How to make friends and sustain relationships

  • By Sahana Rajan

Making friends begins by coming to know the other - as a person - this process is initiated through taking interest in the other person: Get to know the other through sincere communication about interests, hobbies, likes, and dislikes. This would not just be to find where you both have intersecting interests, but also to be able to evolve with one another by learning what each of you can bring into the relationship.

In communicating with the other person, you must be honest and straightforward. The age for empty appreciation and flattery has passed and the time to sincerely put your thoughts to words has arrived. This would allow your relationship to be placed on strong grounds which would face the tides of time and the differences which arise with it. The prime link that ensures that your friendship lasts is 'care,' which in itself is based on your outlook towards the person. Show that you are a friend by acts of caring - there are no grand gestures; all the small moments of care accumulate to tell your friend who you are.

Along with the actions which exhibit your care, ensure that you do not act or say something that was not intended. Treat your friend as you would want to be treated in the relationship. Find interests which you can share - reading, visiting a cafe, playing with animals, talking to old people - any activity that you both feel passionate about and can share time on. Being friends does not mean that you share all your activities, but that you share the way you look at the world.

Once you have formed a strong companionship with someone, time becomes the challenge within which you stand. To let your companionship stand strong and sensitive, as a beautiful dolphin, within the sea of time, is the greatest sign of a successful human relationship. Honesty should be the foundation on which your relationship flourishes. In continuing your acts of care and being honest, you build trust which allows for the other person to confide the changes that they are undergoing.

Respect for differences is crucial in ensuring that the relationship continues and grows, as you both also continue to evolve independent of one another. Let the threads of communication strengthen with time - use social media to stay in touch. Share your life-happenings with one another through e-mail, written letters, and video/audio chats. Prepare a creative routine of keeping up with one another by regularly making up plans to meet for different activities.

Generally, as time passes by, most companionship fade away and new ones are formed. It is important to remember that every relationship goes through different phases and the best way to sustain a relationship is to make efforts to genuinely express what you feel about the other person. However, there is no guarantee of any return of the same genuineness of effort on your friend's part. After all, companionship is a qualitative relationship based on evolution of two people together, than a quantitatively measurable one. However, regardless of how your relationship unfolds - from your side, make sure you have given your best.

The most important part of sustaining a companionship is to accept change as the reality of life and recognize and acknowledge the changes occurring in your friend. Be there as a mirror, to let your friend see himself through you.