How to Have a Stronger Bond With Your Friend

by Elise Wile

Aristotle referred to friendship as being a "single soul residing in two bodies," but frankly, many friendships are not nearly so close. If you feel a distance between yourself and those friends you'd like to build a closer relationship with, it may simply mean you need to pay more attention to the relationship. Friendships, like flowers, bloom when cared for. Being intentional about your interactions with your friends can help you to build the closeness you'd like to have.

Set aside time to be with your friend. It's difficult to maintain a friendship when you rarely see one another, let alone strengthen your bond. When you do meet, mix things up a bit. Instead of grabbing the usual cup of coffee, make some memories together by going on a weekend trip together, seeing a local band or taking your dogs on a hike.

Listen actively to what your friend is saying when you're having a conversation. It's a sad truth that much of the time, people are planning what to say next in a conversation instead of truly listening to what is being communicated. When you talk, make comments that help your friend to grow, rather than simply experience temporary relief from problematic issues. Note that true friendship means occasionally giving feedback that is honest and difficult, according to clinical psychologist Joseph Burgo. Honesty and acceptance between two people can create a very strong bond.

Use social media to create a greater connection with your friend if she enjoys sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Tagging her in posts you know she would enjoy, retweeting her updates with an enthusiastic plug or pinning her artwork are all actions that will make her feel special, even when you're not communicating face to face. \

Demonstrate your trustworthiness. You know that talking behind your friend's back will cause him to keep you at arm's length, but talking about other people when you're hanging out together can backfire. Many people reason that if a friend will talk about other people when they are not present, then they are not exempt. Therefore, they wisely keep their vulnerabilities hidden along with personal information, such as martial difficulties. Such a relationship can only remain superficial, at best.

About the Author

Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.

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