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Nowadays, everything has become digitized, including friendships. We see people on social media more than we do in real life and we also receive bad news with those we aren’t that close with. We often get lost in our phones and forget how valuable in-person friendships are. With that being said, how can we build better and stronger friendships? 

Communicate Often and Honestly

Honesty is so important when it comes to building friendships because if you base it on lies, it will never have a solid foundation. Communicating often and honestly will build one another’s trust and build a lasting relationship. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like their favorite band or food—just be honest. As adults we often fail to properly schedule things to hang out with friends. Set aside time either weekly or biweekly to do something in a positive environment. 

Listen More

Listen to your friends when they talk to you! Put down your phone when you’re hanging out so you can listen more and truly value the time you are sharing together. Another tip is to let them finish their story or what they are saying before you interject to say anything. 

Be Yourself

If you are pretending to be someone else while creating friendships, you aren’t creating authentic ones. Be your silly, wild, calm, whatever-you-are self. Show your true colors at first so they aren’t confused when they try to paint a picture of you later. This can be hard for some people, but take the leap with the next person you meet! 

Hang Out in All Circumstances 

Hang out while you’re broke and you stroll in the park and people watch. Hang out while you just get paid and you treat them to lunch. Hang out on the good and the bad days. Hang out after you get a promotion. Hang out after you lose a job. As much as it’s important for you to be authentic, some people won’t be in return. In order to build a strong friendship, it’s important to find someone who will accept both the days full of fun and the days full of dread. You want someone that will support you through thick and thin and not abandon you when you need them most. 

Friendships Need Work 

Friendships aren’t maintained by themselves—the effort needs to come from both sides. Take the time to talk, to go out, to laugh, to have tough conversations and to appreciate one another. There’s no such thing as a perfect friendship but there are better ones out there.