Nurturing friendships

Friendship is a plant which must be often watered.  Anon

Each one of us would recall wistfully, that over the years we have made friends with so many people. Whilst some bonds still remain very endearing and strong there are so many friendships that have simply withered away over time.  Nurturing friendships holds the key to ensure that the friends we make continue to have a special place in our hearts and we in their hearts too. Strangely enough if we were to attempt to pinpoint the time when our friendship with a person drifted apart, we would just not be able to identify any such specific time frame. It then dawns on us that we just did not use the opportunities to reconnect, rebuild or restore our intimacy and camaraderie.

Nurturing friendship takes effort, requires the right frame of mind and a very positive attitude. It is akin to planting a seed, watering it, caring for it and patiently awaiting the plant to flower. The big challenge in nurturing friendship is ensuring that we are in sync with our friend, have implicit trust in the relationship and be confident that the other person will reciprocate in like manner. Occasionally even friends would have their moods and disagreements. Respecting both the mood swings and the differing point of view are both implicit in the process of strengthening a friendship. It is important to understand that it is not just those who agree who become friends but those who also appreciate each other for the independent views, contrasting styles and yet find vast expanses of common ground.

There are various reasons why a friendship fizzles out. While misunderstandings could bring a good friendship to a dramatic break off, most times circumstances play a very vital part in us not being able to nurture friendships. With people moving to far distances there is both a big chasm and a huge void in relationships. Similarly people discover new friends, change their social circle, change as individuals, have widely different expectations etc. all of which slowly but surely contribute to a break off. Fortunately technology has now made it possible to dramatically close this growing divide be it by email that is instantaneous and the mobile phones with video technology that ensures real time communication and visual proximity. Searching and locating long lost friends are now become the norm and a favorite pass time. With alumni networks proliferating the time is ripe to reconnect and relive the good old days.

Connecting and reconnecting through technology is but a small but significant step in the process of nurturing friendships. Any feeling of burden, expectations, force or hypocrisy would sound the death knell for even the most intimate and close friendships. The real connection involves nurturing relationships, seeking out areas of common connect, going that extra mile to cement the friendship and reveling in the joy that the friendship provides.

Remember: “A friend is a hand that is always holding yours, no matter how close or far apart you may be. A friend is someone who is always there and will always, always care. A friend is a feeling of forever in the heart.”

Try this:

  1. Take out an old photo album of your school days and attempt to recollect all the classmates. Now choose 3-5 classmates  or childhood friends with whom you were very close then but who have disappeared from your life. Using the various social networks and other resources try to locate at least 2 such friends and try to revive the relationship and friendship.
  2. During the coming year make a firm resolution to wish your friends on their birthdays, anniversaries and other happy occasions with personalized messages not plain and staid run of the mill messages. Perhaps you can even attempt to surprise them with an unexpected visit or an impromptu party or just a gift for an occasion he/ she is just not expecting. See how your friendship really blossoms.

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One thought on “Nurturing friendships

  1. …..very true indeed…

    While the truest of friendships takes less maintenance than others, it needs the most nurturing.

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