The things you need to do for a friendship to last are very similar to the things you need to do for a relationship to last, except for the fact that friendship can last forever. Haha. Just kidding. But for real, I had a few friends over the years who were like family to me, and I’ve realized that it takes a lot more than a connection to make a friendship last.
Spoiler alert: you will fight with the people you love. There will be times when they will drive you crazy. That's normal. Fights don't mean the end of a friendship - it is often the beginning of an even closer bond.
1. Your friend is not a placeholder for when your boyfriend/girlfriend is busy. “Yeah bae is working anyways so I’m free..” Your friend will be there for you every time you f*ck up, they’re the only one you can be your absolute weirdness self with, appreciating your crazy sense of humor. They’re the first person you want to call when you get in a fight with bae because they’re the only one who cares enough to give you advice and actually listen, making you laugh through your tears. You will never survive without your friends. Don’t put them second.
2. Forgive. Life gets kind of complicated and we’re all going to make mistakes. The most important thing is to learn from our mistakes. Forgive easily. Life is too short and very comical - you never know when you will be in the same circumstance.
3. But never take advantage of each other. In the words of Khalil Gibran, “Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.” Building friendships based on what they can do for you is the absolute worst thing you can do. Your friends are the people who will keep you sane, multiply all the good in life, make any shitty situation 100x better, and give life meaning. Friendship is some pure, sacred shit. Never take advantage of it.
4. Admit when you’re wrong. Pride is the ultimate death to any relationship. Sometimes things happen, we get worked up because we care too much, we say things we don't mean. Apologize. Five years down the line you don’t want to regret losing a great friendship because you were just too stubborn to give in.
5. Know when to shut up. Mind: Just let it go, don't say shit, it's not worth. Me: I just think it's really funny how - We all have our sensitive topics. Sometimes it’s less important to prove your point than it is to make sure your friend doesn’t get hurt.
6. Be happy for each other. As Oscar Wilde said, “anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathise with a friend’s success.” We’re human, sometimes it’s hard to be happy for each other, especially when we’re struggling ourselves - but remember, your friends will cherish your support and praise times a million, and they will be the first people celebrating your success.
7. It’s the simple stuff. Holding the door, listening, expressing gratitude, taking them out to dinner once in awhile. With a good friend, whatever you put out, you get back tenfold.
8. And it’s the being there for each other. This involves taking the calls at 4 am, wiping their tears away as their world comes crashing down, speaking words of reassurance, telling them that everything will be okay. It’s the being there no matter how inconvenient it might be for you.
9. But your anxiety is not an excuse to be an asshole. We all have issues. But your issues are never some sort of Get Out Of Jail Free Card to be selfish and abuse your friends. You can justify it all you want, make all the excuses to not work on yourself, but your excuses won’t keep people from leaving you when they can’t take your bullshit anymore.
10. Check yourself. Practicing self awareness if the key to making a friendship last because the better your relationship is with yourself, the better your relationships will be with others. Reflect often on who you are and what kind of friend you are. We all have times where we can be judgemental, unfair, harsh, hypercritical, defensive.
11. Check each other. It feels really good when someone tells you what you want to hear - it feeds your ego, it's comforting. But the only problem with that is, it's a very temporary fix because no positive growth or change comes from it. And you can’t be the brightest version of yourself without growing. I've realized over the years that only a true friend will risk a fight in order to tear down your walls, making you greater because of it.
12. Encourage each other. To be the fullest, strongest, fiercest versions of each other. Together you can kill the game twice as hard.
13. Friends are nice to each other, but best friends are total assholes to each other. Meaning everything is a fair game for a joke. I tease my friends mercilessly about their lame selfies, when their eyebrows look crazy, or their awful dancing - but they know underneath it all is mad love.
14. Offer solutions, not criticism. It’s so easy to criticize people who are close to us. A true friend will offer a way out.
15. Don’t be passive aggressive. It’s literally the most annoying thing ever.
Communicate directly what you want/feel. Don’t play passive aggressive games. Ain't nobody got time for that.
16. Don’t dismiss each other’s feelings. I lost a friend who was like a sister to me because she didn’t want to discuss a fight we had, what she didn’t realize was, sometimes it’s not about how you feel, you have to respect how your friend feels, too. In the words of Alice Walker, “no person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.” If it’s important to your friend to discuss something, don’t dismiss it.
17. Don't let issues build up and explode. Hang on to the friends who won’t hold back, because they know that in order to be truly happy, we sometimes have to face things that are uncomfortable, difficult. It's those friends that love you enough to challenge you - and that's what true friendship is.
18. And if all else fails, get some dirt on them when they're drunk so they can never leave you.
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