact, most of us are terrible keepers of promises. We make a lot of promises, but very few of us keep them.
We all know that we’re not perfect and there will be times when we fail to meet a promise.
But the problem lies with a person who makes too many promises and fails to fulfill them.
The result is a broken heart when a person doesn’t keep a promise.
We all know that you don’t want to let someone down, but why does it matter if you don’t keep your word?
You build trust with your promises.
You gain respect when you keep your word in your relationships.
You break someone’s heart when you don’t keep your word.
Breaking a promise is a terrible thing. When you break, make sure to give a reason.
The person won’t feel so bad when you tell them a genuine reason.
Communication in that way is important. Always care to convey why you couldn’t do what you want to do.
Another person might act cool that it doesn’t matter but sharing the reason does help them.
4. Being There for Them
As Jennifer Aniston says, “There’s nothing like a really loyal, dependable, good friend. Nothing.”
Be the one your friends can count on when they have a problem.
And if you’re not around, it’s very clear that you don’t care.
Be the person that always does what they can. People who try to avoid getting things done often don’t stay around for long.
Those excuses, postponement don’t really work. It’s infuriating when someone is nice to me and then doesn’t follow up with their actions.
When you can help, always do. If you genuinely can’t help, it’s okay and let it be known that you can’t.
Friendship like any other relationship is a two-way street.
It requires a lot of effort on both sides. Relationships are not something that happens. They require genuine effort from both parties.
You can’t just sit back and wait for someone else to come along and become your best friend forever. You must put in the effort.
5. Listening to a Friend
Friendship is all about the things we share.
We talk to each other, we listen to each other’s stories and we care for each other.
If we can’t do these things with our friends, we don’t have the type of relationship where we can really share and build trust with them.
The thumb rule is simple; treat your friend how you want to be treated, and they will truly cherish that.
A friend is someone you want to spend time with and want to do fun activities with, whether it be doing things, talking, or just hanging out.
Being friends with someone is a lot like being in a relationship.
There are going to be times when we are uncomfortable with our friends. They might act selfishly or be inconsiderate.
We may feel disappointed, irritated, or even embarrassed.
But the relationship with a friend is important enough that as a friend, you are willing to initiate conversations and make it work because you prioritize your friend over all the issues.
Being appreciative is one of the most effective ways to connect with a friend or anyone in a deep, meaningful, and powerful way.
When you appreciate your friend, you let them know that you notice and care.
You give validation to their efforts. You infuse a lot of emotional positivity in them.
I am not talking about going overboard or making exaggerated appreciations.
Just tell them what you really like about them.
Here are a few friendship quotes you might find sparkling…
20 Friendship Quotes to Dedicate To Your True Friend
Great friendships are irreplaceable.
Your true friends are the ones who always stay by your side during the best and worst times.
And often, they’re the ones who can bring out the best in you and show you that you really do deserve all the good things in life.
Show your gratitude to them by dedicating these beautiful friendship quotes to those true friends.
1. “The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing…not healing, not curing…that is a friend who cares.” — Henri Nouwen
2. “True friends aren’t the ones who make your problems disappear. They are the ones who won’t disappear when you’re facing problems.” — Unknown
3. “In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” — Albert Schweitzer
4. “If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.” — Winnie the Pooh
5. “Friends are the siblings God never gave us.” — Mencius
6. “Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” — Oprah Winfrey
7. “Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.” — Muhammad Ali
8. “Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you; spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” — Amy Poehler
9. “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” — Marcel Proust
10.“A friend who understands your tears is much more valuable than a lot of friends who only know your smile.” — Unknown
11. “Life is an awful, ugly place to not have a best friend.” — Sarah Dessen, Someone Like You
12. “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” — Maya Angelou
13. “Friendship takes work. Finding friends, nurturing friendships, scheduling face time, it all take a tremendous amount of work. But it’s worth it. If you put in the effort, you’ll see the rewards of positive friends who will make your life extraordinary.” — Maya Angelou
14. “Awards become corroded. Friends gather no dust.” — Jesse Owens
15. “Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.” — Woodrow Wilson
16. “A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.” — Bernard Meltzer
17. “Some people arrive and make such a beautiful impact on your life, you can barely remember what life was like without them.” — Anna Taylor
18. “Rare as is true love, true friendship is rarer.” — Jean de la Fontaine
19. “One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and be understood.” — Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Make some time for your friend. Do you think you listen patiently to your friends?
Do you have any other tips for having closer relationships? Please share in the comments below.