by Brooke Faulkner
New Year’s Day and the first couple weeks of January are perhaps the best metaphorical page turn ever created. It’s a time to reflect on the last year, learn from the missteps, and make resolutions to avoid the same mistakes. A common resolution involves letting go of relationships that aren’t adding to your life and strengthening the relationships that do add to it. If you’re someone to whom the latter applies, here are some ideas for ways to build up those friendships and start new friendships off right.
The Importance of Friendship to a Full Life
Interpersonal communication is a huge part of everyday life. It is an important part of social well-being to have people you feel connected to who understand and support you. A supportive friend group has a positive impact on mental health in reducing stress and helping to cope during difficult times. It’s important to be a good friend, but also to make sure the needs on both sides of a friendship are being met.
This is done through mutual respect and understanding. Depending on the personalities involved in a friendship, maintenance of friendships can often go neglected. It’s important to nurture friendships with trust and open communication, and this is not something that is done without effort. There is no school for learning to be a good friend, and it’s not knowledge that people are born with.
Make sure to accept your friends for who they are and vice versa. That’s the point of being friends. Bernard Baruch, an American financier and philanthropist, once said, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” If someone doesn’t appreciate your personality, they’re not a good candidate for your friendship. For more insightful quotes about friendship, look here.
It can be difficult to maintain friendships with people you don’t see regularly. If you’re new to an area, look for ways to meet potential new friends. Finding people you share interests or ideals with will help ensure that there is some common ground for friendship.
It can also be easy to maintain friendships from a distance if you communicate regularly and try to see each other when possible. Getting new friends and old friends together for a fun and inclusive housewarming party is a good way to reintroduce people to your life and rekindle some friendships. This helps old friends understand the changes in your life and will put a face to the new people you’re talking about. This is also a good way to grow your friend group by helping create more mutual friends.
Addressing miscommunications can be a difficult aspect of maintaining relationships—new, old or distant. However, when we go out of our way to show that we care about the friendship by talking about the problems that will inevitably arise, it opens dialogue for understanding and creates an environment where relationships can grow. Meet new people, throw that party, and push yourself to communicate as openly and genuinely as possible. The new year is a good time to pursue personal growth and strengthen the bonds that are important in life.