Building a friendship from casual friends. Building friendships takes time. Friendships require self-disclosure so any friendship has risks, Talking and listening builds friendships. Friendships require equality and loyalty from friends.
Maintenance of friendships is crucial. Friendships can not be neglected. One-on-one contact is a prerequisite of friendships. Friends must be flexible. Conflict must be resolved for friendships to continue.
Friendships do end. Friendships may not last. Friendships can lose importance and die gradually. Some friendships end abruptly with unresolved conflict. The worst enemy of friendships is change by one or both friends. There is usually pain with the loss of friendship.
Setting Limits in Friendships Friendships as well as all other relationships must have limits. You set limits with your friends because you care for them and your relationship with them, not because you don't.
Manipulation: If you think you are being manipulated, either by a friend, mate/lover, or relative, take this short test to check it out.
Conversation: Being able to carry on a comfortable conversation with a social acquaintance is a matter of practice and following certain procedures in communicating. It also works for best friends, too.
How do we build friends???
In most cases, the transition from acquaintance to friendship occurs gradually. We reach out to offer friendship by offering a potential friend caring, listening, talking, sharing, accepting, and affirming. It takes time and effort to build a friendship. They are built slowly, slowly, slowly...
Yet, nothing can add more to your life than having truly intimate friends. "Just friends" is a goal worth pursuing!
Friendships can take up to three years to build! And building friendships is much the same for children as adults, but a bit quicker!
- Self-Disclosure builds friendships.
Self-disclosure is usually the first step in establishing a confidant. And it is scary because of the potential rejection factor. Do it anyway!
Start by sharing a few private thoughts and/or feelings with one person you might want for a close friend. If the person is responsive, he/she will usually share a personal thought or two with you.
If he/she is not responsive to your overtures, don't think of this as a rejection.People may be non-responsive for reasons of their own or merely as a perception of yours. Nevertheless, they can't be rejecting you because they don't even know you yet.
- Listening and acknowledging builds friendships.
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Often when your child, lover/partner, or friend tells you a story or voices a complaint, he/she is just asking for acknowledgment.
This does not mean that he/she wants agreement or compliance; it merely indicates a desire to be heard and understood.
Try these three steps to acknowledgment:
1. Repeat back.
2. Don't invalidate.
3. Don't try to change.
4. Don't problem solve.
Many conflicts in your personal relationships can be avoided if you will take the time to acknowledge other's feelings and points of view. For more information about acknowledgement, click here.
- Listening and attending builds friendships.
Paying attention to someone is called "attending." It means that your ears, your eyes, your body and your feelings are all focused on that person at one time. Attending is a very important part of any relationship. It includes:
1. Being there physically
3. Eye contact
Looking at and focusing on another person shows that you are "there for him/her." For more information on attending, click here.
Talking Is a Primary Building Block of Friendships.
Talking is an integral component of friendship.
When a friend talks and reveals ideas or feelings, he/she is expecting shared information in return. When the talk is not equal, the person talking feels as if the listener is uninterested.
In fact, the person who is always the listener is really playing the role of a counselor, not a friend. Anytime you have been talking for more than a minute or two without participation from the person you are talking to, you are lecturing, bossing, or putting that person in the role of a counselor.
- Loyalty, Equality, and Respect build friendship.
Friends are equal. Without equality, you can't have a close friendship.
Friends are loyal and trustworthy. No one can confide in someone they can not trust to be loyal and to keep his/her secrets.
Friends have similar values. Our value system is so important to us that our friends' values must be close to our own or we will not have respect for this friend.
"Attending builds friendships and acknowledging builds friendships. Friendships require equality and friendships require loyalty from friends. It takes three years to build true friendship."