35 Ways to Create Lasting Friendships

 

Do you have good friends?

Do you make friends easily or is it hard work?

I’ve collected 35 tips for you on how to create lasting friendships.

Some of the tips are about finding friends, others are about how to deepen a friendship once it’s formed. Finally there are some points on how to repair a friend.

A friend recently said to me:

“What if I were to get convicted of a crime – even if I’m innocent – and get put in jail for ten years. Who would be at the gates when I’m released?”

Could you rely on some of your friends to be there if that happened to you?
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What’s your definition of a friend?

Zen Master John Tarrant says the following  in this book Bring Me the Rhinoceros: And Other Zen Koans That Will Save Your Life

It’s common to feel lonely, to think of yourself as something small and solitary in the vastness of things. It’s easy then to think of a friend as a home territory carved out of that vastness, a kind of living diary for sharing and storing the feelings of the day so that life can go on more or less as usual.

Yet there are other kinds of friendships that don’t just assuage loneliness but undermine it by changing your understanding of who you are.
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Good friends help us to understand who we really are.

To create and enjoy lasting friendships takes effort and skill. Some people make friends easily, but for many of us making and keeping friends isn’t always easy. Here is a list of  35 ways of creating and cultivating lasting friendships.

          1. Know yourself. In order to make friends, we need to know who we are. You may want to check out this article and work out what is special about you. If you are not clear on what your life purpose is, these questions will help you.
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          2. Check whether you really want to have friends. If you’re secretly afraid of people, or don’t trust other, you will find it difficult to make friends.
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          3. Spend time around people. You can’t find people in a cupboard.
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          4. Be kind. Look at what you can do for other to make their life easier.
          5. Be steady and dependable. Be a friend one can count on. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
          6. .Be genuine. Don’t try and be someone you’re not. Friendship is built on honesty.
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            Photo by banoootah_qtr

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          7. .Join groups and pursue activities that you enjoy. You are more likely to find friends who have common interests. ………………………………………………………………………………………………
          8. Become a volunteer. You’ll find people who have a similar set of values which is a great basis for a friendship. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
          9. .Talk to people. You’ll spend a lot of time in groups without making friends if you don’t talk with people
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          10. Make eye contact and smile when you communicate people.
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          11. Be positive. If you only talk negatively about yourself, others, or life in general, people will not enjoy your company.
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          12. Remember names. If you find that difficult, ask the person again until you’ve really got it.
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          13. Initiate a get-together. If you meet someone you like, ask them out for a coffee or arrange another meeting. An easy way to do that is to say something like: A good way to extend yourself is to say: “Well, I’ve got to go, but if you ever want to talk over lunch or coffee or anything like that, let me give you my number/e-mail address.”
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          14. Find common interests. Ask how he or she pursues their interest. Are they a member of a club or society? Express an interest in joining.
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          15. Tell your friend that you enjoy their company. Many friendships are lost because neither person finds the courage to express their interest.
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          16. Beware of sexual flings with friend. Many friedships don’t survive it. ….
          17. Be glad for your friends successes. Be the only person they can tell how well they’re doing.
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          18. Don’t compromise your values. Keep you standards of morality and behaviour and don’t change them just to fit in with friend or a group.
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          19. Don’t gossip. If a new friend hears you revealing personal stories of othere, he or she will be wary of your discretion.
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          20. Ask the other person open-ended questions about their life. Openended questions are ones that can’t be answered  by saying ‘yes’, or ‘no’.
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          21. Share more deeply with a friend. Let them know what your life feels like. This is key difference between a friend and an aquaintance.
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          22. Keep the sharing equal. Don’t hog the time with your problems.
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          23. Have even roles in the relationship. If you notice that you are always the listener and she the star
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          24. Switch roles regularly in your friendships. If there is one who always calls the shots, the friendship won’t last.
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          25. Listen to your friend. Listening is the number one glue of friendships.
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          26. Keep confidences. Nothing kills a budding friendship faster than spilled secrets.. ……………………………..
          27. Allow your friend to help you. Give and take has to be balanced in a friendship. …… ………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………
          28. Share the bad times. Help your friend when things go bad. Allow your friends to help you when times are difficult. ………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
          29. Keep contact. Check in regularly with your friend. A short text message, email or phone call keeps a friendship alive
          30. Don’t crowd your friend. Make sure you don’t overwhelm – or even stalk – him or her.
          31. Share bonding activities. Have some adventures together and play together. To foster longlasting friendships, create common memories
          32. Keep talking through difficult times. Don’t let disagreements fester.
          33. If there is a rift, apologize for the hurt you caused. It’s more important to keep your friendship going than to be ‘right’.
          34. If a friendship is damaging your life or your family relationships, you may need to let it go. This can be a difficult decision. Weigh up how important this friendship is for you against the disturbance it brings into your life.

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As you might have noticed, I haven’t differentiated between offline and online friendships because the rules of friendship seem to me to be the same.
What experiences do you have of online friendships? Please let me know in the comments.
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About the author

Mary Jaksch

Mary is passionate about helping people create a happy, purposeful, and fulfilling life. She is the founder of GoodlifeZEN and also the brains behind WritetoDone.com, one of the biggest blogs for writers on the Net. Mary is also a Zen Master, a mother, and a 5th Degree Black Belt.

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