The development and maintenance of a strong friendship relies on the efforts of both parties. Both members of a friendship share the responsibility of ensuring that the relationship is healthy and happy. To develop a strong, true friendship, you should treat your friends as you expect them to treat you and focus on what they need out of the relationship. Your friend is also responsible for extending the same level of care towards you.
In a friendship, it is important to be supportive during difficult times and to encourage the pursuit of goals. You should also help your friends with problem-solving and respect their decisions, even if you disagree with them. Good friends are not judgmental and attempt to offer good advice when needed on issues and complicated life events. The presence of these factors in a friendship also helps create an environment where both parties feel comfortable, cared for and appreciated.
Honesty and Trust
The development of honesty and trust in a friendship helps those involved feel comfortable confiding in and communicating with each other. According to Director of Research and Education at the Glendon Association, author and clinical psychologist Dr. Lisa Firestone, mutual honesty between friends helps build a solid relationship and encourages integrity and directness in general life in and outside the friendship. Honesty also leads to trust, which is another important quality. You should be able to trust your friend and expect the same in return.
Though it may seem like a simple task, listening is very important in a friendship. Making an effort to listen when your friend is discussing or explaining a topic of interest is a form of respect. It also helps show that you actually want to learn about things that are important to your friend. To show you are listening, you can ask questions, maintain eye contact and provide feedback on the subject during and after a conversation.
Having Fun and Benefits
You should make your friend feel accepted by including him or her in activities that you both enjoy. This is true of friendships at every age; from childhood to late adulthood. Having fun and feeling comfortable are important characteristics of friendships. There are many other benefits that can result from a strong friendship. For example, the MayoClinic notes that friendships boost happiness, reduce stress, improve self worth and encourage healthy habits.