Is one of your friendships on the brink of collapsing? Do you feel that the two of you are drifting apart? There are Mindful ways to put the pieces back together again and save your friendship.
While it’s true that some friendships somehow reach a dead end, others are hurt by destructive behaviors. For instance, a good friend should be reliable, so flaking on plans, skipping meetings, or forgetting major events in their life can hurt a friendship. A good friend is supportive, but sometimes we are over critical or our friends are emotionally draining. Feelings of jealousy and betrayal can also plague a friendship.
Before you start fighting to improve your friendship you have to decide if it’s worth saving. Most friendships should and can be improved, but there are toxic friendships, which are emotionally suffocating and worth letting go. So, ask yourself: is this friendship mutually beneficial? Are the destructive behaviors a phase or is it an often-repeated pattern?
If you determine that your friendship has a sound foundation, here are a few tips to save your friendship.
- Talk and listen. Consider having a heart-to-heart conversation with your buddy. Gently let them know that there are things that bother you about the current state of your friendship. Make sure that you take equal responsibility for your friendship’s current condition. And don’t forget to listen to their complaints and concerns as well.
- Apologize and forgive. We’ve all made mistakes that we wish we could take back, but that’s not always possible. Being willing to make a heartfelt apology for the things that you’ve done. Be willing to forgive your friend for their mistakes as well.
- Work at it. You can’t fix a friendship overnight, so don’t expect spontaneous results. Take slow, but positive steps forward. For instance, stop the destructive habits that used to hurt your friendship. Consider sharing with your friend a list of all the reasons why you’re happy to have this friendship. Or consider participating in Mindful activities together like meditation and yoga.
- Keep in touch. Between work and family responsibilities, finding time for even our closest friends can be difficult. Social media like Facebook can help when you’re particularly busy as do text messages and phone calls, but don’t underestimate the importance of face-to-face interaction. Physically being there for a friend can make all the difference.
- Follow the golden rule. Growing up you may have heard the proverb: “treat others the way you would like to be treated.” Well, in the same spirit you should be the friend that you would like to have. It’s a simple concept, but extremely effective.