Six Steps to Better Friendships

Some friendships last a short time, and some last a lifetime, but all friendships are important.

1. Appreciate your differences

Friends don't have to share all the same interests, being different helps us learn new things from each other, and allows us to feel free to be ourselves. Love your friends for what makes them unique, and don't feel you have to be anything you're not with them.

2. Don't worry about having a best friend

Sometimes we can spend a lot of time fretting about who has that coveted 'best friend' status. In reality, no single friendship can provide everything we'll ever need in our friends, so it's far better to have lots of good friends rather than just one best friend.

3. Spread your wings

To make new friends, we need to be where the people are! Sports and social activities are a great place to meet new friends, as you instantly have common ground to chat about. Plus, you'll be spending a lot of time working together in a team or on a project.

4. It's not all about you

When making new friends, don't rush to tell them everything about yourself. Remember to listen and take note of things you're both into. Make sure you're there for your friends whenever you need to and regularly check in with them to see how they are.

5. Know how to rekindle the spark

Making the effort to spend more time together again can help, if you feel a friendship is becoming distant. To keep a deep friendship going, it's usually best to have regular, short contacts rather than leaving it ages before getting in touch. If there is an underlying issue that's affecting the friendship it's best to talk it out and try to resolve things. Meanwhile, keep thinking about you friend in a positive way and remember the good times you had.

6. And when to let go

Some friends grow together, others grow apart. As we go through life, our personalities, interests and circumstances can change too. This can mean we're not so suited to each other as we once were. This doesn't mean that your friendship wasn't a special part of your life, but it's ok to move on to new friendships and meet new people throughout your life.

Had a fall-out with a friend? Check our advice on making up with your friends.