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  • Why Friendship Is Important.

With things like social media and texting, it may not seem like maintaining close friendships should be hard. I recently had dinner with one of my best friends after over a year of making plans and canceling last minute. It became such a thing with us that her boyfriend called us out for being the flakiest people he knew. After all, we do live about 10 minutes away from each other. Nobody has time for that, and my friend would probably say the same.

The Importance of Friendship, According to Psychologists

In fact, a Dutch study found that a large majority of friendships only last about seven years. Like any relationship, friendships take work if you want them to last. So we asked a group of experts what they believe is the number one thing that makes friendships last a lifetime. You need to talk out issues and forgive each other when misunderstandings happen. Because as we all know, misunderstanding will happen. Olson, M.

What Is a True Friend?

This provides a solid foundation for the friendship to grow, thrive, and become a forever and lasting friendship. But if you want to remain friends with someone for life, you need to accept your friend for who they are and love them for it. Keep it judgment-free. You go to your friends to hash things out because you know they will listen to you. When you consistently show up and give your friends the safe space they need to let it all out, you show them just how much you care about them.

It's Common For Friendships To Change Over The Years

You just need to listen, be completely present, and just be there for them. Friends can lean on each other and there will be times when one may lean more than the other will. You may be one of those people who are good at giving to others but are reluctant to let your friends love and care for you. You might be afraid of being weak, vulnerable, or dependent.

My friends have taught me that a true friendship requires both giving and receiving. Give as much as you can and be gracious in accepting their giving to you. Friendships can and do change. There has to be enough freedom and independence in your relationship for the growth that is a normal part of human development. Be flexible enough to adapt to different ways of relating to each other. Marriages, children, careers, interests, and extended family constantly impact the daily structure and flow of our lives.

Why Friendship Is Important

This is where effort comes in. You can find ways to keep the relationship alive and strong if you are willing to be creative.

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Be open and accepting of the choices that your friends make. You may think your friend is wrong or making a mistake but you must respect his or her right to choose their own path and their own learning. I rely on my friends to give me perspective and to be straight with me.

I may not always follow their advice but I truly value it. Finally, build your friendships slowly and have more than one friend.

Developing true friendships may sound like a lot of work but the joy of experiencing life with an open heart and sharing it with a true friend are worth it. Besides, you will live longer and be in good company along the way. Shirley Vandersteen, Ph.