How to Feed a Friendship: 5 Tips

Everybody needs friends! Having someone to laugh with, cry with–someone who understands and cares and supports you–is part of what makes life worth living. But in todayís busy world, we often donít make enough time to nurture those friendships that are so essential.

Here are five tips that are the equivalent of friendship vitamins, sure to help a relationship flourish. Read them here:

1. Pay attention. Keep tabs on the significant events in a friendís life. Did her daughter just head off to college? Call to see how sheís holding up and invite her over for coffee. Did her dad have bypass surgery? Check in.

2. Exercise your dialing finger. Okay, most of us have touch-tone phones, but you get the idea: Friendship thrives on knowing the minutiae of each otherís lives. You canít know them unless you stay in touch. Donít quibble about whose turn it is to call.

3. Crack open your datebook. The happiest women wedge spaces into their week for pals no matter how busy they are. They meet for muffins before work, hit side-by-side treadmills at the health club, sashay out for dinner on a weeknight. Make it a non-negotiable date.

4. Raise a flute of champagne. Sure, we need people when life clops us between the eyes. But itís just as important to cheer the victories. Did she finally finish her masterís thesis or nab a promotion? Take her out to lunch or send her a note.

5. Rain compliments. Most of us donít get a lot of strokes–from our boss, our family, or our kids. Thatís what friends are for. I know a woman who makes me feel gorgeous and brilliant–well, at least attractive and capable–nearly every time we talk. How could you not love her?

Adapted from The Friendship Crisis, by Marla Paul (Rodale Press, 2004). Copyright (c) 2004 by Marla Paul. Reprinted by permission of Rodale Press.
Adapted from The Friendship Crisis, by Marla Paul (Rodale Press, 2004).

31 comments

Past Member
Dolly Navina L.3 years ago

Beautiful!

Susan S.
Susan S.6 years ago

Celebrating life, keeping in touch, active listening and nurturing are all great ways of keeping friendships alive. Thanks.

Amy Hubbard
Amy Hubbard7 years ago

Treat people the way you wish to be treated. You cant go wrong that way.

James Woods
Past Member 7 years ago

Thanks for the tips on friendship. I'm not a good verbal communicator, and it can be difficult for me to develop lasting relationships. Your post has reminded me that I need to make a couple of phonecalls today.

laird d.
aaron b.7 years ago

woundnt it be nice if the world peoples who unite with one another
what a peacefull and wonderfull world this would be

Annie O.
Annie O.7 years ago

My nana used to say 'There is nothing sader than a friend once gained, lost through neglect.' I have lived by this all my life. Maintaining contact with friends by email, letter, telephone, greeting cards - theres so many ways th

Brigid Holmes
Brigid Holmes7 years ago

Tia P about your customers, how about finding out if you have similiar interests in say musical events, art events, fairs, other events etc. and if there is something on perhaps see if you could arrange to meet. I can see how it can be awkward though in a professional setting, but I don't think this should prevent you from friendship with people you feel a connection with.

Tia P.
Tia P.7 years ago

Since moving 1000 miles from my women friends, the only women I meet are my customers. I like some of them a lot and would like to be friends with them, but I'm unsure how to appropriately cross over from a customer-professional relationship to friendship without making things uncomfortable professionally. Any suggestions?

Dottie Laster
Dottie Laster7 years ago

I am thankful for freedom. I work to combat modern slavery(human trafficking) and I have learned fom the victims and the traffickers what freedom and lack of freedom truly means. I use everyday to freed those held in servitude. People often think my job is dark and sometimes it is but it is also responsible for the most wonderful days that I never even knew to how wish for.

Manuel De Seabra
Manuel De Seabra7 years ago

txs. Real friends are scarce and it sure is good to be able to keep them.