Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, take a moment and appreciate the power of friendship. Think of your childhood friends, your college friends, the friends who made you smile at work each day, the friends who have stood by you through thick and thin . . . Our culture tends to emphasize romance and family, often overlooking the importance of loyal friends. So if you have some great friends by your side, show them how much you care. Today we’re discussing all things friends, including how friends can influence your life and tips for nurturing your friendships.
The Power of Friendship
If you’re tempted to downplay the importance that friendships play in our lives, consider all of the ways that our friends influence us:
- Friends help us have fun.
- Friends give us confidence.
- Friends bolster our sense of self.
- Friends influence our habits, as we’re more likely to do what our friends do.
- Friends teach us things, both silly and serious.
- Friends can bring us peace through the sharing of core values.
- Friends ward off loneliness by providing human interaction.
- Friends provide comfort by supporting us in hard times.
- Friends can steer us in the right direction when our lives are running off track.
- Friends help us feel like we belong.
Good friends benefit our lives in numerous ways, but only if we can hold onto them . . .
Tips for Nurturing Your Friendships
No one can control how many siblings, cousins, or grandchildren they will have, but everyone has the opportunity to make new friends.
Once you’ve developed a friendship, you need to nurture it or it’ll wither away. Luckily, nurturing friendships isn’t just easy – it’s fun! The most important gifts you can give to your friends are your time and attention. Use the following tips to keep your friends close as the years go by:
- Show up. This is the most important thing you can do for your friends. Simply be there. If a friend invites you to spend time together, make your best effort to show up. If you’re having dinner with a friend, make sure that you “show up” emotionally and give them your full attention. Prioritize your plans with your friends.
- Be proactive. Sometimes it’s hard to be the one to call, but if no one does it, a friendship will disintegrate. So ask your friends to hang out! Try not to worry about the fact that they might say no. Chances are, they’ll be incredibly grateful that you reached out.
- Put away the screens. E-mailing, texting, and social media chatting are all well and good, but they can’t replace human interaction. So call your friends from time to time, try video chatting with your long-distance pals, or better yet, get together in person. An e-mail will never replace a hug with your best bud.
- Make it a habit. Sometimes life gets in the way of catching up with a friend and before you know it, months have passed and you haven’t spoken a word to each other. So put it on your calendar! Every two to four weeks, reach out to your friend. Make a lunch date. Send a handwritten card. Call your friend just to say hello. These visits, cards, and calls don’t have to be long; they just have to show that you care.
- Open up. If you close yourself off and refuse to share your thoughts and feelings, you’ll struggle to make close friends. Be open and honest with your friends, and share your joys and struggles with them. Your friends will appreciate your vulnerability and feel free to share more of themselves in return.
Value the friends that you have and be open to making new friends, especially as you grow older.
One of the best ways to make new friends in your sunset years is to join a senior living community. Speaking of which, are you looking for a relaxing place to retire near Riverview, Florida? Check out the Crossings at Riverview, located near Tampa, Florida. We invite you to tour our community, meet our friendly staff, and see our amenities first-hand. Overlooking the Alafia River on twelve beautiful acres, the Crossings at Riverview offers a relaxing atmosphere, and our talented team is committed to cultivating a welcoming and vibrant community. Our goal is to make our community feel like home for all of our residents. To schedule a tour, contact us online. We look forward to meeting you!