By: Ellie Cartier
The end of the year is coming. People around the school have made new friends and grown closer to older ones. Although it will be more difficult to stay in touch over the summer than in the school year, many will still get together and hang out.
But before the year ends, I have some tips for you to help strengthen your relationships with your friends.
Disclaimer: These are my opinions on how to have a healthy friendship. Everyone is different and so are the ways they show affection for their friends.
- Respect their space
You are not their mom, or their dad, or their crazy uncle Jim. You are their friend. If they want to do something you don’t entirely agree with, unless it puts them or others in danger, keep your mouth shut about it. Friends support each other and are there for them when things go wrong.
If they need to take a break from their phone or don’t want to come over that weekend, that’s okay. You don’t have to be with each other all the time. If they need a mental moment or just a break from you, don’t take offense to it. Some people need to recharge for a bit.
Maybe they want to hang out with someone else? That’s also totally fine! You shouldn’t revolve your life around one person, and neither should they,
2. Listening and speaking
Sometimes the best thing you can do for your friend is to just sit there and listen. Don’t give them advice. Don’t tell them “I told you so!” or “If you had listened to me,”. That’s not why they came to you. They want you to hug them and listen. If they want your ‘words of wisdom’, they’ll ask for it.
3. Respecting privacy
Sort of like number one, but this time more about not asking about every single thing they are doing in their life. If they have something to share with you, they will. This doesn’t mean I’m saying that you can’t ask how their day was or what they are doing this weekend, but more along the lines of if they are texting a girl/boy, you don’t need to know everything they are saying.
If they are going through something that they don’t want to talk to you about, leave it. Maybe they’ll come to you when they’re ready, maybe they won’t. You just have to move on.
4. Paying attention
This one is personally one of the most important ones to me. Pay attention to your friends. Not just watching their social media. Take them to Starbucks or to Walmart and watch what they look at. Do they like black tea? Is their favorite food sushi?
People truly do appreciate the small things. You bringing them their favorite drink or buying them a new mug because you remembered they broke their first one. It means something to them. You may think it’s just a simple task that took no more than ten minutes but to them, that’s ten minutes of your time you spent thinking about them. That’s important to other people.
Those were a few things I’ve heard my friends say they appreciate in friendships so keep them in mind, and hang on because summer is almost here.