A lonely life is not exactly a desirable one. You may relish spending plenty of time alone while engaging in a solitary activity or gratifying from inner muse; that is not unusual for some people, and that is not the definition of loneliness. However, not being able to experience the care and love of other people who want to celebrate with you when you succeed, and who want to support and sympathize with you when you have struggles, is one of the most unfortunate conditions a person can ever be in. We need loving people around us. Studies have found that times spent with valued friends are mentally rewarding and have numerous health benefits. Just as we need friends to be in our lives, so that we may enjoy these numerous health benefits, they also need us to be in their lives in order to enjoy these benefits.
As we grow older, we are saddled with more responsibilities to take care of. Our academic works, office-related matters, marriage, family, aged parents, and businesses take the front seats. It then becomes very difficult to make new friends and sustain old ones. You may think that your family is enough, but you still need to make and sustain long-lasting friendships. In my article, ‘Friendship- is it necessary’, I stated some benefits of friendships. I also made it clear that there are times when we are likely to need our friends to help solve some personal problems, professional problems, or business problems. Your friends also deserve to have a loyal and responsible friend in you, who is willing to help solve their personal, professional, and business problems. Reunions with your friends, when you all find the time, will also enrich your life.
Many friendships die, not really because life crept in, but because most people let it happen. Unless your friend died or cannot be reached by any means, you can sustain a friendship, if you choose to. Sometimes, that connection you used to have back in the days may no longer be there, for numerous reasons, you can still be essential in the lives of your friends, and they can still be essential in your own lives. Imagine how many pitfalls we could have avoided if we still kept in touch with those positive and valuable friends we lost contact with. So, how do we make and sustain friendships?
Choose the right friends
It takes commitment between two or more friends in a friendship for such friendship to stand the test of time. If a friend is loyal and the other is not, such friendship is prone to crumble sooner or later. There isn’t a lot you can do to save a friendship, other than being a loyal, dependable, and reliable friend. But when your friend ceases to be loyal and trustworthy, there is no point sustaining such friendship.
It is therefore advisable that you choose the right friends for you. Associate with people whose moral values and goals are compatible with yours. Spend time with people who care enough to make sacrifices for you. And then choose to be a loyal and dependable friend to them.
Forgive some imperfections they have
Your friends are humans, and therefore are not perfect. They may sound offensive and seem disrespectful sometimes. They may have some habits you are not very fond of. However, if they are reliable and interested in your happiness and success, you shouldn’t mind forgiving these minor imperfections. Good friends are also willing to apologize when they wrong you. And you should be willing to do the same.
Understand their dark sides
Understanding your friend’s capacity to cope with certain challenges, and expecting that they may not be quite genial with you at such times will help preserve your friendship. Some people are temperamental, and may want to be left alone for some time after a moment of anger. Some people have intermittent shots of depression, and may need some space. Some people may come off as being rude if they are under stress. These same people may have moved mountains for you in the past. They are good people just going through a bad time.
Stay connected and keep in touch
Friendship requires lubrication. Stay connected with your friends in good times and bad times. Let them know you are always there for them. Do not be a fair weather friend. Let them know you value your relationship with them and hope I will last forever.