Friendship is the most delightful experience that each one of us is granted. It is a relationship that should be cherished. Friendship if it is the right kind will prove to be a special bond which cannot be easily broken. Although we cannot choose our siblings and relatives we are given the opportunity to choose our friends’ circle or the people whom we wish to interact with. Having a set of friends that we can count on in times of crises or people with whom we can share our special and important moments in our lives becomes a blessing in disguise at a later time. Even though all this sounds amazing on paper, finding people like these and maintaining the relationship requires mutual understanding, forgiveness, empathy, support, politeness, accepting them as they are, a sharing attitude, never breaching ones trust, maintaining a careful distance, care, love, respect and being able to forget minor differences are some of the qualities that make a simple friendship an everlasting one.
The points that are discussed requires the concerned people to posses ‘mutual interests’ because a friendship if it has to last requires ‘both parties’ to ‘reciprocate the same behaviour’. Besides for any relationship to sustain, it has to follow a two way process.
1. Learn to Empathize: unless and until you are able to understand your emotions and you try to understand your friend’s emotions it will be difficult to become close friends. Remember that unless and until you are living your friend’s life you will never be able to understand how they feel. You can at least try.
2. Learn to accept people as they are: you need to learn to accept your friend as s/he is with their own talents and shortcomings because neither of you are perfect.
3. Understanding and Care: as a friend you need to be understanding of your friend’s situation and necessities. You also need to care and be understanding towards them at all times. Never show an alien attitude towards your friend’s life and family.
4. Support: you need to stand by them during the worst phrases in their lives. You need to let him/her know that you are there if they need anything during crises situations. This is the time your friendship can be mended into an unbreakable bond. If they have made a right decision is it essential that you encourage and motivate them. If they have made a wrong decision your need to guide them in the right direction.
5. Be Polite: in all respects it is important for you to be polite when communicating with them. Your communication patter is what determines whether the relationship will be built or broken. If there are any disagreements you need to clarify them and the best way to do this is by communicating your views about the situation in a polite and justified way. Explain to them the reasons as to why you think the decision or behaviour is inappropriate according to you.
6. Learn to Share: you need to share your happy moments, your joys and success. In simple terms you need to share any kind of experiences with them. However it does not mean that you misuse someone’s liberty especially in terms of money and materialistic things. This helps you to relate to your friend easily but know when to draw the line.
7. Never Breach their Trust: it is important that you do not misuse the information that is conveyed to you with trust. This will break the bond of friendship that was built. You need to be your friend’s confidant.
8. Forget Minor Disagreements: little arguments and conflicts are all part and parcel of a long standing relationship like friendship. Learn to let go of minor differences in opinions because your experiences shape ones view of things.
9. Maintain a Careful Distance: learn to maintain some amount of distance with your friends because they need their space as well. Don’t be Imposing or demanding continuously of your friend.
10. Love and Respect: love and respect are two sides of the same coin because where there is love there is also respect. You need to treat your friend like you would like to be treated. Without respect there wouldn’t be a relationship anyway.
11. Learn to Forgive: you need to learn to forgive your friend at times because they aren’t perfect and nor are you! They too make mistakes just like you but that is not a reason to break the friendship but you do need to know when to draw the line.
If you master these points you will definitely be on your way to developing a long lasting friendship that you can count on in times of need. But remember to be their confidant, don’t betray their trust, treat them with respect and love, overlook minor disagreements, learn to forgive, maintain a careful distance, support them and share your experiences, be polite, be empathetic or sympathetic, understand them while caring and learn to ‘accept them for who they are’ instead of changing them and ensure that ‘the same behaviour is reciprocated by the concerned individuals in the relationship nonetheless’.