In this third and final post about friendships I will talk about how to be a good friend through out your life.
First of all you have to decide what kind of friendship you want, causal, intemediate or deep. If you want a deep friendship and you notced your friend only looking for a causal one there are usually not a big issue. After after a short while you go your seprate ways without having invested much of energy or time. The big problem occurs if the dynamic changes, one part changes the ways he or she wants to have the friendship and the other continues to think everything is as it has been. The change usually happens gradually and unconsciously. The former usually has gone through some life changing events like a romantic partner or children, One can discuss why this happens, was the commitment never as deep as it was shown previously? Or the priorities have changed? It is very complex and has to do with deep psychological issues.
One can't prevent this from happening, the main thing we can control is being the best friend we can be. If we feel during a period, for example the next six months I can't be as good friend as I want because of x and y we should tell our friends that. Self-awarness! By doing that we explain which is highly appreciated.and most likely our friends will ask if they can help out in any way. If you are like me and think friendships are of great importance you might feel your friends are not willing to put in as much effort as you. That is fine, most of the times. You might reach a breaking point when the friendship annoys and creates frustration at a much bigger degree than it gives you positive feelings and joy. Then it is time to evaluate and but first you bring it it up with your friend in a non accusing way. Talk about how YOU feel and that you wished that you two could spend more time etcetera. If you have done this, let say two times during a 1-3 year period without any changes you have two options. You accept the ways thinks are/have become or you call it a quit. The risk here is that you hope for a change and it won't happen and you drag it out too long as I did with two good friends.
I recipe for long lasting friendship is to treat it as a marriage, you can argue and disagree but there are certain things you do and some you do not do. If you do, do "the donts" you end up alone. I think some people don't get this and therefore they end up not being good friends nor a good spouse. Of course it is not bullet proof approach but it might help.
I wish you long lasting and happy friendships!
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