In this article, we will be discussing some methods to develop and improve close friendships and "make 'em last a lifetime"


I'll never forget the thrill of meeting my first friend, his name was Jarrod...Although we were not much more than toddlers, he said,"Hi, my name is Jarrod and my mom said we could be friends and play together!"  Although I had siblings, I was unaware of the concept of friends and thought it was the neatest thing in my little world.

Fast forward 30+ years and we are still friends...why and how did we stay this way? Well that's exactly what this article is about...

1.  Form friendships based on positive associations.  Unfortunately, it's very common for people to create friendships based on "shared pain"  and negative associations... For example, I initially met other coworkers at my last job while we were on a smoke break...people standing around filling their lungs with poison and in turn, spitting out more poison with their complaining about work, gossip about other coworkers and general unhappiness with life ...It was too easy to join in the conversation and form "work friendships" ...unfortunately, the old spanish phrase"those who gossip to you will gossip about you" is very true...besides this, who needs more negativity in their lives? ...Be leary of forming friendships in this context.  Contrast this with meeting someone in the gym and striking up a conversation about effective biceps training or a bible study group or a cooking class...positive conversations which are mutually uplifting are good indicators of healthy friendship material. These friendships will tend to be longer lasting and more meaningful.

2.  Recognize that friendships are free.  You should never feel you 'have to' invite or hang out with a friend...unless you really want to. Some people get hooked into becoming friends with another person because of latent hopes of personal gain - either financial, social or otherwise...shy away from this because you are not being sincere in your friendship and this will eventually either become obvious in its own right or manifest itself in the form of resentment toward your 'friend'. Seek friends with no strings attached. Say to yourself, am I seeking this person's friendship because I enjoy them or is there something else I want to accomplish...friendship ala carte is friendship for life.

3.  Wanna have a really fun and interesting friendship?  Play this game:  Resist the temptation to talk about yourself. For example, listening to your friend and just teeming with anticipation to tell them what you did this past weekend - stop yourself and instead say, "Hey, what did YOU do this weekend?"  In fact everytime you want to talk about yourself or direct your activities - stop  and instead ask your friend what they'd like to say or'll find your friend will value you tremendously and it will give you a nice break from self-centeredness (which for better or worse is the direction our society is heading in - complete self-absorbtion and selfishness).

4.  Lastly, stay in touch...make the effort to phone, email or write if  a  long-distance friendship, meet in person monthly if living close by...just because it's not part  of your job does not mean you shouldn't put some effort into it...and the reward will be a lasting, frienship for a's worth the investment.