Maintaining a healthy friendship can have a positive impact on the mental well-being. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, people have been missing opportunities for social interactions, meetings and parties. Fortunately for us, technology helped us stay connected. Make sure that you send a text message or video call once in a while to your friend. A chat with a friend can reduce the stress of feeling lonely during this crisis. In the journey of life, we meet many people, yet we are in touch with only some of them. If someone has the same likes or dislikes, same feelings, same mindset, then directly or indirectly, they will be friends. Among these friends, there are some or one with whom we have a tight bond with more love, trust and affection and we share everything, even if we don’t share with our family members. The ones who have such true friends are the luckiest people in the world. A true friend will accept you for who you are, even though they don’t always agree with you. They respect your boundaries and are always with you in both good and bad times. They find time for you and put in work to help keep the friendship going. Several studies have shown that good friends strengthen the immune system and help to lower stress hormones. Further, people in a supportive community of friends are less likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.On the other side of the coin there are toxic friendships too. Knowingly or unknowingly sometimes we become a victim of that. Once you find that your friend is gas lighting (a form of emotional abuse which involves psychologically manipulating someone to make them doubt their own sanity) you, without a second thought stop that friendship.Also never look back in such friendship because it is very difficult to maintain relations with someone who constantly denies your perspective and reality.
Assessment of own behaviour is needed to build a healthy friendship. So, starting by looking within is important. Ask yourself: “Am I an honest, trustworthy, empathetic and supportive person.” If yes, move forward and if not, take steps to adopt it. A healthy friendship always needs a give and take attitude. Though there were a lot of factors to maintain an everlasting friendship some are essential. The most important factors are trust and transparency. Trust carries the highest value in every relationship. It is the key to an intimate friendship. Always be the person others trust. Once this trust is broken, friendships get collapsed. Like trust, transparency is also a key for good friendship. Be transparent in your emotions.Then only the other person knows what is happening and what do you feel. Emotional transparency essentially means being clear and transparent with your friend about how you feel. Through conversations you can open up your emotions. This helps to avoid others not getting into your problems, if some disagreement or argument happens. So, talk with your friend and be an active listener. Don’t hesitate to tell each other the feelings and emotions. Apart from this, always support and care for your friend whenever needed.
Friendships are among the most fundamental of human needs. Developing and maintaining good friendships takes effort. There is no doubt that it is nice to create a diverse network of friends, but always remember to nurture close friends who will be there for you at any time. Because in life quality of friends matters most, not quantity.