This lesson will talk about how to build your friendship or romantic relationship into something a little more solid.
How do we build a deeper connection?
- Invite people to things that are fun and spark conversations. You might do something outdoors together, go to an escape room and solve a puzzle, or play ultimate werewolf. It can be any activity that you think would be fun. You have a shared, fun experience. The problem with watching movies is that you are not speaking to each other and are just sitting side by side watching a movie. Afterward, maybe you talk about it, but sitting there not talking to each other is not the best way to build up a relationship. Find things that spark and encourage conversations.
- Take leadership. Whether it’s a group of new friends or older friends, don’t be afraid to invite people to do activities with you. Don’t wait for them to call you. Take the lead and invite them.
- Think about what kind of friend you want to have and what kind of friend you want to be yourself. If you want to be the kind of friend that is fun, optimistic, and positive, then be that friend as well. If you are encouraging to other people, positive about what they are doing, or supportive of what they are going through in their lives, that is something really appreciate that. In general, you are giving supportive feedback. That doesn’t mean that you always need to be positive and encouraging of everything they are doing, especially if it is a huge mistake. Your job is to be honest and tell them what they need to hear. I have deals with my friends that they need to tell me when I am doing something wrong or being annoying or making a huge mistake. I would like them to tell me because not a lot of people will tell you. A good friend does.
- Ask yourself
- Do you enjoy the time that you spend with this friend?
- Think about what you do that is similar to that which would make other people not enjoy their time with you.
- What are they doing that causes you to want to be their friend?
- Ask yourself
- Be a good listener. That’s the kind of friend that I want. If I have something to talk about, I would love it if they would listen and not keep interrupting me to talk about their own stuff. I want to listen to them and not interrupt all the things they have to say.
- Be trustworthy. I want friends that I can count on when I am in need. Show up, on time, when you say you are going to show up. Show that you care by responding to their texts. Be attentive and give them your full attention. Don’t get distracted on your phone.
- Always treat them with respect. If you want respect back, always treat them unfailingly with respect. Even if they do things that are slightly irritating, be respectful to them.
- Don’t be clingy or needy. Don’t guilt-trip your friends when they mess up. You don’t want people guilt-tripping you. Have a no-guilt needed agreement with your friends. Forgive them and build the friendship from there. No hard feelings and no anger at them should generally be your role.
- Make time for your friends. Make face-to-face time for your friends. The minimum, try to make time for them once a month. Invite them, but no pressure, no strings attached type of invite. Schedule time for this person if they are important to you.
This applies to both friendships and romantic relationships. These are ideas for building friendships over the long-term.
Think about what you can do from this lesson that will encourage new and long-term relationships to build them in a positive, encouraging and trustworthy way.