6 Rules for Healthy Friendships

6 Rules for Healthy Friendships

Healthy relationships have no hope if you can’t follow the rules.

When it comes down to it, friendships are the most precious form of social capital. These are the bonds that can withstand the test of time and distance while remaining flexible when things start to get a bit hairy. Yet, good friends will give you the space you require when it is required, and they will cherish your company both when you are happy and when you are sad, as well as when you are poor and wealthy.

Even the closest of friendships might experience life’s interruptions, yet true friends can reconnect months or even years later and still feel as close as ever. The depth of the connection, as well as the shared affinity and respect, are the trademarks of a relationship’s value, not how frequently you communicate.

The following is a list of six straightforward guidelines that women believe persons should go by in order to be considered a loyal friend:

1. Support, trust, and honesty are givens.

Everyone requires a support system, and the foundation of our social support networks is friendship. You indirectly volunteer to be a part of another person’s network of support when you refer to yourself as their friend. Your network value decreases at a rate directly proportional to how high her need might be if you are a no-show too frequently. You shouldn’t be shocked if she doesn’t show up for you if you don’t show up for her. Be there for her so that she will be there for you. Mutuality and reciprocity are the foundations of good friendships.

She is not your buddy if you do not trust her. You’re not her buddy if she can’t put her trust in you. You are not her buddy if you disseminate misinformation or untruths. That’s how easy it is. The friendship cannot be true without trust. If you can’t be honest with her, feel the need to lie to her, or feel the need to conceal your behavior, the relationship is constructed on shifting ground and won’t be able to survive any serious difficulties.

2. Listen to your friends.

Too frequently, we only “half hear” what people are saying because our own lives are so chaotic that we sometimes find it impossible to make room for caring about another person’s experiences. Yet friendships take care and attention; they won’t last if we don’t understand what our friends need from us and if we don’t express how we feel or what we need from them.

3. Ditch the judgment.

Good friends can understand that everyone is flawed and that true friends don’t criticize one another’s decisions. If you can’t handle friends who make decisions or lead lifestyles that go against what you deem to be “best,” you should stop the friendship. Friends don’t always have to “like” or “approve” of their friends’ decisions, but true friends will always accept their friends’ decisions. And if you can’t tolerate the road your friend is taking, it’s better to stop the friendship than to criticize or ridicule your friend from a distance.

Another crucial suggestion is that you proceed on the assumption that your friend is doing well and give them the benefit of the doubt. You won’t be the kind of buddy that anyone wants in the long run if you’re quick to presume the worst and prepared to assign blame. There are plenty of opportunities for us to demonstrate our abilities on the job and in other contexts; friendship shouldn’t be another one of those.

4. Don’t talk behind a friend’s back.

There is no requirement that you agree with all of your friend’s decisions, including what your friend wears, who she dates, how she raises her children, and other choices. There is an unwritten rule, though: don’t criticize your friend’s decisions in front of others while she isn’t looking. Women utilize gossip as a potentially harmful tactic to boost their social status. It’s similar to telling a friend, “Tammy cheated on her exam, and she ended up having to completely retake Algebra,” or, “Matta ate the berries from the plant with the scratchy leaves and almost died.” At first, gossip was used to prevent people from making the same mistakes that others had made before them. The motivation behind gossip has always been to keep people safe rather than to hurt the target of the talk. However, gossip today has a completely different goal than it did in the past—it now seeks to harm someone else’s reputation.

5. Respect your friends — and their boundaries.

Respect the limits and the narratives of your pals. For fear of getting harmed, some friends might find it difficult to allow others to grow close to them. Don’t crowd your friends; instead, give them the room they require to feel at ease. Let the friendship to develop naturally over time. The freedom to speak frankly and honestly is one of the wonderful things about great friendships. But, speaking too quickly without pausing to consider whether you’re about to express judgment or make attempts to control a friend’s reactions might do long-term damage to the friendship. While being honest is crucial, upfront interactions should also include tact and diplomacy.

6. Forgive where you can — and seek forgiveness when you screw up.

Your relationships won’t last nearly as long as you may hope if you demand more of others than you do of yourself. Nobody promises to make a relationship flawless, so it makes it far more likely that you’ll develop the kind of friendships that will stay if you’re ready to accept and overlook others’ flaws. Also, it’s critical that we have the capacity to admit our errors. A buddy is much more likely to be able to forgive you and go on if you can say when you haven’t kept up your half of the bargain.

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